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A clean sweep for the organization last night, and three of the teams remain in first place in their divisions. Many of the hitters are waiting for the warmer weather to get their bats warmed up. The Jays minor leaguers are winning on good pitching and timely hitting.

Pawtucket 2 Syracuse 3

Syracuse used a home run by Alex Rios to beat Pawtucket and move their record to 3-5. This was a scoreless contest through seven innings. On the Jays side this was not a huge surprise as five of the starters are hitting under 200. Justin Miller pitched the first five+ innings allowing five hits and three walks. On the plus side he had nine strikeouts in his five innings. The newest Skychief Mike Nakamura handled the sixth and seventh innings but ran into trouble in the eighth. A couple of singles, surrounding an intentional walk to Brian Daubach, gave Pawtucket a 1-0 lead. Russ Adams responded immediately with a lead off triple in the bottom of the eighth. Actually he hit a home run but none of the umpires noticed that the ball went over the fence, hit a railing, and bounced back onto the field. Jorge Sequea singled him in and Glen Williams sacrificed Sequea to second. Alex Rios then hit his first AAA home run to give Syracuse the 3-1 lead. Mark Lukasiewicz came in to get the save. He was not quite as shaky as Mike Smith. After getting the first out, Mark allowed back to back doubles to make the score 3-2 and put the tying run on second. Lukey then got a strikeout and a ground ball to seal the win.

Guillermo Quiroz had a single and a double to raise his average to .286.

Trenton 0 New Hampshire 2

Opening day in New Hampshire and Dustin McGowan owned it. McGowan pitched five innings allowing four hits, one walk and six K's. In his two starts McGowan has allowed five hits in eleven innings and has an ERA of 0.82. Coach and I hope he stays in AA for two more starts so we can see him in Erie in ten days time. As with the big club and Syracuse, more than half the starters are hitting under 200, but with McGowan pitching who needs offense? The Fisher Cats got all the runs they needed in the first. Tyrell Godwin singled, stole second and scored on a single by, who else?, Rob Cosby. Cosby is hitting .529 after two weeks of the season. Cosby left the game after his hit for an undisclosed reason. New Hampshire got an insurance run in the fifth. Justin Singleton walked and Dominic Rich had an RBI double. McGowan was pulled after throwing eighty pitches. After McGowan the bullpen was outstanding. Brandon League pitched two innings with three K's. pitched a perfect eighth. Adam Peterson struck out the side to get the save.

New Hampshire activated John-Ford Griffin and Matt Logan before the game. Griffin started but went 0-3. Dioner Navarro, one of the Yankees top prospects, was 0-4.

Dunedin 1 Lakeland 0

Ismael Ramirez produced his second straight strong start to lead Dunedin to the narrow win. Ramirez pitched five innings with four hits and no walks. He also registered six K's. Chad Pleiness pitched the sixth and seventh, and Andy Torres pitched a perfect eighth but allowed a single to lead off the ninth. Bubbie Buzachero entered to retire three straight batters and bag his first save of the year. Big Vito was the difference in the game. Vito doubled home Carlo Cota who had reached on an error for the only run of the game. Dunedin had only three hits on the night, two for Vito and a double for Tim Whittaker. Lakelend's best chance to score was in the fifth when they had a lead-off double, but Ramirez promptly picked off the runner.

Charleston 7 Hagerstown 5 in 12 innings

To counteract the low scores in the other games, Charleston registered ten hits and seven runs. It was not just a win, it was win number 1000 for Charleston. Willie Rivera led off the game with a homerun. Shaun Marcum had some trouble in the second inning, conceding three runs on three singles and a walk. Hagerstown gave it back in the fourth wneh three walks and an error gave Charleston their second run and Ryan Roberts had a hit to tie the game.

Marcum settled down after the second and completed five innings allowing three runs on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Charleston and Hagerstown traded two runs in the seventh. Hagerstown threatened in the eighth but were turned away. With Joaquin Canizal on the mound for the ninth Hagerstown loaded the bases with nobody out. Canizal got the next batter to ground back to him for the force at home, then struckout the next two batters. Bouyed by that escape Ontario's Mike Galloway led off the tenth with a double. A sacrifice and a wild pitch put the Alley Cats ahead, then a Willie Rivera double made it a two run lead. Brian Reed recorded the save despite allowing two baserunners.

Our Three-Star Selection

How do you separate such strong pitching performances? It was so hard that I decided to give the three stars to the pitchers and leave the hitters to the honourable mention category.

The 3rd Star: Justin Miller, allowed eight baserunners, but no runs, in his five innings.
The 2nd Star: Dustin McGowan, allowed five baserunners in his five innings.
The 1st Star: Ismael Ramirez, allowed four baserunners in his five innings but immediately picked one of them off second.
Honourable Mention: Vito Chiaravallotti was 2-4 and drove in the only run of the game and Willie Rivera who started the game with a home run and added a double in extra innings to drive in an insurance run.
Minor League Update: April 16 | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Ryan Day - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#72035) #
Geez, that must have been a miserable day for the Trenton hitters. McGowan finally leaves the game... only to be replaced by two guys who are probably throwing harder.

I don't know if I'm totally sold on Brandon League as a reliever, but I've got to admit that the prospect of a League/Peterson 8th and 9th in Toronto is pretty appealing.
_Jordan - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#72036) #
Ismael Ramirez looked good last spring and summer, but he wore down as the season went on; his K's dropped and he allowed more hits. It'll be interesting to see if he can maintain his strong performance deeper into the season. if so, the Jays have yet another promising pitcher on their hands.

It might be fun to start a pool as to be who'll be the first Jays prospect to be promoted a level (not counting players on the Syracuse-Toronto shuttle). I'll cast my vote for Adam Peterson, who looks like he's toying with AA hitters right now. Think the Skychiefs could use a reliable ninth-inning reliever?
Gerry - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#72037) #
The Chiefs do have a need but they have a full bullpen with Scott Cassidy still nursing his bruised ego. The Jays or Chiefs will have to suffer a rash of injuries or bite the bullet and release some guys.

Chulk, Nakamura, Matos and Douglass are potential major leaguers.
Lukasiewicz and Cassidy are home town guys.
Maurer and Smith should be worried.
_Dean - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#72038) #
I agree that Smith @ AAA has got to be on the bubble, especially if Peterson stays hot for an extended period. If he continues to overmatch AA batters than I think he will be the 1st to go up as well. McGowan could also move up quickly, duh. The Dunedin guys will probably stay put with the exception of Rosario who is there because of the weather.
_Ken - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#72039) #
These updates are great, love the 3 star selection. Can't beat da box for Jays major and minor league coverage.

Great to see all teams winning and three teams at the top of their respective divisions, even if it is early going. Plus it could be argued that the one team that isn't at the top is the most promising club. All in all positive signs for the organisation and the big league club.

Good to see JFG back too, hopefully another bat on it's way to AAA in the near future.

Re-reading that I sound far too pleased with everything. Cheers JP! makes a change from reading about EU defence institutions.
_johnnnyS99 - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#72040) #
Anybody know the status of Amos Day? Will the Jays convert this guy to a starter as they did with John Wesley? Jordy Templet impressed in the Cape and in Auburn, any reason why he is not in Charleston?
_Jordan - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#72041) #
Johnny,I'm not sure what the plans are for Day, but I'm pretty sure he'll have to move fast. He'll be 24 in September -- he was drafted out of college as a fifth-year senior -- so his biological prospect clock is pounding. He's temporarily listed on the Auburn roster, which frankly doesn't bode well -- if the Jays thought more highly of him, he'd probably have made the jump at least to Charleston, if not Dunedin. Templet's a year younger than Day, but his college numbers were far from overwhelming (although the same applies to Kurt Isenberg). He was a 17th-round pick, so he's going to have to fight a little harder.

But in fairness to both of these guys, the Charleston pitching staff is loaded -- I mean, Tom Mastny is a back-of-the-rotation starter -- so it's no shame that they're waiting their turn. If they get off to a good start at Auburn, they may get bumped up a level or two over the course of the season.

Keep in mind too that it's really hard to get a read on a player's potential from stats at the Rookie League level -- that's a long way from the light of day. We'll know more about both these guys after a turn in Auburn.
Craig B - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#72042) #
OK, correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a Spring Instructional League, right?

Is that not where most of the guys currently on the payroll but not on the DL or a minor league roster are going to go? This is the same thing as "extended spring training" I believe.
Craig B - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#72043) #
OK! Yes, I was right.

Here's an article on extended spring training. Yes, it looks as if players not quite ready for full-season A ball (or who won't fit on a roster... the Jays really need another full-season low A team to accomodate all these pitchers) play in the Spring instructional league / extended spring training.
Gerry - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#72044) #
James Pidutti, Da Boxes correspondent from Northern Ontario, is currently in extended spring training.
_James Pidutti - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#72045) #
Yes, James Pidutti is in extended spring training, and I am not the Boxes correspondent. People just imitate me sometimes. I throw live batting practice tomorrow. It's sunny here today around 76 farhenheit. I've thrown 3 bull pens already also and am holding my own.
_whizland2000 - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#72046) #
man that Vito is proving that he's no fluke. If he keeps this up what are the chances of us having the next 1b stud on our hands?

The future is looking brighter everyday
_Brent - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#72047) #
Best of luck James. You've got a few fans around these parts.
_EddieZosky - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#72048) #
It might be fun to start a pool as to be who'll be the first Jays prospect to be promoted a level (not counting players on the Syracuse-Toronto shuttle). I'll cast my vote for Adam Peterson, who looks like he's toying with AA hitters right now. Think the Skychiefs could use a reliable ninth-inning reliever?

How about a bingo-like pool, where you have 5 columns - low-A, A, AA, AAA, The Show. You fill the chart out as a prediction of where players will end up on October 1st. You get points for each correct player, but you get bonus points for players that jump leagues up or down. Players could have different weights. Just a thought.
_R Billie - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#72049) #
I've been concerned about Mike Smith's career ever since he was first called up to Toronto in 2002. Simply put he has no effective pitches outside of his fastball which in and of itself is quite hittable if he can't compliment it with something. Even in the pen it's not looking like he's fooling many people and I thought it was kind of strange to put him in the closer's role when there are probably two or three relief arms who are easily better performers today. Mike Smith is probably Exhibit A for not getting too tremendously pumped over pitchers who breeze through single-A and even AA ball.

The first big test for Vito will be when he moves to AA later this year. If he starts off fast in a league where pitchers have control of their secondary pitches then you can start believing. Not that his performance in a strong pitcher's league isn't significant already but he's still old for the level.

Both Charleston and Dunedin are brimming with good arms, but most of the low-A guys could probably make the jump to AA if they show exceptionally well (see Joe Blanton). It's going to be very intriguing to see who ends up where by year's end. The AA rotation will probably look quite good by July.
Mike Green - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#72050) #
Another clean sweep for the farm boys today. Rios and Big Vito continued to hit, and the pitching was very good.
_Steve Z - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#72051) #
Rios caps a five-run 9th inning come-from-behind win for the Chiefs; Starters Mastny/Isenberg/Chacin combine for SIXTEEN shutout innings, as the other three Jays affiliates win as well! Boxes/Logs available, per usual, at
_ainge_fan - Friday, April 16 2004 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#72052) # posts box scores pretty quickly for anyone who roots around late at night, early in the AM.
Jason Arnold served up another couple of gopherballs today, continuing a trend from last year at AAA. It was quite the wild finish in Syracuse with Pawtucket seeming to land the knock out punch with three in the ninth, only to absorb a flurry of late hits by the Fightin' Chiefs who rallied for five in the bottom of the ninth for a come from behind win.
More pitching gems throughout - Mark Sopko continues to impress out of the Charleston pen. His somewhat surprisingly high K rates last year are continuing.
The first pitcher promoted game? Chain reaction, and a four-way tie in the 2nd week of May: McGowan to AAA, Rosario to AA, Mastny to DUN, Chris Leonard or Amos Day to CHA. Might be a little quick/premature for Rosario, we'll see, and Leonard - might just be wishful thinking.
_johnnnyS99 - Saturday, April 17 2004 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#72053) #
Theres already a crowd in Dunedin and Hanson, Plieness and Perkins are not starting currently? I dont think anyone will be coming from Charleston, unless their is at least two promotions.
Minor League Update: April 16 | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.