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White Sox @ Blue Jays -- Contreras vs. Janssen

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Jose Contreras (5-0, 1.90) vs. Casey Janssen (3-3, 3.46)

I'm glad I checked the time for this game. I assumed it was either a 12 PM Central start, or 6 PM. But the Blue Jays have it scheduled for 3PM, which would be 4PM their time. That's an odd start time.

Thinking about that a little bit more, I think it has something to do with FOX's window of exclusivity on Saturday baseball games. They try to avoid putting the Ursa Whiner and Palehose six opposite each other because they obviously can only show one game at a time.

The next two games, the Sox face rookie pitchers they've never seen before. That used to be nearly an automatic loss, but they finally bucked that trend last season, winning their fair share of contests against noobs.

Today's pitcher, Casey Janssen is an interesting story. Check that, I don't know his story at all, but I can glean a whole lot just by looking at his stats from the baseball cube. He was a 4th round draft pick out of UCLA in 2004. His first three seasons at UCLA were very ordinary; decent K-rate, improving but average control, and a bunch of hits. Those pedestrian stats led him to be taken in the 49th round after his junior year. He returned to school, found his control, and his draft stock went through the roof.

I don't know if he made a change in his delivery, or if he finally just figured it out, but since his senior season, his control has only gotten better. The Jays took a very conservative route with him, starting him out in the Midwest League at age 23 last season. All he did was walk just 20 batters in about 150 innings across three levels. He's continued that trend at the big league level, with just 2 walks since his first start, a span of 35 innings pitched.

I think what I'm trying to say is, this kid throws strikes.