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The NHL should just send their hardware to Dunedin after another great start was turned in by the system's top pitching prospect. That's it for the good news as the other starting performances ranged from putrid to rancid on a 1-3 Tuesday night on the farm.

The Daniel, er, James Norris Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL's top defenceman. The more you know!

Indianapolis 6 Buffalo 1

Indianapolis, IN
- Ricky Romero (0-3) and the strike zone continue to be ships passing in the night. The embattled lefty started off well enough, setting down the side in order in the first and inducing a double play ball in the second to face the minimum over two frames. Trouble began to rear its ugly head in the third when Romero walked the bases loaded along with a double steal but he somehow managed to keep the Pirates affiliate off the board. The wheels finally come off in the fourth when he surrendered a run-scoring double that scored a walk before serving up a long ball in the fifth. Romero completed five frames and surrendered two runs on two hits and seven walks. He did strike out four and induced eight ground ball outs. Only 44 of his 98 pitches were strikes and he has walked 39 batters in 34.2 innings. These are control problems that would make Ricky Vaughn blush. Maybe he should get a pair of his glasses.

Shawn Hill
fared even worse as Indy raced around the bases three times on five hits and a walk over two frames, including a two-run homer. The Mississauga native had one strikeout and three outs via the ground ball. Lefty Raul Valdes gave up a triple and run-scoring ground out but did strike out one in the eighth.

The Bisons actually got the first run of the game in the fourth inning when a Kenny Wilson fielder's choice scored a Dan Johnson leadoff walk. Wilson singled, walked and stole a base in his Triple-A debut. Brad Glenn and Matt Tuiasosopo had two hits apiece with Glenn also getting hit by a pitch and stealing a base. Ryan Goins was 0-for-5.

Binghamton 6 New Hampshire 0 (Suspended - Bottom 2nd)

Binghamton, NY
- The rain could not arrive in time to save Matt Boyd and the Fisher Cats from two early field goals in the first two innings. A Kevin Plawecki two-run double and a Cory Vaughn (son of Greg) sacrifice fly gave the B-Mets a 3-0 lead in the first. Plawecki ran his game RBI total to five with a three-run homer off Boyd in the second before the game was suspended. The southpaw pitched 1.2 innings and yielded six runs on five hits and three walks with only one strikeout. One of those walks was issued to former Jays farmhand Travis d'Arnaud. What should raise some eyebrows is the fact Boyd was actually allowed to throw 65 pitches, 37 of them for strikes.

Ryan Schimpf
managed the only Fisher Cats hit with a two-out double in the first. This game will resume tonight.

Dunedin 7 Charlotte 0

Port Charlotte, FL
- The Jays also had their way with the Rays affiliate in the Florida State League. Dwight Smith Jr. started the proceedings with a lead-off walk and scored on a two-out single by K.C. Hobson. The leadoff magic continued in the second when Kevin Patterson went deep for the fifth time this season to make it 2-0. Dunedin broke the game open with a four-run sixth, highlighted by a Marcus Knecht two-run triple. Knecht booted the extra point with an RBI single in the eighth. Knecht had three hits while Dalton Pompey and Christian Lopes had two apiece. Lopes drew a walk to get aboard three times as did Smith Jr, who walked twice and singled. Patterson had a walk to go along with his dinger while Derrick Chung singled and walked. On the basepaths, Knecht and Pompey were both caught stealing. That was just the second time Pompey was caught this season as he is now 19-for-21.

Daniel Norris
(4-0) continues to be a force of one in the Florida State League, silencing the raging Stone Crab bats by scattering four hits and a walk over 5.1 scoreless innings. The lefty punched out eight batters but he bored the infielders the death as all seven of his outs in play were in the air. Wil Browning supplied 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, walking just one batter while striking out two and stranding a runner. Southpaw Chad Girodo finished up a perfect ninth with one strikeout.

South Bend 14 Lansing 4

South Bend, IN -
Is it just me or has there been more morning games for the affiliates this season? Canadian lefty Shane Dawson (2-2) might have preferred to stay in bed for this one. He coughed up three runs on 10 hits over four frames, including a solo homer. His strikeout and ground ball totals were three apiece and he walked no one. Alberto Tirado also wishes he napped through this one in the bullpen. He was bombed for a converted touchdown in two-thirds of an inning on three hits and three walks with only one K. Phil Kish got the final out of the fourth but not before allowing all three inherited runners to score on a double. He pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless ball. The nightmare resumed in the seventh when Brady Dragmire was pounded for three runs on four hits with one strikeout in the seventh. Lefty Scott Silverstein got to pitch on his 24th birthday and did not receive any nice gifts from the Diamondbacks affiliate as they scored a run on three hits and two walks in the eighth.

The Lugnuts managed to tie the game at 2-2 in the third inning after a bases-loaded walk by Jorge Saez and an RBI single from Chaz Frank. Lansing added their final two runs in the eighth as Ian Parmley grounded home a run and Jason Leblebijian doubled home the other. Dickie Joe Thon had the only two-hit game for the Lugnuts. Saez and Leblebijian were also on base twice with Saez getting a walk and Leblebijian taking one for the team. Santiago Nessy drew a pair of walks. D.J. Davis had a hit but struck out three times to run his season total to 74, tops in the Midwest League. L.B. Dantzler had a base on balls but Mitch Nay was 0-for-5.

Tuesday's Linescores

*** 3 Stars!!! ***

3. Dwight Smith Jr., Dunedin
- Continues to show a good eye at the plate with a .376 on base percentage and a walk-strikeout total of 25-22.

2. Marcus Knecht, Dunedin - Toronto native is slashing .357/.357/.524 with five extra-base hits over his last 10 games.

1. Daniel Norris, Dunedin
- Lowered his ERA to 0.72 and has compiled a 60-14 K-BB total in 50.1 innings.

Wednesday's Games & Probable Starters...

Buffalo @ Indianapolis, 1:35 pm ET - RHP Kyle Drabek (4-3, 4.07).
New Hampshire @ Binghamton, 5:35 pm ET - Completion of suspended game + 7 inning game - RHP Casey Lawrence (2-4, 3.90).
@ Charlotte, 6:30 pm ET - RHP Kendall Graveman (3-1, 3.38).
Lansing @ South Bend, 7:05 pm ET - LHP Matt Dermody (2-1, 5.04).

Extra Innings...

  • Bob Elliott has a feature on New Hampshire's Andy Burns.
  • ESPN's Keith Law has released his Mock Draft 2.0 for ESPN Insiders. He has the Jays taking high school righthander Touki Toussaint from Coral Springs, Florida  with the #9 pick and East Carolina righty Jeff Hoffman at #11. He also mentions the Jays are high on North Carolina State shortstop Trea Turner and Elk Grove, California high school outfielder Derek Hill. He says the Jays and Phillies are also interested in Canadian outfielder Gareth Morgan.
  • has a draft list of the top Canadians.
Norris Is So Good, The NHL Named A Trophy After Him! | 11 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
tercet - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#287083) #

The Jays FO said last year that they are committed to Buffalo, and will field a competitive team, yet they continue to give Ricky chances.  When is enough, enough?

ogator - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#287087) #
Actually, they didn't lose the game yesterday because of Ricky. In spite of the walks, he kept the team in the game. It was the weak offence and poor relief pitching that cost the Bisons' game yesterday. Your question still has some validity just not because of what happened yesterday.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#287088) #

Ricky needs to find a new opportunity here.  Too much baggage.  It would be sad to see him be successful somewhere else, but he needs a new start.

Daniel Norris must be moving up the depth chart now....

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#287090) #
Breaking it down a little more, Norris has been more effective against RHB than LHB and has been much deadlier with runners on base than with bases empty- 72 batters faced, 9 hits, 6 walks and 26 strikeouts.  It looks like he is pitching like one of those deadball starters, saving his best stuff for "the clinches".  He certainly has a deadball era ERA.  He is 21 years old and I am sure would like to try his hand at double A soon.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#287092) #
There is a good argument that Norris has passed Sanchez on the prospect listings.

It would be interesting to see Norris and Sanchez in the same AA rotation. I assume nothing will happen until the D Jays clinch the first half title.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#287094) #
Gerry - boy oh boy...

I'm convinced Norris is MILES ahead of Sanchez. Sanchez is actually regressing in his control - which has always been his problem. Stroman just can't get the ball on a downward plane, he has good speed - but I think his FB's are too straight. Perhaps he might be short. Could be a factor.

Norris is 21 (the same age Hutch was when he first came up) - Norris has a chance to be a September call-up. He really shouldn't be called up - but the kid is the real deal (IM(H)O). The ONLY other near to ready possible above average starter is Osuna - who won't be back on the mound for a few months and may have regressed as well - time will tell.

The GOOD NEWS is that there are quite a few below the horizon who look quite tasty. Developing pitchers is truly a very long painful process.

Hodgie - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#287095) #
It is Norris that actually gives me hope for Sanchez. Norris credits the changes the Jays made to his delivery as the reason he can now repeat his delivery and command his pitches. What he is doing to the FSL is ridiculous.

Once Dunedin has clinched their playoff spot I can't help but wonder if Cole will also receive a promotion. I knew he had used the heavy ball program during the offseason and regained some of his velocity but what I hadn't noticed was how much he has elevated his K rate. At 24 I can't see the Jays hesitating to see if he can handle AA and maintain his dominance.

finch - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#287098) #

Let's hope Drebek can string a couple of good starts going forward. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets the next shot at the 5th rotational spot.


Can anyone teach Stroman a cutter if he doesn't already have one? What is Doc Halladay up to?

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#287099) #
According to BIS and Fangraphs, 21.7% of Stroman's pitches this season were cutters.  Baseball America describes his cutter as a plus pitch.
finch - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#287100) #
Thanks Mike. Maybe he can learn Aaron Sanchez's sinker? Keep hitters off balance with that complementary pitch.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, May 28 2014 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#287105) #
Stroman has plenty of pitches in his repertoire- he just wasn't using them as a reliever. I am confident that he can get back to keeping hitters off balance when he uses 4-5 pitches.

Norris is plenty exciting, but I reiterate that I'd like to see him going deeper into games (hitters seeing him a 3rd and 4th time) to be confident in his development. Hopefully that will come at AA.
Norris Is So Good, The NHL Named A Trophy After Him! | 11 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.