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Unusually this year the Blue Jays and their minor league affiliates start their seasons on the same day.  All four full season affiliates are in action but the game counts for just three of them.  The Lugnuts play their traditional pre-season game against the Michigan State Spartans, a game that is a bigger deal in Lansing than the home opener.  This game is the real home opener for the Luggies, in the minds of the Lansing residents.  I believe it's also the first $2 thirsty Thursday so the college students can fill up on cheap beer.

Las Vegas start at home and Aaron Laffey, the youngest pitcher on the roster, will be on the mound for the 51's.  It's just a dollar for a Bud at Cashman Field tonight.  Jesse Chavez and Bill Murphy are scheduled to start games 2 and 3.

New Hampshire start on the road, in Yankee territory, with Drew Hutchison representing.  Chad Jenkins will start game 2.  Trystan Magnuson is listed as starting the season on the DL.

John Stilson will make his pro debut as the opening day starter for the Dunedin Jays.  Sean Nolin and Asher Wojciechowski follow Stilson against their local rivals the Clearwater Phillies.

The Lugnuts will use a parade of pitchers against MSU as the game doesn't count in the standings.  Some pitchers from extended spring will pitch including Daniel Norris and Kevin Comer.  Because the Lugnuts don't start the season until tomorrow, and because most teams want to avoid playing Easter Sunday, the Lugnuts will play a doubleheader on Saturday.  Lansing's starting pitchers haven't been announced yet.


As usual Batters Box will bring you daily updates on all the games.  We are excited for the new season.  Let's play ball!

Opening Day for Minors | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#253930) #
It should be a very interesting year in the minors.  Welcome back to the crew.
mamboon - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#253939) #
There isn't a thing in the world wrong with $2 beer.  I should know, I graduated from Michigan State.
Kelekin - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#253949) #
Stilson's line tonight: 3 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 BB 3 K.  I'm really excited to see what he can do healthy.  I remember being so excited he fell to us in the draft.  Any reason he only threw 20 pitches, though?  Seems a bit low.

finch - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#253967) #
If you have the big 10 network you can watch this game in HD on tv. That's the Lansing game.
MatO - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#253970) #
I'm watching Daniel Norris right now.
Gerry - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#253971) #

I don't think that network is available in Canada so please pass on anything interesting you see.
MatO - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#253972) #
I have it.   Rogers 546 in HD.
finch - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#253975) #
Its on 674 on telus.
Just caught the top of the 7th. Daniel Norris is looking good. Very good command. Works both sides of the plate. Was up 0-2 and got taken to the wall.
MatO - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#253977) #
Also Rogers digital 408.  I joined it in the 8th inning but the game is going to be repeated later on so I'll PVR it.  Norris had a nice curve.  Fastball was at 89.  Kevin Comer in for the 9th.
ramone - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#253979) #
I'm watching the lugnuts game on TV, Osuna pitched one inning and struck out the side, at least one batter on 3 straight fastballs, I missed a minute or two of the other at bats. Anyway his fastball was great, the announcers were amazed at his fastball for a 17 year old, he was topping out at about 94 mph.

Norris pitched an inning as well, 2k's and a long fly out, he was around 89-91mph from what I saw. He has a big curve that's around 71 mph that he threw for strikes.

Sweeney looked really good as well in the at bat I saw, he finished the day with 2 walks and a single and absolutely crushed a fastball of a lefty just foul.

Comer is up now, the announcers are really going on about the amazing arms the Jays have.
Gerry - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#253982) #
New Hampshire and Dunedin win. Drew Hutchison had a rocky start but settled down and pitched well after the first two hitters. Hutch used 64 pitches in his 5 innings. John Stilson just went three innings for Dunedin, he could be building up his arm, or the Jays could be being cautious after his shoulder injury in 2011.

AJ Jimenez had a strong night both at the plate and behind it.
sam - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#253987) #
Funny you were able to to get the Lugnut game. Who were they playing? It's not on MILBTV?

Just watching the 51s game now. When they talk about how hard the ground is in Las Vegas they weren't kidding. Travis Snider just hit a ground ball for an RBI that bounced right over a deep playing first baseman. It plays like concrete. Hechevarria's doubles were legit. His second one hit hard, hooked over the third baseman's head. d'Arnaud is nice looking player. Just walked and ran hard to break up the double play ball (unsuccessfully) but slide hard taking out the SS.
Sano - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#253988) #
Interesting that Marisnick led off for Dunedin. I would have thought they would like to him to hit #2/3 to drive guys in and try to hit for power.
ramone - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#253989) #

They were playing Michigan State, it's an exhibition game they do every year I believe, it wasn't on, I have Shaw as a cable provider and some sports channel I rarely watch had it on.
sam - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#253990) #
By the way, if reports of Norris have him at 89-91, that's a far cry from the 92-95 we were hearing at draft time. I don't see long term velocity in that delivery.

Also, I don't know if people noticed today, but Romero was pitching at 87-89 after the second inning. There might be something wrong there. It'll be interesting to see where his velocity is at in his next couple starts.
sam - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#253991) #
Cool beans ramone. BA was saying that Norris and some of those other guys were not going to be breaking with a full season team, so that's interesting that they're there. Any comment on Osuna's body? I've seen pictures of him and recent video and he's a chunky teenager. For a young kid like that who has peaked height wise that's not necessarily a good thing.
uglyone - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#253992) #
I think Ricky took it down a notch on his fastball just to get his command together a bit, and it seemed to work as he finished up strong retiring the last 8 in a row. I doubt it's anything physical.
ramone - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#253993) #
I don't believe they are on the team Sam, I think they just brought a few extra arms for the exhibition game and they'll be back to Florida.

Osuna looked "thick", but I don't know, I think he looked thinner than the pictures I saw of him last year, just a guess though.
sam - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 12:59 AM EDT (#253998) #
Here are some quick highlights of the Lansing Michigan State game. See Osuna. Three pitches, three deliveries.
stevieboy22 - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 02:49 AM EDT (#254001) #
Here are some quick highlights of the Lansing Michigan State game. See Osuna. Three pitches, three deliveries.

Thanks for posting.

I don't know if I would say three different deliveries, I would probably just say sloppy mechanics. I guess its just semantics..
fozzy - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#254006) #
I saw the Lugnuts game on the BigTen replay, but fell asleep after Sanchez finished up. Good velocity, but very straight fastball (93-95), and a big hook. He kept the fastball down and was working the corners well, but also putting a lot of fastballs into the dirt. Didn`t see hm offer up any other secondary pitches. The strikeouts were on 3 pitches each, the first batter on 3 fastballs to open the game and the second one on two fastballs and a breaker. The announcers were impressed and used the words `filthy`and łnfair`more than once. Nice to see the kids in action, I wish more games would be available on TV to non-Rogers customers.
rfan8 - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#254008) #



The cold weather would contribute to the lower MPHs.  Most of the pitchers in Cleveland were a bit lower than what we normally see in the summer.  I imagine Lansing at night would be even colder, so if Osuna was really hitting 94 he must be able to bring it. 

bpoz - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#254010) #
Thanks everyone for contributing information.

I saw the whole Phillies game, Halladay was 89-90 from what I could see. 8IP shutout. From the 6th inning on he seemed to go 0B 2K quite a lot.
I also saw parts of the Mets game J Santanna was only about 87-88 on his FB.

I am very interested in FB velocity because it is such a big deal. So E Volquez? of LAD was 94-95 on his FB.

Also FB movement should be commented on. Thanks
sam - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#254011) #
rfan8, I beg to differ. Pitched one inning and check out the delivery, that's max effort. Generally, if guys know they're only going to throw an inning, they go all out. I'd be a bit more concerned of Norris though.
sam - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#254013) #
Fastball velocity is a big deal. I know a lot of people will say, well look at Halladay yesterday pitching at 89-90 when he is usually at 91-93, yet he was still effective, and then look at Jamie Moyer... etc. Pitchers don't choose to pitch at lower speeds, it's usually physical limitation that's preventing them from pitching at velocity we're accustomed to seeing. It is an indicator of physical injury, decline, and sometimes mechanical issues. Very rarely do you see a pitcher who has decreased velocity succeed over the long term. Some do by reinventing themselves, others usually fall off. So yes, ask any scout and they'll tell you if a guy they expected and had been reported to pitch at a higher velocity comes in pitching at a lower velocity questions will be raised.
bpoz - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#254031) #
Thanks Sam. Halladay was close enough or right on the edges of the plate to get the strikes called for him.

I am gathering information so as to form opinions on our SPs that are new.

Yesterday, I cannot remember the game or the announcer's name but he said that from the position that the umpire had behind the catcher he could not see the far side of the plate. Yet he was calling the strikes & balls. And of course there were many replays, all games, as there always are of strikes called that were 4-6 inches off the plate. Since it was the same for both pitchers then that would make it fair.
Opening Day for Minors | 26 comments | Create New Account
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