May 21 Minor League Report/May 22 Preview

 

Daniel Norris
Daniel Norris

 

Wow, another big day from Edwin Encarnacion at Fenway and another Blue Jays win. In the minors, the Jays’ affiliates were two for three.

 

 

Buffalo Bisons: Scheduled Off Day

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 6, Reading Fightin’ Phils 7

 

The Fisher Cats are showing signs of life but have now lost 11 consecutive games, a franchise record. Mike McDade went 2/5 with his second home run of the season while outfielder Jonathan Jones went 2/4 and scored a run. Ryan Schimpf hit a triple with two walks. Starter Scott Copeland was shelled, allowing six runs on seven hits and four walks in his five innings of work. John Anderson struck out three in his two innings but also walked two and allowed a run while Dustin Antolin pitched a scoreless eighth to finish up the game.

Roster Moves: OF Mike Crouse was placed on the DL and 1B Mike McDade was activated, RHP Scott Gracey was placed on the DL and RHP Blake McFarland was promoted from Dunedin.

Player of the Game: Mike McDade

 

Dunedin Blue Jays 4, Fort Myers Miracle 2

 

Daniel Norris made the start for the D-Jays, throwing another five strong innings, allowing only one unearned run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Chad Girodo earned the win, allowing a run on two hits in his 2 1/3 innings but he struck out six batters. Arik Sikula earned his 13th save, adding two more strikeouts in his inning of work. Dalton Pompey continues to swing a hot bat, smashing a double from the left side of the plate and a home run (his fifth) from the right side. This clearly dispels any notion that Pompey isn’t a good hitter from the right side: four of his five home runs have come from the right side and, after a slow start, his OPS is about 130 points higher hitting against lefties. Derrick Chung also had a pair of singles for the Blue Jays.

Roster Move: RHP Blake McFarland was promoted to New Hampshire while RHP Kamakani Usui was assigned to Dunedin out of extended spring training (he pitched in Dunedin last year for the GCL Blue Jays). RHP Kramer Champlin was placed on the 7-day DL

Player of the Game: Daniel Norris and Dalton Pompey

 

Lansing Lugnuts 13, Bowling Green Hot Rods 8

 

The Lugnuts got their bats in gear, slamming 16 hits and getting offense from some unusual suspects. Leading the hit parade was Dickie Joe Thon who had three including a double. In the two-hit club were Chaz Frank (2/3, 2 R, 3 BB), L.B. Dantzler (2/3, R, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB), Jorge Saez (2/6), Jason Leblebijian (2/5, 2 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI) and Seth Conner (2/4, 2 RBI, BB). Derrick Loveless was also on base four times with a 1/2 game, walking three times, scoring three times and driving in a run. The pitching wasn’t the strong part of the game for the ‘Nuts. Alonzo Gonzlez started and didn’t escape the second inning, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks (with three strikeouts). Yeyfry Del Rosario went 2 1/3 innings and was charged with three unearned runs on just one hit and struck out five. Phil Kish was strong with 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball while Griffin Murphy finished the game with 1 2/3 innings of two-hit, one-run ball.

 

Chaz Frank
Chaz Frank

Player of the Game: Chaz Frank and L.B. Dantzler

 

 

May 22 Preview

 

Buffalo Bisons (23-19)

 

The Bisons go on the road after a long homestand to face the Louisville Bats. Kyle Drabek takes the mound today at 6:35 PM to face righty Josh Smith (6-0, 2.81 ERA). Smith has been excellent for Louisville but his peripheral numbers that he’s been a little lucky with just two home runs allowed in 51 1/3 innings but a high fly-ball rate. Drabek, on the other hand, has had good starts and bad and is coming off one of his worst starts this season, allowing eight runs (six earned) on 11 hits (but no walks) in five innings against Gwinnett. Louisville is not a good-hitting team and if Drabek shows better control against them, he should be able to put up a strong outing.

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (15-30)

 

The Fisher Cats, mired in a horrific, 11-game losing streak, look to Matt Boyd to be a stopper for this 11:35 AM game in Reading. Boyd had his longest Double-A start in his last outing, going five innings and allowing three runs on five hits and one walk. He matched up against Severino Gonzalez, a 21-year-old Panamanian prospect for the Phillies. Gonzalez is 4-3 with a 5.22 ERA but has solid peripherals: a 1.26 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9 rate and 3.6 K/BB rate.

 

Dunedin Blue Jays (32-13)

 

The Blue Jays continue to play Fort Myers at home in Dunedin with Kendall Graveman on the mound against Alex Wimmers. Graveman (2-1, 3.00 ERA with Dunedin) has been very good for the D-Jays since his promotion from Lansing. He’s given up a maximum of two earned runs in a game and looks like he’s adjusting well after a six-inning, one-run outing against Bradenton that generated an incredible 13.00 Ground-Out to Air-Out ratio. Catch this game at 6:30 PM.

 

Lansing Lugnuts (23-22)

 

The Lugnuts, now over .500, travel to Fort Wayne to take on the TinCaps with Alberto Tirado on the mound to start. Tirado has struggled with his control, walking 28 batters in 29 2/3 innings so far this year but, at the age of 19, he has time to figure that out. In his last outing, he only walked two batters but allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits (including a home run) in three innings. Look for Shane Dawson to come out of the bullpen in this one.

 

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  • Jamie

    Any word if the pitching prospects in Lansing are focusing on mechanics or throwing a certain pitch a la Norris last year when he could only use his fastball (and hence leading to poor results)? Results for all the graduates from rookie ball are not encouraging but maybe there is more at play than the box scores will tell you.

    • Jay Blue

      Thanks for the question Jamie.

      I wasn’t able to chat with Vince Horsman on my last trip to Lansing but I don’t think he’s doing the same thing that he did with Norris. I think there’s definitely more at play than just the what the box scores are telling us but I can’t pinpoint it too much. I’ve talked to some of the players but there’s no systematic thing that they’re working on that I can tell so far. I’ll try to get more info for you soon!