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A slightly abbreviated roundup summarizes another eventful day for Toronto's minor league affiliates:

Syracuse 4, Ottawa 2

Justin Miller had seven strikeouts over seven innings, giving up just four hits, and no walks, to lead the Chiefs past the Lynx yesterday. The only blemish on his night were the two solo homers he gave up, to Eddy Garabito in the third, and to Carlos Mendez in the seventh inning. Syracuse's offense was led by prospects Alex Rios (2-4, HR, RBI, K), Gabe Gross (2-4, RBI, K), and Russ Adams (1-3, 2B, SF, RBI, BB), and was complimented by Shawn Fagan, who reached base in each of his four plate appearances (2-2, 2 BB). Vinny Chulk pitched an impressive two innings (1 H, 4 SO, 1 BB, 0 ER) for his first save of the year.

Game Story by Matt Michael, Syracuse Post-Standard

New Hampshire 3, Norwich 2 (10 innings)

Dustin McGowan lacked the pinpoint contol he had exhibited in almost every one of his Eastern League starts since getting the call to New Haven last summer. Despite the un-McGowanesque peripherals last night (5 BB, 2 SO) Dusty still managed to allow only one run on four hits, before being replaced by Dan Jackson with one out in the sixth inning, leaving his Fisher Cat teammates, as usual, in position to win the game. That result would not come until a dramatic tenth inning single by Dominic Rich, plating Tyrell Godwin for the winning run. Rich (2-5, RBI, K) extended his season-long hit streak to ten games, while Adam Peterson (2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO) blew his first save of the year. Peterson still managed to shut Norwich down in the tenth to pick up the victory, a victory that Jackson and Kevin Frederick (1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 SO) had worked to preserve for Mr. McGowan.

Game Story by Kevin Gray, New Hampshire Union-Leader

Lakeland 14, Dunedin 3

The D-Jays were pummelled by Detroit's High-A affiliate last night. Lakeland outhit Dunedin 21-11, battering around starter Ismael Ramirez (4.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO) and relievers Chad Pleiness (1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 0 ER) and Tommi Ozuna (1.1 IP, 5 H, 5 ER), while D-Jays hitters simply couldn't match the offensive output. Vito Chiaravalotti's two hits (2-4, 2 2B, SF, K, RBI), were matched by Jason Waugh (2-5), Miguel Negron (2-4, HBP, 2 RBI), and Brad Hassey (2-3, BB, SB). Dunedin's record fell to 9-4.

Game Log

Charleston-WV 4, Greensboro 2

Righthander Danny Core pitched a brilliant six innings (1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, HP) to keep his Fighting Cats within clawslengths of a lead. Local hero David Smith was clutch once again, with a three-run home run in the seventh, sending the Sally League juggnernauts to their fifth consecutive victory. Brian Patrick (2-3, R) inspired with great baserunning, and Brian Reed (1 IP, 0 BB, 2 SO) sealed the deal, for his third save.

Game Story by Tom Aluise, Charleston Daily-Mail
Game Story by Matt Whiteford, Charleston Gazette

Links of the day

1. Kevin Goldstein kicked off the 2004 Prospect Hot Sheet for Baseball America. No Jays in the Top 20, but Banks, League, and McGowan receive honourable mention. For BA's purposes, Vito's probably not a prospect until he's putting up the same numbers against AA or AAA pitching.

2. If you missed it yesterday, Jonathan Mayo ( updates concerned Jason Arnold followers on the righty's progress in AAA, under Brad Arnsberg's tutelage.

3. Kevin Gray, Union-Leader, has another excellent Fisher Cat feature story, on hot-hitting second base prospect Dominic Rich.

Three-Star Selection!

Our Third Star: David Smith, Charleston (clutch three-run HR powered Cats offense)
Our Second Star: Dominic Rich, New Hampshire (extended hit streak to ten, drove in winning run in 10th inning)
Our First Star: Danny Core, Charleston (2003 7th-round draft choice, with his best pro start to date)
Honourbale Mention: Justin Miller, Alex Rios

Today's Games

Ottawa (BAL) at Syracuse, 6:00 pm (Jason Arnold vs. Sean Bergman)
Norwich (SF) at New Hampshire, 12:05 pm (Gustavo Chacin vs. Brad Hennessey)
Lakeland (DET) at Dunedin, 7:00 pm (Kurt Isenberg vs. TBA)
Greensboro (FLO) at Charleston, 6:05 pm (Justin James vs. Gabriel Benitez)
Minor League Update: April 21 | 25 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Ducey - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#71291) #
Thank god for these updates. They are a good distraction from the carnage at the ML level.

I note Negron seems to be playing well at Dunedin .313/.364/.471 with 4BB/11SO/ 2HR in 48 AB. Hopefully he continues to show more pop this year.

We will see if Arnold looks "wonderful" tonight
_earlweaverfan - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#71292) #
So, three of the four minor league teams are in first place, and the SkyChiefs are just 2 back, having overcome a rough start to post the best league record over the last ten games. When was the last time the Jays were so strong in the minors?

This is despite the fact that two of the four teams have so-so hitting and none of the teams is showing signs of great power.

What we seem to have everywhere is strong to outstanding pitching depth, both with the starters and the pen. Even better, several promising pitchers are overcoming (apparently minor) injuries. When those pitchers return to active duty, the pitching dominance could get even better.

P.S. Has anyone heard the reason why Rosario came out early, in his last game?
Coach - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#71293) #
As R Billie reported in yesterday's minors thread, I got a report on Rosario's abbreviated Monday outing, and it's nothing to worry about, just a little tightness in his biceps and everyone being very cautious. I'd also like to pass along (well-deserved) compliments from several people connected with the Jays for these daily reports.

Rich is at .341/.386/.512 and has a 10-game hit streak to open the season. The unfortunate injury to Rob Cosby has given Dominic a chance to play 2B every day; he's finally doing in AA what he did in the FSL a couple of years ago.
_Jordan - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#71294) #
The Eric Hinske-Billy Koch deal was a steal for Toronto judged solely on those two players (though kudos to Billy Beane for turning Koch into Keith Foulke, even for only one season); if Justin Miller flourishes as well, that trade may have to be investigated by the FBI. Miller's great start at Syracuse (21 Ks in 16 IP) is even more remarkable when you consider he's never been a big strikeout pitcher throughout his minor-league career. It's only three starts, but it looks great thus far. After a slowish beginning, Alex Rios is turning on the power. Remember that this is his first tour of Triple-A, and that he hit only 11 HRs in over 500 at-bats last season; he has 3 already in 2004 (as many as he did all 2001 at Dunedin), along with 5 doubles. It's hard to be patient and excited at the same time, but that's what Rios does to you.

Dustin McGowan hasn't had control issues in over a year, but everyone has games like this, where it just comes a little harder. McGowan deserves credit, though, for keeping all those baserunners but one from scoring; the sign of a good pitcher is that he bends but doesn't break. Say the same for Peterson: he lost the lead in the 9th, but kept his composure and nailed down the win in the 10th; not always easy to do (4 Ks in 2 IP is also very promising). Those two guys won't be in Manchester a whole lot longer.

What can you say about Vito? Only that we still need to exercise a little caution. Impressive as this is, it's still just a hot streak, and he'll have a few oh-fer games soon enough. Put it this way: at .370/.466/.739, Chiaravalotti's not leading the Florida State League in OPS. That honour currently goes to Sarasota infielder Jeremy West, who's sporting a cool .484/.515/.839 line in 31 AB. No one in the FSL has reached even 50 AB yet, and I don't like drawing conclusions until a batter gets to 100. Enjoy it, but don't expect it to last.

What a turnaround in Charleston so far -- the ugly stepsister of the farm system in 2003 is off to a 9-2 start, and a lot of their players haven't even hit their full stride yet. The starters have gotten off to an amazing jump: consider that Danny Core, Tom Mastny, Shaun Marcum and Justin James have a combined 5/48 BB/K rate in 46 2/3 IP. Even in the pitcher-friendly Sally League, that's pretty cool.

Thanks to Steve for another great roundup. I'm only doing one of these per week, so the vast majority of the credit goes to Steve Z, John Neary and Gerry McDonald for doing such a terrific job keeping everyone updated on the farm system.
_Nigel - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#71295) #
I agree that congratulations are deserved to all involved in these reports they are very well put together.

A few thoughts:

a) I agree with earlweaverfan that the system is interesting in that its remarkably strong in pitching and relatively thin in position prospects. I happen to like this choice because it reflects the relative needs at the major league level and I do accept that you can never have to many pitching prospects. I also think you can trade pitching to find position players if need be;

b) I am most surprised by the New Hampshire squad. That team is pretty thin in position prospects. Outside of Rich, Hill and Griffin its hard to see any offensive talent there. Of those three only Rich as had any production. The record really speaks volumnes about how well they've pitched to date;

c) Vito's start, as Jordan says, has to be viewed with the sample size but its encouraging given its a significant step up from Auburn and its a tough hitters league. He's also a little old to be a prospect in high A but if he gets to AA later this year he will have narrowed that gap quite a bit. I think we'll know a lot about Vito by August of this year.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#71296) #
The Fisher Cats have an afternoon game today and lead 3-0 after five. Mike Snyder has a HR.
_Steve Z - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#71297) #
Kevin Gray also wrote a fine piece on Dominic Rich. (It's now added to today's links, on top.)
_R Billie - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#71298) #
I would think the Sally League isn't a huge jump up from NYP League. A lot of the players there are entering their first full pro season and many of them were high school draftees or younger international free agents. The Jays basically injected the team with half of their fine crop of control pitchers from Auburn and some college experienced hitters. Without Hill, Chiaravalotti, Banks, and a few others they probably won't put up a winning percentage like Auburn's but I expect the team to do very well. Ditto Dunedin.

Mid-season AA and AAA promotions. That's where it's going to be at for all of these lower level guys.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#71299) #
Rich worked out with weights 3 hours per day in the off-season. That kind of dedication will get you somewhere.
Pistol - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#71300) #
Rich worked out with weights 3 hours per day in the off-season. That kind of dedication will get you somewhere.

Somewhere for me would be the trainers table.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#71301) #
Me, too. Rich seems to be healthy so I guess he's getting good advice.
_earlweaverfan - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#71302) #
Fishercats are tied 4-4, top of the 10th; they gave up 4 runs in the seventh, and then came back with a run in the 8th to tie.
_Steve Z - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#71303) #
Howie Clark has been recalled by Toronto, while Chad Hermansen has been optioned back to Syracuse.
Craig B - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#71304) #
Somewhere for me would be the trainers table.

Morgue for me.

The Jays now have three utility infielders and no fourth outfielder. This is just not really any good at all.
_Matthew E - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#71305) #
Clark up and Hermanson down? What's the point of this?
Gerry - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#71306) #
Clark up and Hermanson down? What's the point of this?

The Jays need a pinch hitter more than they need a defensive replacement. Clark is a better hitter. Hermanson has not looked good since his call up.
_Ryan Day - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#71307) #
Three utility infielders, and only one of them can play shortstop. Yeesh.

J.P. seems a bit antsy: Bring up Pond, demote Pond after realizing he has nowhere to play. Bring up Hermanson, demote Hermanson after 7 ABs. Bring up Howie Clarke...

J.P. must be praying that Rios and Adams really start to heat up in AAA. There's simply no one there right now who could fill the Jays' needs: A good shortstop and a right-handed bat that can play the outfield.

Who'll be next in the desperation shuffle: Noah Hall? Shawn Fagan? Jeff Guiel?
_Moffatt - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#71308) #
I created a new thread about the moves. I'll copy over the above comments.
_johnnnyS99 - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#71309) #
Looks like Kurt Isenberg and Jason Arnold are pitching well tonight.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#71310) #
Justin James and Felix Romero were lights out for Charleston tonight, and Ryan Roberts continued his hot hitting, reaching base 5 times. It's a tough environment, and he's hitting .409. We know from Craig's research that this is not a fluke. I think he's ready for Dunedin.
_R Billie - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#71311) #
Arnold went 7 tonight allowing one unearned run on 5 hits. Though he only struck out one he didn't walk anyone either. It looks like Ottawa was swinging but not hitting. It still has to be considered a step forward for Arnold that he could challenge hitters and not be beat up like he has been.

Dunedin held a 1-0 lead through 6 innings but couldn't manage any more offence until the 9th. They came up short losing 4-2 due to a 3 run 7th by Lakewood.
_Sneeps - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#71312) #
Vermilyea came out of the pen for Dunedin tonite. Whats the deal with that? He started out in the pen, then last week he got a start, and now he's back in the pen again when tomorrow would be his day to get his next start in the rotation. I'm not too happy with the handling of some of our pitchers in the minors.

Vermilyea and Perkins especially.
_scout - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#71313) #
I believe that Vermilyea is going to be a bull pen guy for a while. As for Perkins, he is up to his old habits. Not really handling his business very well. Too many control problems,this could also land him in the pen soon. New Hampshire is about to get help on the mound soon too. Harper is very close to being ready and all he has done lately is lead his team in ERA the last two years as well as wins. McGowan will probably be leaving about the time Harper gets there.Do not see Ozias and Lee as being much help fot the Jays so far.
_johnnnyS99 - Wednesday, April 21 2004 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#71314) #
Anybody Know the stats of DJ Hanson, Dick Scott said, he would be ready for the minor leauge spring training? Did he mean extended spring training?
Gerry - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#71315) #
Anybody Know the stats of DJ Hanson

Hanson is on the DL. There have been no reports or sightings of him.
Minor League Update: April 21 | 25 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.