Righty allows 3 runs on 3 hits over 5 innings vs. Yankees
By Keegan Matheson
TORONTO -- Joe Biagini is still trying to crack the code of starting at the Major League level. He's flashed the potential of being an efficient workhorse in the back end of the Blue Jays' rotation, but Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Yankees will be filed away as another learning experience.
"I think I've established some consistent inconsistency," Biagini said after the game. "The maddening thing for me is that I see small little parts of my game that come out on occasions that I feel are good. I feel like that's what I should be doing and that's what I should be trying to tap into a little bit more. "
Through the early innings Saturday, Biagini flashed his talent. He pounded the zone with a heavy fastball, spotted his curveball and worked quickly. The fourth and fifth innings were a different story, as the right-hander began missing the edges of the zone and elevating.
"I thought he was going along pretty good, attacking pretty good," manager John Gibbons said. "The occasional curveball -- he was missing on his curveball -- but he was effective, and I just think he kind of hit that wall a little bit. You could tell when he started losing the strike zone."
Biagini finished the day with three runs allowed -- all on a three-run home run by Greg Bird in the fifth -- with three hits and four walks.
Some frustration has understandably built for Biagini, who has transitioned back to starting this season for the first time since 2015 at the Double-A level. He remains focused on the process, though, and extrapolating the positives from this start moving forward.
"I've learned a lot, just having that challenge of trying to find it," Biagini said. "I think that what I needed to experience this year was just the experiences. I needed to learn what I needed to learn. I could see how, for example, early in this game vs. the last inning, it's kind of two different stories."
The Blue Jays recently agreed to a contract extension with Marco Estrada through 2018, and he will join J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman. Biagini filling the fifth spot would be an ideal scenario for the Blue Jays given his potential, the financial impact and his remaining team control, but it looks like the process will stretch into the spring of next season.
"You don't get chances like this forever," Biagini said. "It doesn't just keep getting handed to you forever and ever, but if I'm able to take what I've learned and apply it to my approach as I kind of decompress from this season and enter next season in whatever role it may be, I think that's the best possible way I can try to handle this."
Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.