The big story tonight is Gavin Floyd's encouraging performance, but we don't write big stories here. We write stories based entirely on box scores.
Looking for someone to step up in middle relief, the bullpen combination of Yoel Hernandez, Aaron Fultz, Aquilino Lopez and Brian Sanches worked scoreless innings (two by Lopez) and allowed just four hits, holding the Blue Jays in check 7-1. Floyd pitched a sharp game as well: 4 IP, 5 SO, 1 ER.
A word on Aquilino Lopez, because I know he has fans out there. Aqualung is one of few fringe pitchers Baseball Prospectus is keeping tabs on. They feel the soon-to-be 31-year-old right-hander still has good upside. They compare him to Bedrock Steve Bedrosian and Shingetoshi Hasagawa. They cite problems with control and some inconsistency, but give him points for experience and a plus slider. He can notch strikeouts. He is third on the team in career saves.
Interesting to note he got a good, long look tonight. It's so hard to say how coaches really feel about pitchers in spring. They work a lot off camera and in non-game situations. This long outing should be encouraging news for Aquilino fans. As the kids are saying, cue the Jethro.
Another guy they like a little is Yoel Hernandez, who we've talked about since November and pitched lights out in winter ball. Brian Sanches, who pitched the ninth tonight, hasn't allowed a run this spring.