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Villanueva proves to be a valuable pickup

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Villanueva proves to be a valuable pickup

Who knew that right-hander Carlos Villanueva would be this good?

There was hardly a ripple when he was picked up from the Milwaukee Brewers last December for the ubiquitous player to be named, whose name turned out to be Cash Considerations.

Villanueva has been a revelation for the Blue Jays.

His relief work has been impeccable, and six of his 13 relief appearances were two or more innings. Thus, when Jesse Litsch went on the disabled list last Friday with an impingement in his shoulder, Villanueva seemed a logical choice to take his place the rotation Monday.

Villanueva did a job on the Yankees, holding them to one run on two hits and a walk in five innings to improve to 2-0 with a 1.53 ERA.

It was his first start since Oct. 3, 2009, when he was with the Brewers. He went five innings for the win that time, too, but gave up four runs.

"He was very poised," manager John Farrell said after Monday's game. "Even in a starting role, it didn't change his demeanor."

Villanueva threw 75 pitches Monday, a season high by six, He could start again since Litsch was expected to miss two starts, but Farrell wouldn't commit to giving him another turn in the rotation.

As for Villanueva, he said. "Whatever they need me to do. I just work here."

Right now, the Blue Jays are glad he does.

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2017 Team Leaders
AVGJustin Smoak , 1B.297
HRJustin Smoak , 1B28
RBIJustin Smoak , 1B67
OBPJustin Smoak , 1B.377
SLGJustin Smoak , 1B.592
RJose Bautista , RF61
SBKevin Pillar , CF12
WMarcus Stroman , SP9
ERAMarcus Stroman , SP2.98
WHIPMarcus Stroman , SP1.26
KMarco Estrada , SP122
SVRoberto Osuna , RP26

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