Blue Jays Name Three to Arizona Fall League

Dalton Pompey
Dalton Pompey 2

Dalton Pompey

 

With the minor league seasons winding down, the major leagues are beginning to ramp up the hype for the Arizona Fall League. The AFL has become an annual showcase of some of the best prospects that baseball has to offer and, as usual, the Toronto Blue Jays will be participating in the desert extravaganza.

 

 

While most teams send six or seven players, the Blue Jays have only announced three players (all position players) to the preliminary roster of the Mesa Solar Sox, the club for whom the Blue Jays will be providing players this year (last year it was the Salt River Rafters). The Blue Jays sent several players last year who have made big impacts with the big league team as well as in the minors including Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Derrick Chung, Andy Burns, Kenny Wilson, John Stilson and Drew Hutchison.

 

For the 2014 version of the AFL, the Blue Jays have announced that they’re sending outfielders Dalton Pompey and Dwight Smith, Jr. as well as second baseman Jon Berti.

 

Pompey, the Mississauga native, has been tearing up the minors this year as a 21 year old and made headlines when he was promoted to Buffalo to play at the Triple-A level. Combined, in 106 games this season, Pompey has posted a .314/.392/.467 triple slash line with 18 doubles, nine triples and nine home runs to go along with 41 stolen bases in 48 attempts.

 

Jon Berti

Jon Berti

 

Berti, 24, is a second baseman who has flown under the radar over his minor league career but he’s put up very good numbers since being an 18th round pick in the 2011 draft out of Bowling Green State University. The Troy, Michigan native has spent the year in Double-A New Hampshire and has been one of the key contributors to that club all seasin, hitting .272/.325/.377 with 19 doubles, seven triples and seven home runs, stealing 38 bases in 53 opportunities.

 

Dwight Smith, Jr.

Dwight Smith, Jr.

 

Smith, also a 21-year-old outfielder, started the season at the same level as Pompey (High-A Dunedin) but hasn’t been moved as aggressively. In 118 games (522 plate appearances so far), Smith has put up eerily similar numbers to his 2013 season in Lansing with a .284/.361/.457 slash line. The big difference between his seasons is his slugging which has improved dramatically. Smith has hit 28 doubles, eight triples and 12 home runs while stealing 15 bases. The key increase comes in a tougher hitter’s league (Florida State League) and Smith has shown more power towards the end of the season, hitting seven of his 12 home runs in July and August.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.

August 26 Minor League Report/August 27 Preview

Brad Glenn
Brad Glenn

Brad Glenn

 

The Blue Jays lost. Again. In extra innings. The 11th was ugly.

 

 

Buffalo Bisons 3, Pawtucket Red Sox 9

 

Daniel Norris hit his first speed bump in Triple-A, getting hit hard by the Pawtucket Red Sox and giving up six runs in four innings on eight hits and three walks while striking out three. Kyle Drabek was alos tagged for three runs over three innings. Matt Hague led the way offensively, going 3/4 with two doubles and an RBI while Dalton Pompey had another great game, going 2/5 and scoring a run. Anthony Gose was 1/3 with two walks, two stolen bases (but he was also picked off and caught stealing) and he had two outfield assists.

Roster Notes: Scott Copeland was promoted to Buffalo while Kevin Pillar got the call to go back to Toronto.

Player of the Game: Matt Hague

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 6, Harrisburg Senators 4

 

Thanks to a couple of big swings from Brad Glenn, the Fisher Cats had enough offense to get by the Harrisburg Senators. Glenn was 3/4 with two home runs, four RBI and three runs. Keivn Nolan also had a pair of hits and two runs. Ben White, making his first start in Double-A was solid, going 6 1/3 and allowing three runs on four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts.

Roster Notes: RHP Ben White was called up to New Hampshire and Scott Copeland went up to Buffalo. 1B Mike McDade was put on the DL.

Player of the Game: Brad Glenn

 

Dunedin Blue Jays 5, Daytona Cubs 6

 

Emilio Guerrero had his first big game in a long time, going 3/5 and blasting two home runs, driving in four runs. Christian Lopes continues to hit well towards the end of the season and went 2/4 with a double and a walk. Roberto Osuna ran into some trouble, allowing a home run and four other hits for three runs in total over 4 1/3 innings while striking out seven. Efrain Nieves allowed three unearned runs over 3 1/3 innings.

 

Emilio Guerrero

Emilio Guerrero

Player of the Game: Emilio Guerrero

 

Lansing Lugnuts 2, Lake County Captains 3

 

The Lansing Lugnuts had a hard time getting any offense going despite a decent start from Jeremy Gabryszwski who went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Francisco Gracesqui (who I wrote about in this article) added two more scoreless innings to his season with just one hit against and two strikeouts. For the offense, Chaz Frank had a pair of hits while Rowdy Tellez was 1/3 with a walk and an RBI.

 

Chaz Frank

Chaz Frank

Player of the Game: Chaz Frank and Rowdy Tellez

 

Vancouver Canadians 3, Eugene Emeralds 1

 

Matt Smoral had another strong pitching performance, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing only one run on six hits but he walked four (and struck out four). The bullpen was almost flawless with Yeyfry Del Rosario providing 1 1/3 innings of one-hit, one-walk relief and struck out four batter (all of the outs he got) while Michael Kraft and Phil Kish combined to allow just one hit over the final 2 1/3 innings. The offense was quiet with only six hits although Tim Locastro was on base twice, getting a hit and getting hit by a pitch, adding a stolen base. The club was extremely aggressive on the bases, stealing five bases: one each from Locastro, Gunnar Heidt, Roemon Fields, Franklin Barreto and Alexis Maldonado. The Canadians are still tied for the North Division lead in the second half and are neck and neck with the Tri-City Dust Devils.

 

Matt Smoral

Matt Smoral

Player of the Game: Matt Smoral

 

Bluefield Blue Jays 10, Greeneville Astros 2

 

The Bluefield offense went into high gear getting two hits from five different players including Angel Rojas (2/5, 2 RBI), Josh Almonte (2/4, BB, 2B, 3 RBI), Lane Thomas (2/4, 2 RBI, SB), Rolando Segovia (2/3, 2B, BB,, 2 R) and Jesus Gonzalez (2/5, 2 RBI, R). On the mound, Oscar Cabrera allowed two unearned runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts over 3 1/2 innings while Conor Fisk picked up the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks with four strikeouts. Tim Mayza finished things off an earned a three-inning save, only allowing two hits and two walks.

Player of the Game: Josh Almonte

 

GCL Blue Jays 3, GCL Pirates 7

 

It was a Jake Brentz day in the GCL but the young lefty couldn’t find his command, walking four and giving up three runs over four innings but struck out five. Turner Lee gave up another four runs on eight hits while J.T. Autrey threw two scoreless innings. Dave Pepe led the way on offense, going 2/3 with two runs scored while Nathan DeSouza drove in two runs with a double and Juan Kelly was 1/4 with a triple.

Player of the Game: Dave Pepe

 

 

 

August 26 Preview

 

Buffalo Bisons (73-63)

 

Buffalo has a double header today against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and hope to make up some ground on Pawtucket after losing their last two to the Red Sox. Raul Valdes is scheduled to start one of the games and they start at 5:35 PM on MiLB TV.

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (65-71)

 

Casey Lawrence is on the mound for the Fisher Cats at 6:35 PM on MiLB TV and faces the Harrisburg Senators.

 

Dunedin Blue Jays (76-58)

 

Matt Boyd is scheduled to be on the mound for Dunedin as they host Daytona at 6:30 PM.

 

Lansing Lugnuts (59-74)

 

The Lugnuts go on the road and hit Daytona with Starlyn Suriel taking the ball at 7:00 PM ET on MiLB TV.

 

Vancouver Canadians (41-29)

 

Ryan Borucki is the scheduled starter for the Vancouver Canadians as they’re on the road playing the Eugene Emeralds at 10:05 PM ET.

Bluefield Blue Jays (31-34)

 

Bluefield comes home to face the Pulaski Mariners with an unannounced starter on the hill at 7:05 PM.

 

The GCL Blue Jays are also in action today with a double header.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.

Rowdy Moves Up

Rowdy Tellez
Rowdy Tellez

Rowdy Tellez

 

Heralded first baseman and Blue Jays’ prospect Rowdy Tellez arrived in Lansing for Thursday’s game with the press box all abuzz. The in-game entertainment staff were impressed that the Lugnuts had just received a player named “Rowdy;” media who didn’t follow the Jays’ prospects closely looked at his age (19) and physical stats (6’4″, 260 lbs) and were amazed. Others (like me), knew all about Rowdy and were looking forward to seeing him up against a higher level of competition. I interviewed Tellez before, during spring training for the Canadian Baseball Network and you can find that podcast on the Canadian Baseball Network site.

 

 

Tellez’s promotion was a surprise to everyone, including the player himself: “At the last meeting on the bus, [Bluefield Blue Jays' manager] Dennis Holmberg decided to say my name, so I got called up. . . . I was kinda shocked but at the same time . . . I wanted to move on, get up here and play.”

 

While Tellez was drafted in the 30th round of the 2013 draft, he was rated much higher than that: Baseball America had him ranked as their best left-handed power bat in the draft class. He dropped from around the second round to the 30th because he had a strong commitment to USC but the Blue Jays managed to find $850,000 ($750,000 over slot) to sign the big young power hitter and get him in their organization. While he was off to a slow start as a professional, Tellez’s bat woke up towards the end of the season last year, playing with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, and finished with a .234/.319/.371 triple slash line.

 

Rowdy Tellez

Rowdy Tellez

 

Assigned to Bluefield this year (where he had played in the two games of playoffs at the end of last year), Tellez got off to a rocky start in 2014, hitting only .103/.191./121 in his first 17 games. Rowdy told me that there wasn’t anything mechanical but “it was a whole mental mindset of trying to do too much and getting away from being who I am. We had some rovers and instructors come in and said ‘You better shape up.’”

 

Rowdy did exactly that. From July 8 to August 18 with Bluefield, Tellez was a different player, hitting .376/.433/.556 with ten doubles, a triple and four home runs, driving in 29 runs. Starting July 8, Rowdy embarked on a 13-game hitting streak and only failed to hit in five of 36 games, taking 13 walks and only striking out 15 times in that span, resulting in his promotion to Lansing.

 

Coming up to a new team in Lansing allows Rowdy to reunite with some of his former teammates. “I know literally everyone on this team so it wasn’t much of a huge culture change when I got here, it was pretty easy for me to go through it. . . . When I got the call up here, you see all those same faces again so it’s like coming home.”

 

Rowdy Tellez

Rowdy Tellez

 

That comfort level with his teammates has likely helped Tellez contribute to the Lugnuts immediately after joning the club. I (along with pretty much every other observer) was very impressed with Rowdy’s work through his first few games in Lansing.

 

There are several things that really stood out to me when watching Tellez in game situations. The first is that he has excellent plate discipline. He would take close pitches and had a sense of when the pitcher was trying to get him to chase breaking balls outside of the strike zone. In fact, in his third game, he struck out twice but both times were looking at pitches that could very well have been called balls. The second strikeout was against tough lefty Jose Jose who struck out all three batters he faced but even then, Tellez didn’t look overmatched.

 

Rowdy Tellez

Rowdy Tellez

 

I also didn’t see Tellez swing and miss until his third game. Every time he decided to swing in his first two games, he either fouled the ball off or put it in play. Along with the fact that he hit the ball hard most of the time, this is a big indication of Tellez’s ability to put the barrel of the bat on the ball. In his third game, Tellez had a base hit in the ninth inning against Silvino Bracho, a 22-year-old Venezuelan righty who has struck out 68 batters in 41 1/3 innings this year and who is three years older than Tellez. Tellez was able to make an adjustment and go the other way (between the 5-6 hole) with a solid single with two strikes, which shows how mature his approach is, particularly when Bracho struck out the side that inning, including swinging strikeouts of Dawel Lugo and Daniel Klein. While most of his teammates were late on Bracho’s fastball, Tellez was able to corral it for a base hit.

 

Tellez also impressed me with his baseball sense. There was one double play that he broke up in his first game and in his third game, he ran the bases well, not over- or under-committing on a pop up that was eventually not caught by the defense.

 

On defense, Tellez is still a work in progress but he’s come a long way and (from what I saw), he isn’t a liability at first base. A hard worker, Tellez was out early on Saturday, working with roving infield instructor Mike Mordecai on his defense and I have few worries about him defensively. His arm is stronger than you might expect from a first baseman although I didn’t have a chance to see how accurate it might be.

 

And then there’s the power. Watching Tellez in batting practice and in the games, he shows off his power (hitting balls over the fence to left center field) but he’s not the type of “watch me hit home runs” player that someone with his level of ability could be. He definitely doesn’t treat batting practice as a home run derby but is just trying to make solid contact to all field. His BP sessions weren’t the most electric I had seen (I saw D.J. Davis hit four balls in a row over the fence and just fall short on one that would have made it five in a row) but Tellez was definitely working on things and the way in which balls would jump off his bat was very impressive.

 

What have I see from Rowdy Tellez is young player who is hungry to improve but who is also not out of his depth. While he’s only 19, he’s very mature at the plate and on the bases and his skipping a level (Vancouver) will not harm his development in any way. He’s on the right track and could be a very good big league power bat down the road.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.

August 25 Minor League Report/August 26 Preview

Michael Crouse
Michael Crouse

Michael Crouse

 

The Blue Jays lost. Again. This time they came back against the Red Sox but lost it in the 10th. But there’s some good news from the minor leagues!

 

 

Buffalo Bisons 2, Pawtucket Red Sox 6

 

The Bisons ran into a hot Matt Barnes and they weren’t able to take over the lead of the wildcard race, dropping a game back of Pawtucket. Brad Mills got the start and allowed four runs over five innings and Rob Rasmussen allowed the other two runs (one earned) over 1 2/3 although both runners came into score after Kyle Drabek relieved Rasmussen. Colt Hynes pitched two perfect innings to finish the game. Dalton Pompey was 0/4 with a walk and a run and Brett Wallace remained hot, going 2/4 with a an RBI. Jonathan Diaz was 1/2 with a triple, a sacrifice and a walk.

 

Jonathan Diaz

Jonathan Diaz

Player of the Game: Jonathan Diaz and Brett Wallace

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 3, Harrisburg Senators 5

 

The Fisher Cats started their day by completing a 12-inning victory over the Harrisburg Senators that was suspended in the bottom of the 12th inning. Richard Bleier came in to “relieve” Scott Gracey (although the pitching change came a month after Gracey started the inning) and subsequently retired the only two batters he faced, finishing off the win, 9-7.

In the actual game, the Harrisburg Senators got four unearned runs (and one earned one) off of P.J. Walters over his seven innings and Justin Jackson threw two scoreless innings to finish the game. In the loss, Michael Crouse was 1/3 with a home run and two RBI while Andy Burns and Gustavo Pierre each hit a triple.

Player of the Game: Michael Crouse

 

Dunedin Blue Jays 8, Daytona Cubs 7

 

The Dunedin Blue Jays brought their bats and then held on tight as they managed to cling to a win against the Daytona Cubs. Miguel Castro made his Dunedin debut, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing just two runs three hits (but three walks) with three strikeouts. Griffin Murphy finished off the sixth but allowed three runners to reach in the seventh, two of whom scored. Danny Barnes, Chad Girodo and Arik Sikula each allowd a run of their own. Dwight Smith, Jr. had the biggest game at the plate, going 3/5 with a single, double and a home run while stealing a base. L.B. Dantzler was 2/4 with two runs and a walk while Jorge Saez was 2/2 with a double and a triple, two walks, three RBI and two runs scored. Christian Lopes also had a pair of hits, driving in two runs with a single and a double.

 

Jorge Saez

Jorge Saez

Player of the Game: Jorge Saez

 

Lansing Lugnuts 7, Lake County Captains 9

 

In a slug-fest, the Lugnuts came back to tie the game in the ninth but couldn’t match the Captains’ three runs in the tenth and ended up falling by a 9-7 final. Matt Dermody went three innings, allowing two runs (both unearned) on five hits and one walk with four strikeouts before Joe Lovecchio allowed two runs over 2 2/3 innings. Jimmy Cordero blew the save and allowed a run over 1 2/3 before Roberto Espinosa took the loss with four runs (three earned) against in 2 1/3 innings. Jason Leblebijian took the mound to get the final out of the game. Rowdy Tellez had another two hits for the Lugnuts, going 2/4 with his first home run in the Midwest League. David Harris was also 2/4 with a double and a stolen base and Chris Schaeffer had a double, a home run and two RBI. D.J. Davis also hit a home run and took a walk.

 

Rowdy Tellez

Rowdy Tellez

Player of the Game: Chris Schaeffer and Rowdy Tellez

 

Vancouver Canadians 3, Eugene Emeralds 1

 

Jairo Labourt led the way with another strong outing for the club, going six innings and allowing just one run on five hits without walking anyone and striking out five. Canadian Andrew Case followed suit, throwing two scoreless innings and Phil Kish finished it off with the save, throwing a scoreless ninth. Tim Locastro continues his all-star season, going 3/5 with two RBI, a run and three stolen bases. Roemon Fields is rebounding after a mid-season slump with a 2/5 game that includes a double, two runs and another three stolen bases, giving him 46 on the season. Ryan McBroom was 2/4 with a double and an RBI. The Canadians are back in a tie with the Tri-City Dust Devils for first place in the second half as they push towards a playoff spot.

 

Tim Locastro

Tim Locastro

Player of the Game: Jairo Labourt and Tim Locastro

 

Bluefield Blue Jays 1, Greeneville Astros 3

 

The Bluefield Blue Jays couldn’t get their offense going against Brock Dykxhoorn who was dominant for Greeneville. Jesus Tinoco tried to match him, going six innings and allowing two unearned runs on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts. Jordan Romano allowed a run over the last two innings of the game. Josh Almonte had two hits and a walk.

Player of the Game: Jesus Tinoco and Josh Almonte

 

GCL Blue Jays 4, GCL Pirates 3

 

Mexican righty Daniel Rodriguez, who just turned 18 last week, is still having trouble in the GCL after a three-inning outing in which he allowed three runs on seven hits. The bright side is that he struck out four and didn’t walk anyone. On the other hand, Francisco Diaz allowed only one hit in his 2 2/3 innings but walked six although no one came in to score and he struck out three. Sean Ratcliffe, from Pickering, Ontario had a stron gouting, allowing two hits and a walk in 2 1/3 innings. Trey Pascazi was 3/4 with an RBI but otherwise, no one had more than one hit.

Player of the Game: Trey Pascazi

 

 

 

August 26 Preview

 

Buffalo Bisons (73-62)

 

The last time Daniel Norris started, we were under the impression that it would be his last start before a move to the bullpen. Is his start on Tuesday going to be the last? You’ll have to tune in to MiLB TV at 6:05 PM to find out. The Bisons will have some tough competition in Pawtucket’s Henry Owens.

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (64-71)

 

Scott Copeland looks to rebound from a tough start as the Fisher Cats host the Harrisburg Senators, the Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, at 6:35 PM on MiLB TV.

 

Dunedin Blue Jays (76-57)

 

Roberto Osuna is scheduled to be on the mound for Dunedin as they host Daytona at 6:30 PM.

 

Lansing Lugnuts (59-73)

 

Jeremy Gabryszwski goes for the Lugnuts as they continue their series against the Lake County Captains at 7:05 PM.

 

Vancouver Canadians (40-29)

 

Matt Smoral, who has a very strong 2.79 ERA since his Vancouver promotion goes for the Canadians as they play the Eugene Emeralds on the road at 10:05 PM ET.

Bluefield Blue Jays (30-34)

 

Bluefield visits the Greeneville Astros with Oscar Cabrera on the hill at 7:00 PM.

 

The GCL Blue Jays are also in action today.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.

Who in the World is Starlyn Suriel? And Other Lugnuts Pitchers

Starlyn Suriel 3

Starlyn Suriel

 

In mid-June of 2014, an unknown, 20-year-old Dominican right-hander took the mound for the Vancouver Canadians and threw a non-descript inning against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. He gave up a hit and hit a batter but didn’t strike anyone out or walk a man.

 

 

Who would know that Starlyn Suriel would go on to become one of the more successful young pitchers in the Blue Jays’ system in 2014 after that inauspicious beginning. Suriel put up solid numbers in Vancouver, starting seven games with a 3.41 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and very solid peripherals. Promoted to Lansing, Suriel has been even better with a 2.84 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP as well as improvements in his BB/9 and K/9 ratios! So who is this baby-faced young man?

 

Suriel signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2013 but was one of the older players that the Jays picked up, being 19 at the time. As an older player, he headed directly to Vancouver at the opening of the season and was then promoted to Lansing. Why so quickly? As one person around the team said to me, he pitches beyond his age. In the game that I saw, he gave up two quick runs in the first inning, allowing a double followed by a home run and then another double but retired the next batter and went on to pitch four more innings without giving up another hit.

 

Starlyn Suriel

 

From what I can tell, Suriel is really able to keep hitters off balance and was pitching backwards a little bit after the first inning, mixing in his offspeed pitches that are at varying levels of development.

 

Watching him through five innings I can sort of see what kind of pitcher he will be if he puts everything all together. He’s not physically imposing (at 5-foot-11) like his countryman Miguel Castro (who stands 6-foot-5) but he still throws in the 89-91 mph range with a quick arm from a three-quarters arm slot. His fastball has some nice arm side run and a bit of sink and he’ll throw it at different speeds. He also has a range of speeds for his two offspeed pitches, his changeup (which I saw between 81-85 mph) and his slider (which ranged from 74-79 mph).

 

Suriel, at this point, has better command with his fastball than Castro and was really able to paint the corner at times, getting a strikeout in the third inning with an outside-corner fastball. He also was able to get swinging strikeouts with the slider, changeup and fastball over the course of the game.

 

Suriel’s offspeed pitches are works in progress and neither was very consistent on Friday night. He threw the changeup more often and when he threw it well, it has the potential to be a plus pitch with some great arm action, sink and fade. That said, he threw it up in the zone fairly often where the pitch flattened out and he probably got lucky that it wasn’t hit out of the ballpark. That’s a mistake that will definitely not go unpunished at higher levels. His slider is pretty sharp but Suriel needs to be more consistent in locating the pitch. He did get a strikeout with it but it almost looked like Suriel was a little hesitant to use it too much.

 

Starlyn Suriel

Starlyn Suriel

 

What did I see from Starlyn Suriel and where will his career take him? I can see him getting to the high minors at the very least. He’s got a good sense of what to do on the mound and had the ability to put some bad pitches (the two doubles and the home run) behind him. While his fastball velocity is fringe average, the movement that he gets on it will help it and because he looks so young physically, I wouldn’t be surprised if he added a tick or two to his velocity.

 

The one thing that I really liked seeing from Suriel was the fact that even when he wasn’t throwing his offspeed stuff consistently, he was able to retire batters at the Midwest League level. If he sharpens up his command and the ability to throw good offspeed pitches more often than not, Suriel could actually become one of the quiet workhorses in the Blue Jays’ organization. The changeup has the potential to be a plus pitch and his slider has average potential. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Suriel’s development over the coming years.

 

 

I’ll use this space to write about a couple of the other bullpen pitchers that I saw on Saturday who I hadn’t seen in a while: lefty Francisco Gracesqui and righty Jimmy Cordero.

 

Francisco Gracesqui

Francisco Gracesqui

 

I wrote about Gracesqui a little bit last year after seeing him in Bluefield and this is what I wrote: “He approaches hitters with three pitches — a fastball that sits 87-89 mph (and touched 90 once), a curveball that came in around 75 mph that I didn’t particularly like and a very good changeup that sat around 80-81 mph.”

 

The key thing to see about that previous quote is that he threw a curveball that I didn’t like but this year, Gracesqui is throwing a much more confident breaking ball that is more of a slider than a curveball. His fastball is up a couple of mph, sitting 89-91 mph and his changeup is still a plus pitch that comes in between 82-85 mph. It has very good sink and tail and it appears to just fall off the table. His breaking ball is thrown a little harder, coming in at 76-79 mph and he used it to great effect, striking out one left-handed batter (outfielder Justin Williams) with three straight breaking balls that Williams didn’t have a chance on.

 

At 22, Gracesqui is starting to get a little old but he could see Double-A at some point next year thanks to the solid showing he’s had. Splitting this season between Vancouver and Lansing, he’s got a 1.39 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 14 walks in 32 1/3 innings. While his ERA and WHIP are higher (2.50 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) in Lansing, his strikeout rate and walk rate are both better at the higher level.

 

Bob Elliott, in an August 20 article, included his prospect “Power Rankings” from an “American League evaluator” who placed Gracesqui as the ninth prospect in the organization. While I think that’s a high ranking for a reliever, the development of the third pitch to go along with a fringe-average fastball (from the left side) and a plus changeup could mean that we start to see Gracesqui as a starter in 2015. If it was me, I’d definitely want to try him out in that role and see if it suits him.

 

Jimmy Cordero

Jimmy Cordero

 

The other pitcher that I should mention is righty Jimmy Cordero. Another 22 year old who has been in the Jays’ system for a few years now, Cordero is lighting up the radar guns with a fastball that has been documented at 102 mph this season. I saw one 100 mph pitch on a “real” radar gun (there were three 100s that showed up on the stadium scoreboard but the Cooley Law School Stadium radar gun is notoriously inaccurate) but there were several 99s and Cordero was easily working in the high-90s.

 

With one of the most electric arms in the Jays’ organization, Cordero’s issues are command and the development of anything to complement that fastball. He threw a hard, downwards-breaking slider that ranged from 88-91 mph but wasn’t under control and I’m not sure that he ever threw a strike with it. The same goes for the fastball as, while it’s extremely fast, Cordero hasn’t shown me the ability to really spot it for strikes; his 17 walks in 27 1/3 innings attest to that struggle.

 

For me, Cordero is a wildcard who needs a lot of polish despite his already being 22 years old. If he can harness the control and develop his slider, he could be an outstanding back of the bullpen arm in a couple of years. If you compare him to Miguel Castro (who throws almost as hard, but as a starter), Castro is far more polished at a much younger age. Still, Cordero will electrify fans with his powerful arm every time he steps on the mound.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.

 

August 24 Minor League Report/August 25 Preview

Emilio Guerrero
Emilio Guerrero

Emilio Guerrero

 

 

The Blue Jays lost. Again. Wasting a strong performance from Drew Hutchison. But there’s some good news from the minor leagues!

 

 

Buffalo Bisons 10, Pawtucket Red Sox 6

 

In a see-saw battle that started out with a solid outing from Sean Nolin (6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K), the Bisons managed to come out with a win and tie the Pawtucket Red Sox for the wild card lead with two games in hand. Chad Jenkins allowed four runs over two innings but the bullpen was strong the rest of the way, winning in the bottom of the fourth on a grand slam by Brett Wallace who hit his third home run of the day. Wallace was 4/6 with those three home runs and six RBI. Anthony Gose was 3/6 with two runs, a home run and three RBI while George Kottaras was 1/3 with a home run, two walks and two runs scored. Ryan Schimpf also had two hits.

Player of the Game: Brett Wallace

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 0, Portland Sea Dogs 5

 

Despite seven scoreless innings from starter Mike Lee (7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K), the bullpen couldn’t hold the Sea Dogs off the board as Dustin Antolin allowed four runs in the eighth inning. The offense could only muster seven hits including two from Kevin Nolan.

Player of the Game: Mike Lee

 

Dunedin Blue Jays 1, Tampa Yankees 5

 

Dunedin lost again to the Tampa Yankees despite Taylor Cole on the mound striking out six over six innings but allowing three runs. Tony Davis and Arik Sikula each allowed a run in his inning of work. Mitch Nay had his first hit with Dunedin, going 1/4 but it was Emilio Guerrero who had the best day, going 2/2 with a walk and an RBI.

Player of the Game: Emilio Guerrero

 

Lansing Lugnuts 5, Lake County Captains 4

 

The Lugnuts opened their series against Lake County with a win and Brad Allen (stay tuned for our interview with him on an upcoming podcast) gave the Lugnuts six solid innings to spare the bullpen. Scott Silverstein struck out five over two innings of work and Brady Dragmire earned his fourth save of the season. The offense was in full swing with 12 hits coming from the batters. Dawel Lugo seems to be locking in again (after a big home run the other day) and was 3/4 with an RBI. Rowdy Tellez is also showing a lot of poise at the plate (stay tuned for an upcoming feature on him) and he went 2/4 with an RBI. Derrick Loveless is also a favourite of a lot of people in the organization (check out the podcasts section for an interview with him) and he went 2/3 with two walks and two RBI as well as a stolen base.

 

Player of the Game: Derrick Loveless and Dawel Lugo

 

Vancouver Canadians: Scheduled Off Day

 

Bluefield Blue Jays 6, Greeneville Astros 3

 

The Blue Jays got some solid pitching thanks to Grayson Huffman (4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), Carlos Ramirez (3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) and Kamankani Usui (2 IP, 3 K). The offense also got into gear just at the right time to overcome the four errors committed on defense. Leading the way was catcher Kevin Garcia who has been getting a lot of playing since Dan Jansen‘s injury. Garcia was 3/4 with a double and an RBI while Austin Davis had a pair of hits and an RBI.

Player of the Game: Kevin Garcia

 

GCL Blue Jays: Scheduled Off Day

 

DSL Blue Jays: Scheduled Off Day

 

 

 

August 25 Preview

 

Buffalo Bisons (73-61)

 

The Bisons have a chance to take sole possession of the IL wildcard with a win today over the Pawtucket Red Sox at 7:05 PM on MiLB TV. The Bisons have Brad Mills on the mound to face Matt Barnes of the Paw Sox.

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (63-70)

 

The Fisher Cats send P.J. Walters at 6:35 PM at home on MiLB TV as they host the Harrisburg Senators. The Fisher Cats will also be continuing a suspended game from July 27 in which they had just taken the lead in the 12th inning of a 9-7 game. Harrisburg is batting in the bottom of the 12th inning with (at the time), Scott Gracey on the mound with one out and one run in.

 

Dunedin Blue Jays (75-57)

 

Miguel Castro is scheduled to make his Dunedin debut at 6:30 PM at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. To see what he’s all about, I suggest that you check out my article from earlier in the week.

 

Lansing Lugnuts (59-72)

 

Lefty Matt Dermody takes on the Lake County Captains at home at 7:05 PM for the Lansing Lugnuts.

 

Vancouver Canadians (38-29)

 

Jairo Labourt is looking to get his fifth win of the season with the Canadians on the mound for Vancouver as they visit the Eugene Emeralds at 10:05 PM ET.

Bluefield Blue Jays (30-33)

 

Bluefield visits the Greeneville Astros with Jesus Tinoco on the hill at 7:00 PM.

 

The GCL and DSL Blue Jays are both in action today.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.

August 23 Minor League Report/August 24 Preview

Rowdy Tellez
Ryan Goins

Ryan Goins

 

The Blue Jays won a protested game in the 10th inning with a walkoff single by Jose Reyes that scored Colby Rasmus. However, all may be for naught as the game was played under protest when the umpires allowed John Gibbons to (what appears to be) incorrectly challenge a play (that was overturned in the Jays’ favour). We’ll have to wait and see if the protest is upheld. If it is, the Jays and Rays will play the game again from the point that it was protested.

 

 

Buffalo Bisons 15, Pawtucket Red Sox 2

 

It’s hard to know where to begin in a game like this. First you had a very good pitching performance from Kendall Graveman who went seven strong innings, allowing two runs and getting 14 outs via the ground ball. You could also talk about Kevin Pillar who went 2/4 with a double, a home run and five RBI. You could also discuss Dalton Pompey who was 3/5 with a double, a walk, a stolen base and two RBI. Cole Gillespie and Darin Mastroianni had three hits each and Matt Hague added a double and a home run for a very solid night. But extra-special praise should be heaped on Ryan Goins who went 4/5 with three doubles, two RBI and two runs. And he also did this. If that play doesn’t make your jaw drop, you don’t like baseball. The big bonus for the Bisons is that, with the win, the Buffalo club moves just one game back of the Wildcard-leading Red Sox.

Player of the Game: Ryan Goins

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 1, Portland Sea Dogs 7

 

As great as the Buffalo game was for fans of the Blue Jays’ affiliates, the Fisher Cats’ game was just as bad. The Fisher Cats were no-hit until Andy Burns went deep off Brian Johnson in the bottom of the sixth inning, breaking up the no-hitter and erasing the shutout. That was the only hit of the night for the Fisher Cats and Andy Burns had two of the club’s three walks while playing first base. Austin Bibens-Dirkx went four innings and allowed four runs. Justin Jackson had two scoreless innings but Scott Gracey allowed another three runs over 1 2/3 innings.

 

Andy Burns

Andy Burns

Player of the Game: Andy Burns

 

Dunedin Blue Jays 0, Tampa Yankees 2

 

Jesse Hernandez contributed a strong outing for the Blue Jays but the offense couldn’t get anythign going against Miguel Sulbaran and the Yankees. Hernandez allowed two runs on eight hits and no walks over 6 2/3 innings of work, striking out seven. Marcus Knecht had two of the Blue Jays’ three hits including a triple.

 

Marcus Knecht

Marcus Knecht

Player of the Game: Marcus Knecht and Jesse Hernandez

 

Lansing Lugnuts 3, South Bend Silver Hawks 7

 

Lugnuts starter Brent Powers was chased quickly, giving up five runs on six hits and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings. Alonzo Gonzalez was pretty solid in relief, going 3 1/3 innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and no walks with four strikeouts. Francisco Gracesqui was outstanding and threw 2 2/3 shutout innings (despite giving up five hits), striking out six. Jimmy Cordero electrified the crowd by posting several radar readings of 100 mph on the scoreboard (although there was only one on the players’ radar guns). He was effective through 1 1/3 innings, striking out two batters. The batters weren’t all that sharp. Rowdy Tellez had the only two hit game: the first was a soft liner that grazed the glove of the second baseman (who was already playing very deep) and the second was a hard ground ball to the left side on a two-strike pitch that he did very well to fight off. Dawel Lugo provided some fireworks (before the actual fireworks) by hitting the game’s only home run: a two-run blast in the fourth. D.J. Davis and Derrick Loveless each had a hit and a walk and Davis was especially solid at the plate despite striking out for the 155th time of the year, setting a new Lansing Lugnuts record. He was also picked off and caught stealing (on separate plays).

 

Rowdy Tellez

Rowdy Tellez

Player of the Game: Rowdy Tellez and Dawel Lugo

 

Vancouver Canadians 4, Boise Hawks 1

 

The Vancouver Canadians got the job done, thanks to a great outing from starting pitcher Chase Mallard. Mallard went six scoreless innings allowing four hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Michael Kraft allowed a run without actually giving up a hit, walking the first batter he faced in the ninth inning and Phil Kish couldn’t strand him on base. Roemon Fields had another big game, going 3/4 with a triple, a stolen base (his 43rd) and three runs. Franklin Barreto was 2/4 with an RBI and two stolen bases.

Player of the Game: Chase Mallard and Roemon Fields

 

Bluefield Blue Jays 6, Kingsport Mets 11

 

The Bluefield Blue Jays dug themselves a big hole in the first game of a double header against the Kingsport Mets on Saturday. Francisco Rios and Alberto Guzman combined to allow 10 runs in the first two innings, making life very difficult for the offense to get back in the game. Guzman pitched two more solid innings and Tim Mayza threw two almost perfect innings (only hitting a batter) before Dusty Isaacs allowed the 11th run to score in the seventh. Lane Thomas continues to hit the ball hard in the Appalachian League. Thomas pushed his batting average in Bluefield to .342 with a 3/3 game that included two doubles, a walk, a run and an RBI. Angel Rojas had three singles and a walk while Lydell Moseby was 2/3 with a walk, two runs and an RBI and Andres Sotillo was 2/3 with a triple, a walk, a run and an RBI.

Player of the Game: Lane Thomas

 

Bluefield Blue Jays 7, Kingsport Mets 3

 

The Blue Jays evened up the double header despite getting down to the Mets 3-0 after the first inning. The comeback was capped by a three-run home run by Lydell Moseby in the fifth inning but Josh Almonte had three hits, a stolen base and two runs scored while Lane Thomas added another two hits (to his three in the first game), driving in a run and scoring once. Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit with the exception of shortstop Aaron Attaway. Conner Greene was the victim of the three-run outburst in the first inning by the Mets but he recovered to throw 3 2/3 innings in total without allowing any further damage. Conor Fisk went 2 1/3 perfect innings and Chase Wellbrock threw yet another scoreless inning to finish out the game.

 

Josh Almonte

Josh Almonte

Player of the Game: Josh Almonte and Conor Fisk

 

GCL Blue Jays 1, GCL Phillies 2

 

In a low-scoring game that only had eight hits combined for both teams, the Blue Jays found themselves on the wrong side of this one. Kramer Champlin continues to work his way back to the upper levels of the minors after being injured with two innings of scoreless, one-hit relief. Sean Reid-Foley went three hitless innings, striking out one while Nick Wells went another three innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits and two walks. Of the Blue Jays’ three hits, Deiferson Barreto was 1/4 with a double.

Player of the Game: Sean Reid-Foley and Kramer Champlin

 

DSL Blue Jays: Game cancelled due to rain

 

 

 

August 24 Preview

 

Buffalo Bisons (72-61)

 

The Bisons try to tie up the Paw Sox in their race to the wildcard with Sean Nolin on the mound. Nolin had a rough outing in his last start but has been outstanding since returning from injury. The Bisons hope to have their powerful bats carry over to face Anthony Ranaudo who has been to “the other side” (the majors) and back this season and has been one of the International League’s best pitchers with a 14-4 record and a 2.46 ERA. Catch this one at 1:05 PM ET on MiLB TV.

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (63-69)

 

The Fisher Cats send Mike Lee to the mound to face the Portland Sea Dogs at 1:35 PM ET on MiLB TV.

 

Dunedin Blue Jays (75-56)

 

Taylor Cole heads to the mound to defeat the Tampa Yankees on the road at 1:00 PM.

 

Lansing Lugnuts (58-72)

 

Brad Allen takes on the Lake County Captains at home at 5:05 PM for the Lansing Lugnuts.

 

Vancouver Canadians (38-28)

 

Scheduled Off Day

Bluefield Blue Jays (27-32)

 

Bluefield plays just one game against the Greeneville Astros on the road with unannounced starters at 6:00 PM.

 

The GCL and DSL Blue Jays are both off today.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.

 

August 22 Minor League Report/August 23 Preview

Starlyn Suriel
Starlyn Suriel

Starlyn Suriel

 

The Blue Jays had their hats handed to them and the minor league clubs had a mixed day. I finally saw a win in Lansing, though. More coming below!

 

 

Buffalo Bisons 11, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders 7

 

Raul Valdes allowed four runs on seven hits through five innings but the offense was in high gear, generating 11 runs on 13 hits on the night. George Kottaras was 3/4 with a single, double and home run (as a catcher, he was probably very unlikely to get a triple to complete the cycle), driving in two runs. Cole Gillespie also had three hits, going 3/5 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Matt Hague hit twou doubles and drove in three while Dalton Pompey was 2/5 with two hits, two stolen bases and three runs scored.

Player of the Game: George Kottaras

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 3, Portland Sea Dogs 4

 

Despite striking out seven batters, starter Casey Lawrence allowed four runs in six innings and the Fisher Cats’ offense couldn’t muster more than three runs in response. K.C. Hobson tried, going 2/3 with an RBI and Jorge Flores was 2/4 with a double and an RBI but it wasn’t enough for the Fisher Cats.

 

Jorge Flores

Jorge Flores

Player of the Game: Jorge Flores and K.C. Hobson

 

Dunedin Blue Jays 2, Tampa Yankees 5

 

Unfortunately, Matt Boyd couldn’t pitch the whole game. He was outstanding yet again, allowing just two hits and one walk over six innings while striking out eight. The bullpen coughed up all five runs over the last two innings of the game with Griffin Murphy charged with two over 2/3 of an inning and Danny Barnes getting charged for three (two earned) over 1 1/3. The Blue Jays could manage only five hits including two from Shane Opitz and a solo home run from Dwight Smith, Jr.

 

Matt Boyd

Matt Boyd

Player of the Game: Matt Boyd

 

Lansing Lugnuts 8, South Bend Silver Hawks 5

 

The Lansing Lugnuts evened their series against the South Bend Silver Hawks with an 8-4 victory. Starlyn Suriel was the starter and pitched five strong innings, allowing two runs in the first, giving up a two-out double, followed by a home run and another double but nothing else. He only walked one batter, retiring 13 of the last 14 batters he faced, striking out four. A chain of relievers that included Matt Dermody, Scott Silverstein, Roberto Espinosa and Brady Dragmire finished up the game with Silverstein allowing a couple of runs and Brady Dragmire allowing one more in the ninth.

On the offensive side of the ball,there were a few stars. David Harris, playing left field tonight. Harris was 2/4 with a double and a single (and was robbed of a hit in the bottom of the eighth) and drove in four runs. D.J. Davis also had a big day, going 2/3 with a single, double, two walks, three runs and two RBI. He also stole a base, was caught stealing and struck out to tie the all-time team record for strikeouts in a season. Rowdy Tellez was 0/3 but showed great patience taking a walk and gave the ball a ride on a long fly out to center field. Daniel Klein also showed his stuff with a 3/4 game that included a big home run onto Cedar St., outside of the ballpark.

 

David Harris

David Harris

Player of the Game: David Harris, Daniel Klein and D.J. Davis

 

Vancouver Canadians 3, Boise Hawks 10

 

Zakery Wasilewski continued his run of tough outings by only managing to go 1 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on three hits and five walks. Jonathan Wandling allowed another three over 3 2/3. The offense had some life with Trent Miller, Roemon Fields and Chris Carlson all getting two hits. Gunnar Heidt hit his first professional home run in the loss.

Player of the Game: Gunnar Heidt and Roemon Fields

 

Bluefield Blue Jays 8, Kingsport Mets 4

 

In a rain-shortened ballgame, the Bluefield Blue Jays hung on for the victory after scoring seven runs in the first inning. Evan Smith wasn’t as sharp as he has been, allowing four runs over 4 1/3 innings. All of the batters had at least one hit except for Rolando Segovia. Lane Thomas and Aaron Attaway each had two hits, including a single and a double while Sean Hurley was 1/3 with a two-RBI double.

Player of the Game: Lane Thomas and Aaron Attaway

 

GCL Blue Jays 3, GCL Phillies 8

 

The Blue Jays’ offense failed them and they scored three runs despite getting only four hits; the seven walks that they took definitely helped. Matt Morgan wason twice with two walks while Trey Pascazi walked three times. Non-drafted free agent Turner Lee allowed the first three runs while Francisco Diaz, Joe Claver and Francis Eduardo all gave up at least one.

Player of the Game: None

 

DSL Blue Jays 5, DSL Tigers 10

 

Thanks to seven walks, the Blue Jays managed to punch above their weight class with just six hits as a team. Manuel Herazo, a catcher, was 2/3 with a stolen base and scored twice while Jesus Severino was 1/3 with a walk, a triple and two RBI. Jairo Rosario had the best day on the mound, going three innings and allowing one run on a hit and two walks.

Player of the Game: Manuel Herazo and Jesus Severino

 

 

 

August 23 Preview

 

Buffalo Bisons (71-61)

 

The Buffalo Bisons, just two games back of the International League wildcard, host the team they’re trying to catch: the Pawtucket Red Sox starting tonight at 7:05 PM on MiLB TV. Kendall Graveman, who has a 1.04 ERA with the Bisons, takes the mound.

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (63-68)

 

The Fisher Cats face another Red Sox’ affiliate in the form of the Portland Sea Dogs with Austin Bibens-Dirkx on the mound at 7:05 PM on MiLB TV.

 

Dunedin Blue Jays (75-55)

 

Jesse Hernandez takes the hill with a 4.97 ERA for the Blue Jays against the Tampa Yankees at 6:00 PM.

 

Lansing Lugnuts (58-71)

 

Mid-season pick up Brent Powers is going to start today for the Lansing Lugnuts against the South Bend Silver Hawks at 7:05 PM.

 

Vancouver Canadians (38-29)

 

Starting for the Vancouver Canadians, who also have playoff aspirations, is Chase Mallard with the Canadians 1.5 games behind Tri-City in the second-half standings. Tonight’s game is at 10:05 PM ET in Vancouver.

Bluefield Blue Jays (28-32)

 

Bluefield has another double header scheduled today and neither starter has been announced for the Blue Jays. The festivities start at 5:05 PM at Bowen Field in Bluefield.

 

The GCL and DSL Blue Jays are both in action today.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2014) and may not be used without permission.

The Temporality of Rain and the Outcome: A Philosophical Meander

Rain

Rain

 

Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, the play-by-play man for the Lansing Lugnuts posted that tweet yesterday and it really got me thinking philosophically.

 

When did the Lansing Lugnuts actually lose the game (2-0 to the South Bend Silver Hawks in an abbreviated five innings)? When does a win become a win and a loss become a loss? In a regular game, the answer is simple: the game is won and lost when the final out is recorded or when the home team takes the lead in the ninth inning or later.

 

Simple, right? Because the Lugnuts’ Thursday night game was interrupted by a downpour, the game was suspended after the fifth inning with the Silver Hawks ahead by a score of 2-0. The final out obviously hadn’t been recorded and, for a while, both teams still held out hope that the game would be resumed.

 

At this point, the Lugnuts hadn’t lost yet but the game stopped and was held up. It’s almost like the suspended game was like a baseball version of Schroedinger’s Cat. The popular physics thought experiment puts a cat into a closed box with a flask of poison and a radioactive source. Upon the detection of radioactivity (the decay of one atom of the substance), the poison is released and the cat dies. Radioactive substances decay randomly (although each substance has an already determined “half-life”) and so it is impossible to predict exactly when one atom of the substance decays. Therefore, as long as you don’t look into the box, the cat is both dead and alive and both possible results exist simultaneously.

 

In the case of the suspended baseball game, both possibilities (winning and losing) exist simultaneously as long as the game doesn’t resume. After playing five complete innings, however, the game was now long enough to be an official game which, at this point in the season, is enough to encourage the teams involved (as well as the umpires who have the final say) to end the game and not have to make it up or resume it at a later date. The Lugnuts aren’t out of a race for a playoff spot and it was in manager John Tamargo Jr.’s best interests to resume the game in order to give Lansing a chance to win. Obviously, in this suspended state, Lugnuts fans have a chance to win the game if it resumes but on the other hand, it’s in the Silver Hawks’ best interests not to resume the game in order to secure a win without the chance of the Lugnuts coming back to win it.

 

In this state of suspended animation, both teams can still win, much like the beginning of a baseball season in which every team has the possibility to win the World Series. In this case, there are fewer possible outcomes, giving even more hope to each side.

 

So when did the Lugnuts lose the game? In the end, it was when the umpires decided that the field conditions were unplayable (which they were) and called the game. So, in the case of Jesse Goldberg-Strassler’s tweet, it rained and then the Lugnuts lost, despite the fact that they were losing at the time the rain started.

August 21 Minor League Report/August 22 Preview

Daniel Norris
Daniel Norris

Daniel Norris

 

With another off day for the Blue Jays, the minor league teams took the spotlight as Daniel Norris and Roberto Osuna headlined the starting pitchers for the Jays’ affiliates.

 

 

Buffalo Bisons 5, Rochester Red Wings 1

 

Daniel Norris earned his third win in as many starts with the Buffalo Bisons, this time going five innings and allowing only one hit (a solo home run) while walking three and striking out nine, giving him an incredible 32 strikeouts over 16 2/3 innings as a starter for the Bisons. Word is that he’s going to be headed to the bullpen for the remainder of the season (and maybe Toronto by season’s end?). Making his Triple-A debut was Dalton Pompey who went 1/4, rallying after striking out in his first two at bats of the night. Anthony Gose put on a baserunning show, going 2/4 with an RBI and two runs scored and stealing four bases (second base three times and third base once). Ryan Goins hit two doubles, going 2/4 and Darin Mastroianni also had two singles and a walk.

Player of the Game: Daniel Norris and Anthony Gose

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 0, Trenton Thunder 3

 

The Fisher Cats could only muster four hits against Jaron Long who had a perfect game through 5 1/3 innings until Kevin Nolan broke it up with a base hit. Scott Copeland allowed all three runs on eight hits through six innings.

Player of the Game: None

 

Dunedin Blue Jays 1, Lakeland Flying Tigers 0

 

How about that one? With one out in the bottom of the 19th inning, L.B. Dantzler doubled to drive in Emilio Guerrero to score the first run of the game and walk off with a win. In a game that saw only 10 hits combined (and only four by the Blue Jays), Dantzler had the big one and added two walks, going 1/2. Roberto Osuna started for Dunedin and had the best start of his comeback from Tommy John surgery, going four innings and allowing just three hits and striking out five. Efrain Nieves was just as good, allowing only one hit with three strikeouts in four innings before Arik Sikula and Chad Girodo each threw a scoreless inning to finish off the game.

 

L.B. Dantzler

L.B. Dantzler

Player of the Game: L.B. Dantzler, Roberto Osuna and Efrain Nieves

 

Lansing Lugnuts 0, South Bend Silver Hawks 2

 

In a rain-shortened ball game (five innings), the Lansing Lugnuts fell to the South Bend Silver Hawks. Starter Jeremy Gabryszwski takes the loss, going five innings and allowing two runs on six hits. Chaz Frank had two hits to lead off innings but was erased on the basepaths both times. Matt Dean hit a big double and Rowdy Tellez made his Lansing debut, going 1/2 with a solid base hit, a walk and another hard-hit ground ball for an out.

 

Chaz Frank

Chaz Frank

Player of the Game: Chaz Frank

 

Vancouver Canadians 5, Boise Hawks 7

 

While the Lansing Lugnuts only got seven innings of baseball in, the Vancouver Canadians wanted to make up for their shortfall and needed 13 innings before ultimately losing to the Boise Hawks. Roemon Fields had a night full of twos with two hits, two walks, two RBI and two stolen bases. Tim Locastro and Franklin Barreto also had a pair of hits each and Barreto stole a base, his 22nd of the season. On the mound, Daniel Lietz was hammered, allowing five runs in 1 1/3 innings before Alberto Tirado had one of his best outings of the year, going 3 2/3 and allowing one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts. Michael Kraft, Andrew Case and Phil Kish each threw two innings of scoreless ball (with three strikeouts each) and Jose Fernandez was okay in the 12th but allowed the two runs in the top of the 13th to allow the Hawks to win.

 

Alberto Tirado

Alberto Tirado

Player of the Game: Alberto Tirado and Roemon Fields

 

Bluefield Blue Jays: Game postponed due to rain

 

GCL Blue Jays 8, GCL Yankees2 2

 

The Blue Jays took some revenge, scoring eight times and beating the Yankees after Wednesday’s loss. Deiferson Barreto hit his second home run of the year, driving in three and going 3/5 adding a single and a double. Juan Kelly also drove in two runs, going 2/4 with a double. Yeltsin Gudino added two singles and took a walk, scoring three times. On the mound, 17-year-old Dominican Hansel Rodriguez went three innings, allowing a run on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts but the story of the game on the mound was the work of Angel Perdomo who lowered his ERA to 1.91 thanks to four scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

Player of the Game: Deiferson Barreto and Angel Perdomo

 

DSL Blue Jays 4, DSL Brewers 3

 

The DSL Blue Jays walked one off against the Brewers, thanks to an RBI single by Bryan Lizardo. Enmanuel Moreta was 2/5 with a double and Francisco Rodriguez, Jesus Severino and Junior Vasquez each had a pair of singles. Starter Pedro Diaz allowed two runs in three innings but the best night was had by Wilmin Lara who went four scoreless innings for the Blue Jays.

Player of the Game: Wilmin Lara and Enmanuel Moreta

 

 

 

August 22 Preview

 

Buffalo Bisons (70-61)

 

The Buffalo Bisons are trying to grab a wildcard playoff spot and are three games behind the Pawtucket Red Sox as they host the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at 7:05 PM on MiLB TV with Raul Valdes on the mound.

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (63-67)

 

Casey Lawrence is on the hill for the Fisher Cats as they host the always tough Portland Sea Dogs (81-50) at 7:05 PM on MiLB TV.

 

Dunedin Blue Jays (75-54)

 

Matt Boyd looks to continue his dominance of the Florida State League with a 5-2 record and 1.12 ERA on the road in Tampa at 7:00 PM.

 

Lansing Lugnuts (57-71)

 

I’m still in Lansing and I’ll be able to catch one of the biggest surprises to come out of the Jays’ system this year, starter Starlyn Suriel (1-3, 2.70 ERA in Lansing). Suriel will face the South Bend Silver Hawks at 7:05 PM.

 

Vancouver Canadians (38-28)

 

The Vancouver Canadians have Zakery Wasilewski scheduled to pitch today against the Boise Hawks at home in an afternoon tilt at 4:05 PM. The Canadians are looking to take the playoff spot for the second-half North Division champions and are just 1/2 game off the leading Tri-City Dust Devils.

Bluefield Blue Jays (27-32)

 

Bluefield has a double header scheduled today and neither starter has been announced for the Blue Jays. The festivities start at 5:05 PM at Bowen Field in Bluefield.

 

The GCL and DSL Blue Jays are both in action today.

 

Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!

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