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The Blue Jays were facing an organisational whitewash yesterday, but David Smith of Charleston became both the home town hero, and the organisational saviour of the day, with a walk off three run home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to produce the lone Blue Jay win on the first Sunday of the season.

Syracuse 0 Rochester 1

This was a pitchers duel. Entering the bottom of the ninth inning the game was scoreless and there had been a total of five hits by both teams combined. Syracuse pitchers had retired 23 Red Wings in a row. Mike Smith entered to hold Rochester at bay, but a lead off single, an error on a pick off by Smith, and another single ended the game. Chris Baker had a superb start, allowing 2 hits and no walks over his 6 innings. He also had eight strikeouts. Baker credited Greg Zaun with calling a good game in his first Syracuse start. Mark Lukasiewicz pitched a perfect seventh and eight innings.

Syracuse had three hits on the day. Alexis Rios broke out with two hits including a double. Syracuse are now 0-4 to start the season and are in Ottawa today. Can Bruce Chen get them their first win? Look for some reports from Bauxites later today.

New Hampshire 1 New Britain 4

New Hampshire finally lost. Derek Lee got the start and surrendered a run in the first inning. Lee pitched into the sixth when he left after a lead off single. Mississauga's John Ogiltree entered in relief and allowed a double and a home run to put New Britain ahead 4-0. On the day New Hampshire out hit New Britain 11-9 and had the bases loaded with no one out in the seventh, but Singelton, Rich and Hill were unable to generate a run.

Robert Cosby had a double to lead off the eight and scored on a couple of groundouts. Cosby was the leading hitter on the day going 3-4. Paul Chiaffredo and Jose Umbria had two hits each. Brandon League pitched the ninth allowing one hit.

Dunedin 3 Clearwater 9

Dunedin also suffered their first loss of the season. Kurt Isenberg, coming off a big rookie season, was lit up in his first start, following the example of David Bush and Josh Banks. Clearwater scored four runs in the second inning and two more in the third, ending Isenberg's day after 2.2 innings. Chad Pleiness and Santo Valdez followed Isenberg and allowed three more runs to score.

Dunedin tallied seven hits on the day. Scott Dragicevich was the only hitter with more than one hit, he had two. Dunedin made four errors on the day but only two of Clearwater's nine runs were unearned.

Delmarva 3 Charleston 6 in 12 innings

With all the afternoon games in the books the Blue Jays organisation was 0-4. Charleston were the last hope for a win. Tom Mastny got the start and allowed a run in the first inning. Mastny was very efficient thereafter and his day ended after four innings. Mastny line was 4 IP, 1 run, 3 hits, one walk and 4 K's.

Joaquin Canizal started the fifth and allowed another Delmarva run on a double and a triple. In the bottom of the seventh Christian Snavely hit his first home run of the year, a two run shot, to tie the game. The Delmarva pitcher then walked a couple and Ryan Roberts followed with a hit to give Charleston a 3-2 lead. Delmarva tied the game in the top of the eight and we were headed to extra innings.

In the bottom of the twelfth Ryan Roberts and Clint Johnston walked, setting the table for David Smith to hit a three run home run to the delight of the home town fans. Smith is from Charleston and lives at home during the season. The home run broke an 0-12 start to the season. Smith had been pressing at the plate. Brad Esaray got the win.

There are no other articles of interest. Sunday writing for Monday publication appears to be limited to game reports.

Three Star Selection

Our third star: Ryan Roberts, There were four candidates for the third star, Ryan Roberts, Tom Mastny, Mark Lukasiewicz, and Rob Cosby. The star goes to Roberts who had two hits, a walk, an RBI and he scored the winning run.
Our second star: Chris Baker, Baker produced an excellent start. Six innings, two hits, no runs and eight strikeouts.
Our first star: David Smith, A walk off home run in extra innings gets the crowd excited and Da Box!

Minor League Update: April 12 | 28 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#72913) #
As it is the end of week one, I should have added the standings for all teams.

Syracuse 0-4, last in division
New Hampshire 3-1, tied for first in division
Dunedin 3-1, first in division
Charleston 3-1, first in division

Three first place teams is a good start. Now if only Syracuse could get on track.
Coach - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#72914) #
Rios, Gross, Quiroz, Adams and Clark all batting under .200? That's as unlikely as the Detroit Tigers being 5-1. The season is very young.
Mike Green - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#72915) #
Great job, Gerry.

Does anyone know what's going on with Rodney Medina? He's had only one pinch-hit appearance for Dunedin this season (on Saturday). The outfield of Tingler, Negron and Davenport is not exactly DiMaggio, Heinrich and Keller out there, so I'm guessing that maybe he's hurt a bit.
Gerry - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#72916) #
I see that Flores is starting for Dunedin today in the #5 starter slot. That means that Chad Pleiness, Vince Perkins and Brandon League have all been converted to the bullpen this season.
_Steve Z - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#72917) #
That was probably the hardest Three Star Selection to date, Gerry!
Baker and Smith were both good first-star candidates, and Snavely (3/4, and hitting his first homer as a pro, a 400-ft blast) garnered some consideration for third-star as well, I'm sure. By the way, Alley Cat pitching has allowed only five walks in 40 innings, to go with 43 strikeouts.

Flores and Ramirez getting early season starts for Dunedin is very surprising. On the other hand, having Perkins and Vermilyea (League too) come into games in high leverage situations (for now) can only benefit their development, regardless of whether they ultimately become starters or Dotels (Jordan's suggestion) in the majors.
_Steve Z - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#72918) #
There were two links of note buried in my minors report yesterday:

Jim Callis' supplemental draft info, and Matt Michael's detailed account of Toronto's long-term affiliation with Syracuse. As much as the city of Syracuse would prefer an affiliation with the Yanks or Mets, wouldn't it be in Toronto's interests as well to have the AAA team relocated... say, to Ottawa? I found the comments about developing "winning players" somewhat amusing. "You don't lose in Triple-A and get to the big leagues and learn to win," Ricciardi said. "I'm not knocking the old Blue Jay way, but they always would run a lot of prospects up there and winning wasn't real important to them. But for us it is."
_Cristian - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#72919) #
No! Edmonton. Edmonton.

We're losing our Triple A affiliation after this year and may only have a Northern League team next year. It's only fair. The Oilers' AHL affiliate is in Toronto so why shouldn't the Blue Jays' AAA affiliate be in Edmonton?
_#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#72920) #
I had a chance to catch the Skychiefs in action twice over the week-end. I saw them yesterday in Rochester and Baker pitched an outstanding game. He battled through some adversity in the 1st by taking a comebacker off the shin and had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out before striking out the next 2 batters. After that, he was on cruise control. Baker deserved a better fate but Schoening from Rochester matched him in his first Triple A start. Baker topped out at 91 mph and his offspeed stuff was clocked at 75. Lukasiewicz had 2 tidy innings but Smith had a meltdown in the 9th. He was throwing 94-95 but he had no control. He gave up a lead-off single to Brian Simmons (of all people!!), who advanced to third on a errant pick-off attempt. Smith then bounced 3 pitches in the dirt before eventually walking Jason Bartlett. Then Luis Rodriguez singled to center over the drawn in infield and outfield to win it for the Red Wings. Offensively, Sequea and Rios did alright even though Rios' second hit should've been scored as an error by the shortstop. Gross drew a walk but that was pretty well it. If you've never been to Frontier Field in Rochester, GO! It's a beautiful park and I wish the Jays moved their affiliate there instead of the Twins. For a half-inning, I stood above the railing in left field next to the SkyChiefs bullpen where Quiroz, who had the day off, was swinging the bat. It's a neat place to watch a game. The ballpark staff were really friendly. All in all, it was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I also saw the Skychiefs on Friday at home against Rochester at P & C Stadium, my first trip to that park. Justin Miller didn't pitch that badly in 4 2/3 innings, striking out 6 I believe, but he was betrayed by his defence thanks to errors by Howie Clark (who should not be at 3rd base at all!) and Russ Adams. His 2 run throwing error on a potential inning-ending double play was really was the difference in their 4-2 loss. Rochester was just opportunistic, scoring all 4 runs with 2 outs. They used a wild pitch and stolen base to advance runners into scoring position before a pair of singles brought them home. The relievers did a nice job, especially Josue Matos, wo went 2 1/3 before Lukasiewicz and Smith finished up. Offensively, Quiroz had a sac fly and Hermansen homered. I lost sight of the ball, I just took the outfielder's word for it. Rios had a double and really nailed one on the screws in the 1st but it was right at the centerfielder. Adams led off the game by scorching a double down the left field line but was stranded. He also pulled a Sparky with an HBP. Interesting note about Rios, I listened to the play-by-play on my walkman and the announcer said Rios wants to be known as Alex from now on. The first 2 times up on the scoreboard, it was Alexis Rios but the third time it said Alex. Then he proceeded to hit a double. Coincidence? All in all, P & C Stadium's not a bad place to watch a game but having astroturf sucks and it does pale in comparison to Frontier Field, Lynx Stadium, or Dunn Tire Park. There's no orange/red warning track - just a painted line a few feet in front of the fence. It was sunny but darn chilly that day. It was 49 degrees, not including windchill. Attendance was listed at 29-hundred but it was more like 290. Hopefully, I'll be able to swing an Auburn/Syracuse/Rochester trip when the weather gets nicer.
Pepper Moffatt - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#72921) #
I agree.. Frontier Field is beautiful.. it's a terrific place to watch a game, and it's one of the things I miss most about living in Rochester. If you ever get a chance to see a game there, you gotta take it.

They need to serve better food in the pressbox, though. :)


_Steve Z - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#72922) #
According to BA, the Jays released LHP Sean Grimes, RHPs Charles Kegley, Charles Talanoa and Dan Wheeler, as well as OF A.J. Porfirio. I don't think the Jays had a Dan Wheeler; It's more likely Billy Wheeler.
_Dean - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#72923) #
I'm surprised they have given up on Kegley and Talanoa who are hard throwers. Talanoa came back from an injury last year so perhaps the arm is done.
Thomas - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#72924) #
If you want to give me prospect advice, see today's Jays roundup.
Gerry - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#72925) #
Reporting dates for short season players was last week. Maybe some of these guys retired, or just did not show up?
Coach - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#72926) #
This just in from Manchester - Tim Whittaker was sent to Auburn, and Mike Nakamura is a Fisher Cat. I'll update the depth chart.
_Geoff - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#72927) #
These Minor League moves continue to confuse me - We started the year with 23 men at Manchester, now we have 24 - what is the roster limit in AA?

And why Whittaker as the guy ticketed to Auburn - certainly he has more to offer than Umbria??
Thomas - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#72928) #
Why not send Nakamura to AAA, as well? He's certainly done alright there, and I think he's got more upside than Cassidy. Shouldn't we be testing him at AAA? He proved himself at New Britain in 2001.
_Ryan01 - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#72929) #
Cassidy is already out of a place to pitch. He's on the phantom DL ie, he's not really injured but there was no room on the Syracuse roster. There was no room for Nakamura either at this point. I'm sure a spot will open up at Syracuse eventually. Everyone in the Syracuse bullpen deserves to be there. They've also got to find spots for Durocher and File when they are ready to go too. There just isn't room for Nakamura.
_JohnnyS99 - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#72930) #
Not sure why Cassidy has not got another chance with toronto after speding the whole season with the jays in 2002.
_ainge_fan - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#72931) #
Number of different thoughts.
Watching Mike Smith's progression in the bullpen will be an interesting story to follow this year. He had really rough 1st innings in TO. I am not sure if that's been a career trend (don't think so), or even an upper level trend (seems to be since his time in TO, which might have been a bit early for him). Seems like letting him close things out is a "trial by fire" way of seeing if he can overcome it, though it might end up be unnerving for Syracuse fans if he can't. He's probably on some of his last legs as a prospect, in TO anyway, so I hope things turn out well for him.
Nice start by Baker, too. A little out of left field, but good for him. Had a rough year at AA last year (someone referred to an injury that he had, that might have explained his dropoffbut I don't remember anything about it), but if he can reproduce his 2002 AA year at AAA in 2004, he could find himself back in the mix.
Shame about Grimes' release. A big lefty like that, from Ontario - and injury after injury. I like to pull for the CAN kids.
I'm not too surprised about Ramirez and Flores getting early season starts. Ramirez deserved it - not getting lost in the shuffle that is. He had a nice year last year, and very strong first half (wish we had splits). Being his first full-season year, I think he probably wore down as things went on. I think his K rates will probably be a little better this year than last as he gets stronger. I think the same thing might happen for Chad Pleiness, as well, who was pretty new to that much work for that long. Flores, too, was excellent in 2002 then scuffled last year. If he gets it together (I read at BA that he has pretty heavy stuff), he could be one of the ones in line for a quick promotion to AA. If not, I'd think he will get passed by other guys pretty quickly.
If Perkins, League and Pleiness never see another start, I hope for the sake of their development that they all get a number of three inning outings so they can all face the best bats per team at least once.
Good to see Chris Snavely have a nice game, too. He's had a slower start than just about any other 2003 draftee, except maybe the dearly departed Billy Wheeler. Be a nice boost to the OF depth if he can come on. Same thing with SS Raul Tablado - strange that he's been *much* better at advanced A ball than he was at low A. I think he just had the best offensive week of his career, to date. Drafted pretty high, with a reportedly powerful bat - it would be nice to see him come on.
On a side note, all of you "minor league guys" (referring to content, not quality of work here) do bang-up work. Two years ago at the official site, myself and Ryan01 (and some other guys who are around here too) started doing minor league recaps daily. Then last year, Mike Green really took the ball and went with it, with the rest of us filling the gaps on weekends. And this year, for me, there's you guys. Great recaps, useful information, good analysis, good links, and great discussion from a lot of attentive writers and readers alike. Thanks a lot.
_Steve Z - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#72932) #
On a side note, all of you "minor league guys" (referring to content, not quality of work here) do bang-up work.

No ambiguity in that statement!

Thanks ainge_fan! We're trying to make this Jays minor league beat as exhaustive (and entertaining) as possible. Thanks to #2JBrumfield and others for providing invaluable live game reports. I am currently setting up a comprehensive database from which to track every player in the system; we'll soon be able to track player trends (week-to-week, month-to-month, etc.) and watch the prospects' development (BB/IP, BB/PA, isolated power, etc.) as closely as possible.
_Fozzy - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#72933) #
Two years ago at the official site...

Has anyone else been around their fan forum lately? Yuck.

But that aside, thanks to everyone for all the hard work they've been putting into these updates and their subsequent thoughts in their aftermaths; they've been great reads and real food for thought from some of baseball's most intelligent fans. Keep up the great work everyone, you help make the Jays a treat for any sports fan!
_Mark - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#72934) #
I went to the Ottawa - Syracuse game today with EddieZosky and Gideon (hey guys). Not a bad game, a bit sloppy (5 errors total). It was very cold though, I imagine that would have had some impact on the fielding. Anyway, final score, Syracuse 7, Ottawa 5.

For me the most impressive player for Syracuse was Jason Frasor. He was throwing the ball hard and looked dominant: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K, 1 BB. The other fan (OK, I'm exaggerating a bit here, but the 50/50 draw prize netted $109 and I doubt there were 250 people in the stands) was making some comments about his lack of height, but he pitched great.

Rios didn't impress too much at the plate, but it's only one game. Infield FC in the first, sharp single to right in the second, 5-3 in the fourth, flyout to right in the sixth and reached on an E4 in the eighth. Playing right field, he made a fine running catch near the foul line to end the eighth inning.

Noah Hall had a nice game, reaching base 4 times (2 singles, 2 BB) and scoring 3 times. Chad Hermansen also had some nice ABs, going 2-3 with a double, single, a couple of SFs and 4 rbi.

Bruce Chen started out ok, pitching a good 1st inning but then it fell apart pretty quickly and he ended up getting pulled after giving up 4 runs (3 earned) in 3 innings, on 5 H, 3K, 2 BB and a HBP. Talley Haines came on for 3 innings and was solid if unspectacular, and then after Frasor, Mike Smith closed the game in a "nervous ninth", loading the bases before getting out of the jam with a 3-2-3 DP to end the game.

Anyway, it was fun, if COLD! There are a couple more Ottawa - Syracuse series later in the summer (June 11, 12 and August 20, 21, 22) so mark it on your calendar, Ottawa Bauxites!
Craig B - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#72935) #
Mark, what was Frasor throwing, and how did his velocity compare to Chen and Haines?
_Matthew E - Monday, April 12 2004 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#72936) #
Has anyone else been around their fan forum lately? Yuck.

I check in every now and then as 'majael'. It's actually not as bad as it once was.
_Mark - Tuesday, April 13 2004 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#72937) #
Definitely looked faster to me, but I don't have a lot of experience judging these things. 92-95 mph? No radar gun at the park :( EddieZosky commented that the pop in Quiroz's glove sounded louder than for the other pitchers. Frasor looked really sharp and got a number of swinging strikes. He was mostly throwing fastball with some curves from what I remember. COMN for the boxscore.
_Olga Oglive - Tuesday, April 13 2004 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#72938) #
They need to serve better food in the pressbox, though. :)

Come off it
Craig B - Tuesday, April 13 2004 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#72939) #
Definitely looked faster to me

That's what I wanted to know, and very much what I wanted to hear.

got a number of swinging strikes

Even better.
_EddieZosky - Tuesday, April 13 2004 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#72940) #
Craig - I can echo that - I posted my recap in today's thread. Frasor is Cliff Politte. He's a little man with some serious gas on that fastball. He was very effective.
Minor League Update: April 12 | 28 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.