October Confidential: Blue Jays

Rival players offer inside look at facing AL Wild Card

October Confidential: Blue Jays

How do you beat the Blue Jays? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to beat the AL Wild Card winners.

Josh Donaldson
"He's a threat in any circumstance. Runners on base, he's going to put together a good at-bat. He has a chance to leave the yard at any point. He's just an aggressive hitter. Not someone you want to have up there in a big situation."
-- AL East relief pitcher

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 6 TOR 10, TEX 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 7 TOR 5 TEX 3 video
Gm 3 Oct. 9 TOR 7, TEX 6 (10) video

"As much as I don't appreciate the antics and attitude, he's one of the best players in the American League. He's up there to do damage. You can't make mistakes to a guy like that, because he's going to punish you. We try to pound those guys in - everybody on that team. They try to own the plate. If you can throw a strike with authority, you've got them beat. Donaldson's got a pretty good knowledge of the strike zone. He's the toughest at-bat in that lineup."
-- AL catcher

Edwin Encarnacion
"With runners on base, he's just a tough guy to pitch to. He's got the opportunity to leave the yard at any point."
-- AL East relief pitcher

"He'll chase up. He very rarely will chase off the plate. If you have some late, late movement, he'll chase off the plate. But I feel like changeups are better off to him, especially in an advantage count. Other than that, you've got to make him uncomfortable."
-- AL catcher

Jose Bautista
"Bautista's the one you've got to be careful with pitching in. We like to throw him front-hip breaking balls, because it freezes him. And he'll chase down and chase up."
-- AL catcher

Jimenez whiffs Bautista

Troy Tulowitzki
"He definitely digs himself. And he's good. He can definitely hit some offspeed pitches. And he's a perfect guy in that part of the lineup. In Colorado, he was the guy, and now he doesn't necessarily have to be the guy, and that fits him pretty well. There are a lot of guys there to protect him."
-- AL catcher

Michael Saunders
"Not many people will outwork him, and he's made some big strides power-wise. You can just look at him, and he's a big kid. You know the power was in there, it was just a matter of getting it out. He's very athletic, can steal bases, can run a little bit. He's not an easy out by any means. That lineup is just so full, top to bottom. He's gotten a lot better about going the other way, too. Teams have pounded him away, backdoor slider, backdoor cutter, and he's doing a lot better job with that."
-- AL catcher

Russell Martin
"That guy's a stud. I love how he catches and calls a game. I can't stand how much he complains to the umpire. Everything he catches is a strike. And when he's hitting, everything's a ball. But what a player. To have a guy like that behind the plate for them is a game-changer. He makes that pitching staff a lot better and he can usually shut down the running game, he's phenomenal at blocking balls in the dirt. He's a shortstop behind the plate. He knows the game and how to call a game… He also knows how to throw a ball off Shin-Soo Choo's bat. That's the one thing with him. He can get a little lackadaisical."
-- AL catcher

Aaron Sanchez
"That (sinker is) a bowling ball. He's right on top of you. It's a legitimate sink. I mean, it's 97 mph with a power sink and a hard breaking ball. A lot of movement."
-- AL East infielder

Sanchez's 10 K's in 10 seconds

J.A. Happ
"I think facing Happ, it's a fastball that really gets on you. It's a short-arm that's quick. I know hitters say that all the time. But you have to decide what you're doing. He comes right at you. He throws a lot of fastballs. He's tough, he's really tough. He's a competitor for sure."
-- AL East infielder

Roberto Osuna
"I give him credit. He's come in in some big situations and gotten some outs. He's got credibility back there to shut a game down. To me, though, he's a little cocky out there. That can play well, but it can also hurt you. You've got to get him early."
-- AL catcher