Luciano MLB's 1st 21st-century player to debut

Richard in no-throw situation; Galvis continues streak

April 1st, 2019

TORONTO -- Elvis Luciano became the youngest pitcher in Blue Jays history when he took the mound during the seventh inning of Sunday afternoon's 11-inning, 4-3 loss to the Tigers.

Luciano tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings, while surrendering a double to Niko Goodrum and issuing an intentional walk. At 19 years and 44 days, Luciano is the first player born in the 2000s to appear in a Major League game, and he's second only to Brian Miller (at 18 years, 218 days in 1978) as the youngest player in franchise history.

The Dominican native entered in the seventh, and got Nicholas Castellanos to fly out and end the threat. In the following inning, the biggest highlight of all came when Miguel Cabrera stepped into the box and Luciano eventually got him to fly out to left.

"That was wild right there," Luciano said, through an interpreter after the game. "When I was 12 years old, Cabrera was my favorite player. I used to be an infielder, and when I saw him, when I knew I was going to face him; that was my proudest moment of the entire day."

The Blue Jays acquired Luciano from Kansas City during the December Rule 5 Draft at the annual Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. He won a spot on the 25-man roster during Spring Training and he has to remain there -- barring injury -- all season, or be offered back to the Royals for $500,000.

Richard goes down
Blue Jays left-hander Clayton Richard, who will miss at least the next two weeks because of a stress reaction in his right knee, was placed on the 10-day injured list on Monday.

Right-hander Sean Reid-Foley was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo in time to make Monday's start against the Orioles, which originally belonged to Richard. Reid-Foley had yet to make an appearance in a game, awaiting the start of the Minor League season, but spent the spring competing for a job with the Blue Jays.

Richard is in a no-throw situation for approximately the next two weeks, and will then be re-evaluated at that time.

"It hurts when he lands, so we have to be careful with that," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.

The top four-fifths of the Blue Jays' rotation got off to an incredible start this season, with a combined 24 scoreless innings over the first four games. Even with Trent Thornton's record-setting debut on Sunday, there is a lot more uncertainty in the final two spots. Clay Buchholz continues to get stretched out in the Minors after signing late in camp, and left-hander Ryan Borucki will need to miss at least one more outing because of elbow soreness, and now Richard goes down as well.

Jansen in the DH spot
Montoyo continues to prove that he's not afraid to take some risks. The latest example came in the series finale against Detroit, when Danny Jansen was inserted into the leadoff spot of the lineup as a designated hitter.

The Blue Jays' manager knew he wanted to give Jansen a break behind the plate, but he still wanted his bat in the lineup. That's why Montoyo settled on the DH spot, even if he knows there's a downside to this strategy, which became apparent in the eighth inning when Rowdy Tellez pinch-hit for catcher Luke Maile.

Montoyo's move paid off when Tellez hit a three-run homer, but it also left the Blue Jays without a DH for the rest of the game because Jansen had to move back behind the plate. Jansen went 1-for-5 on the day.

"He matches up better than anybody on this team, that's why we're doing that," Montoyo said earlier in the day when explaining the move. "Of course, when we're doing that, I'm taking the risk of a catcher getting hurt, and I'd have to manage a National League team. Hopefully nobody get hurts and everything is fine."

Galvis sits, then plays
Freddy Galvis
was held out of the Blue Jays' starting lineup because of tightness in his lower back. For a couple of hours, it looked like Galvis might miss his first big league game since 2016, but the veteran infielder still found a way to enter late as a pinch-hitter.

Galvis appeared in 162 games during each of the last two seasons with the Padres and Phillies. Utility infielder Richard Urena replaced Galvis in the starting lineup approximately 20 minutes prior to first pitch, but Montoyo said after the game he did not believe it would be a serious issue.

"He said he couldn't go," Montoyo said. "Of course he has his streak going. So I said, 'Well get loose, I'll give you time.' And he said 'No, I just won't be able to go.' So for Freddy to say that, you know he couldn't go. Then around the third inning our trainer said, 'He got loose and he feels pretty good, so he should be able to pinch-hit or play.'"

"The one thing I know is that he's not going to be scared. I don't know how he's like that, because I would be, but he's not. That's a plus. If you see him out there and he's wild or something, it's not because he's scared or something, it's because he's just a kid from Rookie ball. But you're going to see him, and we've got to find out." -- Montoyo, on Luciano.