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Itís been a rough week for sports fans in the National Capital Region. Itís all bad enough that the Senators were subject to a depressingly predictable first-round elimination by the hated Maple Leafs (it says here, BTW, that Patrick Lalime wears the goat horns unfairly in Ottawa; his high-scoring linemates were shut out three separate times by an inferior Maple Leafs squad), but thereís also the hapless Lynx, who have lately run into a buzzsaw called the Syracuse Skychiefs. Last nightís 10-7 Chiefs win wasnít as close as it seemed.

Syracuse 10 Ottawa 7

On the mound, Jason Arnold had one of his best starts in Triple-A, allowing just one unearned run over 7 solid innings. Arnold gave up just 5 hits and a walk in his outing, though he struck out only 1. It doesnít look like Jason is going to be a big strikeout pitcher, but if he records outs in efficient fashion, the Jays will likely be pleased. Talley Haines threw a capable 8th, but the roof caved in on Mark Lukasiewicz, who was torched for 6 hits and 5 runs (including a HR) in just 2/3 of the 9th inning; Dave Maurer came in to record the final out and pick up an unexpected save.

Arnold needed this win, his first since last July, and actually took advantage of the fact the wind was blowing out. Arnold is susceptible to the flyball, and so he worked to keep his pitches down in the strike zone and out of the air. If he can bring that approach to all his starts, windblown or not, heíll have turned a corner.

While the Lynx scored late and in a bunch, the Skychiefs scattered their runs throughout the game (three 3-run innings). Simon Pond broke out of a mini-slump with a double and 2 singles, driving in a run, while Glenn Williams tripled and homered in 5 trips; although heís hitting just .238, Williams leads Syracuse with four dingers. Jorge Sequea joined in the fun with 3 singles and 3 RBI of his own. Catcher Guillermo Quiroz and DH (!) Gregg Zaun each had 2 hits and scored a run.


Norwich 5 New Hampshire 4

An extra-inning heartbreaker for the Fisher Cats, a game that never should gone past nine frames. New Hampshire struck first: John-Ford Griffin singled in a run and then trotted home on Mike Snyderís first round-tripper of the year, giving New Hampshire a 3-0 lead through six frames. Gustavo Chacin was cruising along, allowing just four hits and no walks, striking out 3. But it all unraveled in the 7th: a leadoff triple (actually a flyball lost by outfielder Tyrell Godwin) and a single pushed across the first Norwich run. Then first baseman Snyder muffed a pickoff throw, allowing the runner to advance to second. Shortstop Aaron Hill then booted a grounder, and that was all for Chacin. As manager Mike Basso said, you canít give any team six outs in an inning and expect to win.

Brandon League entered the game in relief, but League, heretofore sharp and dangerous this season, didnít have his command. A walk and a single brought home the second run and loaded the bases; following a fielderís choice that retired the runner at home, League hit the next batter to force in the third run. He struck out the next batter, but then uncorked a wild pitch and run #4 crossed the plate. A groundout finally ended the ugly inning, but the Navigators had pushed across four.

New Hampshire tied it up in the bottom of the 8th on catcher Jose Umbriaís home run, and thatís how it stayed until extra innings. John Ogiltree took the tough-luck loss; he struck out 3 in a hitless 8th and 9th, but walked the first two batters leading off the 10th. Ryan Houston relieved him, and a wild pitch and single later, the go-ahead run crossed the plate.

The good news for New Hampshire: Griffin singled twice and doubled in 5 trips, marking his first solid game after coming off the disabled list. Another 2 hits and a walk for Rich, who raised his average to .356. And Chacin didnít strike out many guys, but he still fired 6 strong innings (6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K). A tough loss that shouldíve been a New Hampshire win.


Lakeland 4 Dunedin 2

After a hot start, the D-Jays have come back to earth the past few games. But you canít blame Kurt Isenberg, the top left-handed prospect in the system, for this one. Isenberg came out firing on all cylinders, pitching 6 shutout innings and allowed 3 hits and 0 walks, striking out 7. Dunedin was clinging to a one-run lead after six, thanks to a 2nd-inning wild pitch that scored Miguel Negron. But the wheels came off in the top of the 7th: Jamie Vermilyea entered the game and put the first 3 batters on base with a single and 2 walks. A sacrifice fly and a strikeout took the D-Jays to the edge of escape, but a two-run single did all the damage Lakeland would need.

Negron was Dunedinís offensive star, scoring twice on a single and two walks. The two base-on-balls gave Negron a 6/11 BB/K rate in his first 50 ABs, to go along with a solid .320/.407/.460 line; promising stuff. Big Vito doubled once in four trips, while shortstop Manny Mayorson made 3 errors and saw his average drop to .195 in the early going.


Charleston 9 Greensboro 3

Justin James and Felix Romero gave sterling pitching performances in this one. James started the game on fire, striking out 5 of the first 6 batters he faced. He allowed an unearned run in the 3rd, however, and 2 more in the 4th. The first came on your standard RBI single, but the other was a classic small-ball run: Greensboro third baseman Joe Mazzuca walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and then, to complete the little-ball cycle, stole home!

That was all the runs the Alley-Cats would allow, however: James fired 2 more scoreless innings, and left with a solid line of 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB and 8 K. He was followed by Romero, who allowed a single to the first batter he faced. But that baserunner was quickly erased by catcher Robby Diaz on a steal attempt, and Romero set down the final 8 batters in order, striking out 3.

The game was never really in serious peril for Charleston, though: they posted a four-spot in the 3rd inning and kept on going from there. Ryan Roberts had the game of the night, reaching base in all 5 of his plate appearances (double, 2 singles, 2 walks) and scoring 4 times. Diaz was the run-producing star, driving in 4 runs and scoring twice in a 3-for-5 performance. Right fielder Morrin Davis and shortstop Juan Peralta each chipped in with 2 hits and a walk as well. Charleston moved to 10-2 on the young season, and while their pitching has been their mainstay so far, the batters are starting to hit their stride too.


Your Three-Star Selection

All four starters did themselves proud last night, but there can only be three stars, and the hitters need a little love too. So:

Your Third Star: Dunedin SP Kurt Isenberg, who delivered 6 dominant innings, though he wasnít rewarded with a win.

Your Second Star: Charleston 2B Ryan Roberts, who reached base in all five of his trips to the plate and scored four times.

Your First Star: Syracuse SP Jason Arnold, who had the game of his Triple-A career in firing seven innings and allowing just one unearned run.

Honourable mention: Gustavo Chacin, Justin James, Robby Diaz.

Minor-League Update: April 22 | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#70600) #
Right-hander Todd Ozias (0-1) is scheduled to pitch tomorrow night in the 6:35 start. Lefty Derek Lee (0-2) goes Saturday night and righty Cam Reimers (2-0) Sunday at 1:05

I hope this is wrong. The Bauxites travelling to Erie this weekend hoped to see Dustin McGowan take his regular turn on Sunday.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#70601) #
http://milb.sportsnetwork.com/merge/tsnform.aspx?c=minorbaseball&page=milb-intl/scores/final/finallog.aspx?GAMEID=13822
COMN for the Syracuse game log. Arnold's run should arguably have been scored as earned..single (advance to second on error), GB to 1B, fly to RF and single to center.

Arnold still had more air outs than ground ball outs. 1K in 7 innings and more air outs than ground outs is not a sustainable way for a pitcher to have success. I have read that Arnold was throwing 97 as a reliever, and now throws 89-91 as a starter. It looks to me like he will be headed for the pen.

Great job as usual with the updates, but I would have had Roberts as the 1st star, Isenberg as the 2nd, and either Justin James or Jason Arnold as the 3rd.
_Jabonoso - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#70602) #
First, let me give a loud applause for the team working on my very favourite section in the wide world of the web. Steve Z does a wonderful job searching for new sources and the editorials by Gideon, Gerry and John N are really good.
Have you tought about something like an eclipse for the ones that had a bad night, like Vermileya (sp?) and League last night?
Is there somebody doing an analysis of the pitching staffing and usage in the farm ? I thing it is the single issue that confounds us most.
Regards and keep the good work!
_Ryan01 - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#70603) #
They obviously wouldn't bump McGowan to keep Reimers on schedule. Looks like a promotion for D-Mac to me. 'scout' did say in yesterdays thread that Jesse Harper was very close to taking his spot in the Fisher Cats rotation. Very unfortunate for those travelling to Erie, but good for McGowan.

Agree with Mike. Arnold's outing was decent but far from outstanding and maybe my mind is just playing tricks on me but I seem to remember Arnold having at least a few very solid outings last year that would top this one as the game of his AAA-career.
Coach - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#70604) #
Saturday would have been Reimers' regular turn, and Sunday McGowan's, so this does suggest that Dustin is Syracuse-bound. Too bad for the Bauxite road trip, but I'm sure we'll have fun anyway, and there's a reasonable chance we'll see him later this summer in AAA. There's been discussion about taking the new ferry across the lake to Rochester for a SkyChiefs game, and there's a very nice ball park in Buffalo, an easy day trip.
_Ryan01 - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#70605) #
Hmm... sticking with a five man rotation McGowan would have always been scheduled to pitch in Monday's game. It's not really commonplace to skip the 5th starter in the minors like it is in the majors except due to injuries, promotions or rainouts.
Gerry - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#70606) #
Chris Baker pitches for Syracuse tonight. Most of the Jays starting pitchers have had up and down performances so far this season. Bush, Arnold, Banks, Isenberg, Ramirez, Rosario, Core have all had at least one start where they struggled. Dustin McGowan is an exception although his control was off in his last start where he walked five.

There are a couple of other exceptions. Tom Mastny has pitched ten innings in two starts and allowed four hits and one walk while striking out nine. But the star so far is Chris Baker. In two starts Baker has not allowed a run in 12 innings. He has given up 3 hits and one walk while recording 14 strikeouts. His starts came against Rochester and Pawtucket. Rochester is a very good hitting team while Pawtucket has struggled. Ottawa, tonight's opponent, is middle of the pack in hitting. Can the superb performances continue? If Chris can keep this going it will make the question of who gets the first call up to Toronto interesting.

If one of the Jays starters gets injured tomorrow who would you call? Bush has had two good starts in a row allowing two runs in 14 innings. Miller was strong last time out and has a 2.16 ERA. Baker has been the best. It is good to have a choice.

New Hampshire have the day off to make the 10 hour trip to Erie. Neomar Flores gets his second start of the year for Dunedin. Shawn Marcum gets his third start for Charleston. Marcum has an ERA of 2.25.
_Steve Z - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#70607) #
Jack Bogaczyk, Charleston Daily-Mail has an excellent piece on the dazzling glovework of Willie Rivera (a poor man's Cezar Izturis?) With the article on Rivera's defense, Bogaczyk provides an angle that our seemingly comprehensive minor league coverage often misses.
_Steve Z - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#70608) #
COMN for the link.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#70609) #
Steve Z, the link led to Jack's e-mail instead of the article.

Subjective reports on minor league defense is about all we have, so all these references are much appreciated.
_Steve Z - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#70610) #
Here it is, finally!
_Jacko - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#70611) #

If one of the Jays starters gets injured tomorrow who would you call? Bush has had two good starts in a row allowing two runs in 14 innings. Miller was strong last time out and has a 2.16 ERA. Baker has been the best. It is good to have a choice.


I think Miller is the better choice. However, if Miller comes up this year, will he have to clear waivers again if the Jays decide to send him back down? If that's the case, then the optionable Baker is a more flexible "taxi-squad" choice.

Does anyone know if Baker has changed his approach this year? Is he throwing harder? Has he added a new pitch?
_Nigel - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#70612) #
I haven't heard reports of Baker changing his approach. I'm probably going to be slightly off on my timeline here but Baker was very successful in AA in 2001. He then lost a year due to arm injury and came back last year with typical mixed success. He was old for his level even before he got injured so he's certainly not your typical prospect. His K's rates have historically been solid but not spectacular. Sample size almost certainly accounts for the high number of K's so far this year but you have to be impressed with his spring and early start. Now that Dave Gassner is gone he's my new "faint hope" prospect that i'm rooting for.
_scout - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#70613) #
The Harper move to New Hampshire is close,but not quite yet. I would not give up on seeing McGowan. Harper threw today in Florida agaisnt others in rehab and first year players. He was given 40 pitches and struck out 8 batters with one hit. They will increase his pitch count next go and hopefully he will be out of Florida real soon.
_JohnnyS99 - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#70614) #
http://fanhome.com
Hey, scout, thanks for the info? How did you get the info on extended spring training? JP is that you?
Mike Green - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#70615) #
Shaun Marcum was unhittable again, as the Alley-Cats triumphed 10-0 tonight. Will he too be re-united with his former Auburn mates in Dunedin soon?
_scout - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#70616) #
No, this isn't JP.(haha) Let's just say for now that I have deep connections. Hope the guys continue to play well and we can see them up in Toronto someday.
_concerned citiz - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#70617) #
Whoever your "deep connections" are, I doubt they want you spreading their rumors on the Internet.
Coach - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#70618) #
Scout, please drop me an e-mail. I appreciate your desire to remain anonymous, but I'm also curious about your connections.
_Robbie Goldberg - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#70619) #
Whoever your "deep connections" are, I doubt they want you spreading their rumors on the Internet.

I agree. The beautiful thing about batter's box is that the vast, vast majority of people who post have extremely intelligent things to say, and don't claim to know things they clearly don't. That's what seperates this site from say, RealGM, where everyone claims to constantly have intimate connections with the league's general managers, where everone seems to know all these so-called "inside sources."
_JohnnyS99 - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#70620) #
http://fanhome.com
hmm.... hes not spreading rumours, Just keeping the interested informed. If the press bugged the hell out of JP regarding minor leaugers , Im sure we would of heard about it one way or another. Were the small few, who know who Jesse Harper is and his fellow minor leaugers.

If you are actually a scout, Come see Mississauga native Brett Lawson play for the Quebec Capitales of the Northern Leauge, trust me! 6-8 throws hard, and still has potential.
_Jacko - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#70621) #

Shaun Marcum was unhittable again, as the Alley-Cats triumphed 10-0 tonight. Will he too be re-united with his former Auburn mates in Dunedin soon?


You understated his effort. Marcum tossed a complete game 4-hitter with 8 K's. His days in the Sally League are numbered...
_R Billie - Thursday, April 22 2004 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#70622) #
Chris Baker took it on the chin a bit tonight against Ottawa. 5 runs (4 earned) in 3 innings on 7 hits including a homerun. Walked 1 and struck out 2 while giving up runs in each frame.

Mike Nakamura picked him up big time though with 4 near perfect innings (2 hits, no walks, 6 punchouts).

Dunedin was shut out 3-0 despite 6 strong innings from Flores where a solo homer accounted for the only run (3 hits, 1 walk, 5 k). Dunedin managed just two hits off the starter and nothing else.
_R Billie - Friday, April 23 2004 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#70623) #
Expanding on Mike's post, Marcum threw a complete game shutout for Charleston. He allowed four singles, 1 walk, and struck out 8. His ERA is down to 1.29. If the keeps that up for a couple of months he can go straight to AA just as Blanton did last year. Ozias and Lee seem replaceable in that rotation and a soon to be promoted McGowan looks like he'll be replaced by a healthier Harper soon.
_scout - Friday, April 23 2004 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#70624) #
Don't know who Robie Goldberg is and don't really care. He has the right to say "highly intelligent" things anytime that he wants. He also has the right to think that I am "spreading rumours" anytime that he wants. If you look back, anything that I have told you is fact and has come true. No secretive information leaking out that is destined to destroy the Jays. Just doing some homework and informing you on what I was told.I guess to make this easy on everyone I will keep my "top level secrets" to myself.I will agree with Robbie on one thing though before I sign off of this site, the majority of people on this site are informed and have great knowledge about the game and the Jays. Then you have a few people on here that ruin it for everybody else. Good luck and have fun.

GO JAYS
_Jeff Geauvreau - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#70625) #
#166831 Posted 04/24/2004 12:06 AM by Jeff Geauvreau aka T-north & Nestorfall:

This would be a shame scout to leave this site.I think I speak for many posters when I say we love to here your tidbits. Don't be putoff by some people's views.

From 4/22/03 minor league thread.

#166325 Posted 04/23/2004 08:00 PM by scout:

Don't know who Robie Goldberg is and don't really care. He has the right to say "highly intelligent" things anytime that he wants. He also has the right to think that I am "spreading rumours" anytime that he wants. If you look back, anything that I have told you is fact and has come true. No secretive information leaking out that is destined to destroy the Jays. Just doing some homework and informing you on what I was told.I guess to make this easy on everyone I will keep my "top level secrets" to myself.I will agree with Robbie on one thing though before I sign off of this site, the majority of people on this site are informed and have great knowledge about the game and the Jays. Then you have a few people on here that ruin it for everybody else. Good luck and have fun.

GO JAYS
Minor-League Update: April 22 | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.