The marathon that is the 162-game Major League Baseball regular season is in the rearview mirror as of Sunday with ten clubs qualifying for postseason play that gets underway on October 1st and 2nd with the playing of the National and American League Wild Card games.
Postseason rosters have not been announced by participating clubs but there will be Canadian content in this year’s postseason after a 2018 that saw no participation from north of the border.
A look at the Canadian content with postseason participants:
Calgary native Mike Soroka put together one of the finest rookie performances for a starting pitcher in recent memory. The 22-year-old Junior National Team grad looks poised to start Game 3 of the National League Division Series in St. Louis on Sunday after finishing the regular season with the third-best ERA (2.68) among eligible starters. The 2019 NL All-Star’s impressive regular season performance has him in both Rookie of the Year and Cy Young conversations in the National League.
Tip of the cap to American-born Freddie Freeman who repped Canada at the 2017 World Baseball Classic and will be in the heart of the Braves’ batting order when they host the Cardinals on Thursday.
Greenfield Park, Québec’s Abraham Toro made his big league debut with the Astros in late August and found himself playing a key role in teammate Justin Verlander’s no hitter at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The Académie du Baseball Canada alum hit the go-ahead homer run the top of the ninth to give Verlander all the offence he would need to secure his second no-no north of the border.
Los Angeles Dodgers
After an offseason trade from the Toronto Blue Jays back to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team that drafted him in 2002, Montréal’s Russell Martin is heading to the postseason for a remarkable tenth time in the 14-year big-league career. The 36-year-old veteran is a key piece of the Dodgers’ leadership core who knows what it takes to win in the postseason.
New York Yankees
Speaking of offseason trades, the New York Yankees acquired the pride of Ladner, British Columbia, James Paxton, in a deal with the Seattle Mariners and he has been one of the hottest starting pitchers in the major of late having won ten consecutive starts prior to his last appearance of the regular season. Paxton famously tossed a no hitter on home soil in 2018 when he no-hit the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
St. Louis Cardinals
Maple Ridge, BC’s Tyler O’Neill appeared in 60 games with the Cardinals in 2019 after battling some injury woes and contributed five home runs while Canadian baseball legend Stubby Clapp (Windsor, ON) can be spotted in the first base coaches box where he’s just completed his first regular season big league caches gig.