Major League Baseball

Guerrero, Tatis won’t face off as Padres visit Jays

mlb4PADRES (26-24) AT BLUE JAYS (20-30)
7:07 p.m. ET; SN1, FSSD, MLB.TV

There will be no reunion between baseball’s top two prospects, after all, when the San Diego Padres visit the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night for the opener of a three-game series.

Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. were ranked as the first- and second-best consensus prospects, respectively, entering this season.

Their fathers played together with the Montreal Expos. The 20-year-old rookies are friends from boyhood and hoped to get together when the Padres visited Toronto. But that will not take place, because Tatis is on the injured list with a strained left hamstring and is rehabilitating in Arizona.

It could also have made for an interesting showcase for the two rookies and perhaps a friendly competition.

Guerrero, after a slow start after being promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on April 26, is slashing .241/.315/.446 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 22 games, despite going 0-for-4 in the 8-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Thursday afternoon. He was named American League player of the week last week when he hit the first four homers of his major league career and nine RBIs.

Tatis is slashing .300/.360/.550 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 27 games.

The Padres were off on Thursday after a 5-2 victory on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Padres manager Andy Green said he does not expect Tatis to play on the team’s road trip against the Blue Jays and the New York Yankees.

“He hasn’t had a setback,” Green said. “He’s improving, getting better. Until he starts playing in games, his return is obviously not imminent.”

Padres closer Kirby Yates had saves in each game of the sweep of Arizona to become the first San Diego pitcher with 20 saves in the team’s first 50 games of a season. He also is the first Padres pitcher with 20 saves before the end of May.

The Padres will start left-hander Joey Lucchesi (3-3, 4,28 ERA) Friday night against Toronto right-hander Trent Thornton (1-4, 4.41).

Neither pitcher has started against the other team.

Lucchesi took the loss on May 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates despite pitching seven innings in which he allowed two runs. The Pirates won 5-3.

He takes a 2-1 record with a 4.15 ERA in four interleague starts into the start against the Blue Jays.

Thornton will be making his 11th career start, all this season. He allowed one run, three hits and one walk while striking out four over six innings Sunday against the Chicago White Sox. He did not factor in the decision in Toronto’s 5-2 win.

Only Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman have also made 11 starts for the Blue Jays, who have had injuries deplete their rotation.

The Blue Jays have used 11 different starters in 50 games already this season.

“The one thing I’ve learned from experience is that you can never have enough pitching,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Thursday. “Nobody expected three or four guys to get hurt. You just have to deal with it until we get healthy again.”

The Blue Jays have lost nine of their last 11 home games and are 9-16 at home for the season.

Toronto is expected to call up second base prospect Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, for his major league debut on Friday, ESPN reported Thursday. Biggio is slashing .306/.440/.507 for Buffalo this season.

–Field Level Media

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