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Two blown leads in the upper minors, two shutouts in the lower minors, and two home runs by Guillermo Quiroz.

Pawtucket 8, Syracuse 7


In the first game of a three-game set, Syracuse and Pawtucket combined for nine home runs and exchanged the lead three times, most notably on Pawtucket's two-run rally against Vinny Chulk in the bottom of the ninth. None of the SkyChiefs' four pitchers distinguished himself on this evening. Starting pitcher Sean Douglass allowed only a single run but got yanked in the third inning, most likely because of his pitch count. Douglass faced thirteen batters, only four of whom put the ball in play (three for outs, one for a double). Four batters struck out, two walked, two were hit by pitches, and one hit a solo homer. Josue Matos pitched marvelously in relief (4.1 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 5 K) if you ignore the, um, three home runs (all solo shots) that he allowed. Dave Maurer got one man out in the eighth but gave up a two-run homer to Earl Snyder and walked his next batter before being pulled for Chulk, who loaded the bases with two away before getting Carlos Febles to fly out to Alex Rios in right field to preserve a 7-6 lead. In the ninth, however, Chulk allowed three quick singles, tying the game and putting runners on first and third. Snyder's fly ball to Rios brought in the winning run for the PawSox.

Every SkyChief had at least one hit. Russ Adams went 2 for 5 with a double; Rios went 1 for 4 with a walk. Glenn Williams hit his sixth home run of the year, Noah Hall hit his first, and Guillermo Quiroz hit his first and second. Williams' batting line (52 AB, 13 H, 1 3B, 6 HR, 0 BB, 15 K, .250/.250/.635) has a strange beauty to it. Quiroz threw out two runners but allowed a passed ball. His recent hot streak at the plate has given him a very solid batting line of 41 AB, 12 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 BB, 8 K, .293/.388/.512, easily the best on the team.

Erie 7, New Hampshire 4


Fielding errors (and their sidekick, unearned runs) have fallen into disrepute as measurements of defensive performance, with some reason. However, when a team makes four errors in a game, leading to five unearned runs, you know that things aren't working very well. The Fisher Cats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but Erie knotted the game in the fourth on an error by Aaron Hill, a single, a walk, a one-out RBI grounder, and a balk by Todd Ozias. Jordan DeJong came in to pitch the fifth and gave up another pair of runs on a leadoff double, an error by Mike Snyder (allowing the next batter to reach first base), a walk, a groundout (advancing the runners), and a throwing error by Dominic Rich. New Hampshire scored another run in the top of the sixth to pull within one, but Dan Jackson gave up three more runs in the bottom of the inning (one unearned) to put the game out of reach.

Ozias struck out five in four innings while giving up three hits and three walks. DeJong fanned two in a five-out inning, allowing a double and a walk. Jackson was shaky (1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR), and Ryan Houston was strong (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Rich had a walk and two hits (including a triple), and Maikel Jova singled twice. Danny Solano went 1 for 3 with a walk. Hill singled once in four trips; he's sitting on a .214/.333/.238 batting line. Rich is up to .367/.426/.551.

Dunedin 1, Clearwater 0


A two-hitter for Dunedin, featuring excellent pitching by Josh Banks (6 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K), Andy Torres (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K), and Bubbie Buzachero (1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K). Banks only allowed four balls to be hit out of the infield. Clearwater starter Elizardo Ramirez matched zeros with Banks and Torres for seven innings, thanks in part to Scott Dragicevich's unsuccessful attempt to score from first on John Schneider's one-out double in the seventh. Mike Schmidt sent Ramirez back out for the eighth and the D-Jays finally broke the scoreless tie. Manny Mayorson led off with a single, moved to second on Jayce Tingler's walk, and scored on Jason Waugh's single. That was it for Ramirez (and, as it happened, for Clearwater.)

Tingler reached base three times in four plate appearances (double, walk, and HBP.) Dragicevich and Vito Chiaravalloti each had a single and a walk. No other D-Jay reached base twice.

Charleston 4, Greensboro 0


It's fun to report on Tom Mastny's games. In the first inning last night, he fanned three batters and gave up a double. In the second, he fanned two more and gave up a single to Joe Mazzuca (who was eventually gunned down by Robinson Diaz on a steal attempt.) In the third, three more strikeouts plus a walk and a single. In the fourth, a single, a lineout, another strikeout, a walk, and a groundout. Mastny was pulled after four innings, probably because he's on a pitch count and it takes at least three pitches to strike out a hitter. Tallying it all up, Mastny faced seventeen batters; nine of them struck out, two walked, and six put the ball in play. Joaquin Canizal and Davis Romero put up identical 2 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K lines in relief of Mastny, and Mark Sopko closed out with an uneventful inning of work. Charleston scored in the first inning (the only run they would need) on back-to-back two-out singles by Diaz and Clint Johnston, followed by a passed ball. In the fifth, Christian Snavely walked, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Eric Arnold's single to right. Johnston would later double Arnold home. The AlleyCats' fourth run came in the eighth when Johnston singled, moved to second on Joey Reiman's infield hit, and scored on two passed balls. It was a rough day for the Greensboro battery: three passed balls, two wild pitches, a hit batsman, and a stolen base allowed.

Ryan Roberts continued his hot hitting for the AlleyCats with a single and a walk. Johnston hit two singles and a double, and Reiman singled twice. As Steve Z pointed out in yesterday's thread, Charleston hasn't allowed a run in 23 innings. (It helps when you're facing the Greensboro "Bats," who are hitting .218/.271.335 through fifteen games.)

Today's Games

Syracuse (David Bush) at Pawtucket (BOS), 1:05 PM
New Hampshire (Derek Lee) at Erie (DET), 6:35 PM
Dunedin (Vince Perkins) at Lakeland (DET), 7:00 PM
Charleston (Davis Romero/Ramon Mora) vs. Asheville (COL), 6:05 PM

Links Of The Day
1. Mike Scandura's Syracuse game story in the Post-Standard
2. Mike Whiteford's Charleston game story in the Charleston Gazette

Three-Star Selection!

Today's choices were pretty easy, although the order, as always, is debatable.

Our Third Star: Josh Banks, Dunedin. One hit allowed in six shutout innings. Banks pitched well enough to earn the first star; he's thrown fifteen consecutive shutout innings in his last three starts.
Our Second Star: Guillermo Quiroz, Syracuse. The SkyChiefs' hitting other hitting prospects (Adams, Gross, Rios) are off to slow starts, but GQ's two-homer game last night puts him right back on his 2003 pace.
Our First Star: Tom Mastny, Charleston. Nine K's in four innings of shutout ball. Mastny and Shaun Marcum are making a good case for an early promotion to Dunedin, perhaps to fill Josh Banks' shoes if he moves up to New Hampshire.
Minor League Update: April 24 | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Sneeps - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#70381) #
One correction, Perkins is starting in place of Rosario tonight for Dunedin.

Hopefully Rosario won't be missing any more starts, but at least it gives Perkins a chance to impress, and maybe get himself back into the rotation. So far, relieving has not been kind to him. Blessing in disguise??
_John Neary - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#70382) #
Thanks, Sneeps. I've made that correction. I'm happy that Perkins is getting the start tonight.

Dominic Rich's hitting streak is now 12 games.
_EddieZosky - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#70383) #
In less than a month of AAA ABs, GQ is really putting the pressure on - but is it inevitable that he won't move up from Syracuse this season save for a late September reward?

It will be interesting to see how Cash vs Quiroz plays out next spring. Cash's future as a Jay seems uncertain - is he our future starter, is he our second catcher and defensive specialist, or will we trade him?
_EddieZosky - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#70384) #
Sorry, I should qualify "putting the pressure on" as, proving that AA wasn't a fluke.
_R Billie - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#70385) #
It may take Hill a while to adjust to AA but I think he'll do it. He's pretty much jumped there straight from short season ball as he only spent 32 games in Dunedin last year (where he managed a sub .700 ops though in a tough hitter's league). I don't think he'll make AAA this year though. Hopefully he won't have to repeat AA as Gross did but it's possible that he will if he doesn't get untracked in the next couple of months. There isn't much wrong with his walk rate (8 in 42 ab) or his K/BB (10/8) though his K rate is about twice as high as it was between Auburn/Dunedin. He's definately being challenged right now.
_Dean - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#70386) #
In their Ask Ba column, which does not require a subscription, Baseball America uses the Jays 2003 draft strategy as one that may be used by numerous teams this year. The draft is pitching heavy so college position players such as Szymanski may be taken earlier as teams will be able to find quality pitching with their next picks. They specifically mentioned Hill followed by Banks as the example.
_ainge_fan - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#70387) #
R. Billie - this is the second time in three years that #1 pick/college hitter started his first full year in AA and struggled out of the chute, the second of course being Gabe Gross. Gross still hit AAA - and handled it pretty well - in year 3, with year 4 looking like his probable ML ETA. Will the same thing happen with Hill? They've got similar profiles as hitters, so it seems plenty possible.
The debate seems to be whether its better to really challenge the player off the bat (i.e., AA to start year 2) or ease him in and provide conditions more conducive to success, such as starting off year 2 in high A, and splitting the year there and at AA (more like Russ Adams). Adams seems to be having a better transition to AAA to start year 3 than either Gross or Hill did by starting year 2 in AA. That being said, it still seems like Adams will arrive in his year 4, too. In these limited cases, it looks so far like the result (in terms of preparedness for the major leagues) would end up being the same, so the debate can continue. Not to mention, you don't potentially waste a year of controlling service time...which matters in this organization. Success helps teach, but so does failure, I guess. In the end its highly variable (developing players) but sometimes different roads get to the same destination. I thought by going through this I might convince myself of something - one way or the other, but so far I haven't.
It seems to me that if college guys (mostly hitters) can handle 2 levels per year, they're progressing very well - and high A is by and large the right place to start year 2 with pretty good prospects (Roberts and Mastny are examples of this this year, while Snavely is not yet).
_ainge_fan - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#70388) #
Mike G. I understand and generally agree with your points about the self-preservation instint (back in the other April 21st thread), but we're looking at "fractions of seconds" differences here, so I'd look forward to more information on hit batter trends in Charleston. By the way, I'm hoping the "MGD" (Mike Green early start Disclaimer) moniker sticks for a few reasons: 1) that was a clever observation and theory on your part, 2) there seem to be enough folks around here who like their beer that the reference should stick, and 3) I was feeling pretty clever myself about it. BTW, wasn't someone working on a sortable Jays minor league database? I'm afraid I can't remember who, but this is a great initiative and would be the easiest way to check it out...whoever's working on it, it's a great idea.
Regarding the other thread, thanks to all who responded with updates on the whereabouts of many pitchers. I am looking forward to seeing many of these guys in action again, and with how some of the pitchers are going, it shouldn't be long. I wonder too, if Jermy Acey will be the 2B for Charleston when Ryan Roberts is inevitably promoted to Dunedin.
With regards to yesterdays discussion about Ryan Roberts' time at 2B, the only other variable I don't remember being touched on was the one the Charleston manager discussed in the preseason. More guys getting experience at more positions and increasing their versatility, not only helps this organization's rosters, but makes them more marketable assets in trades to other organizations. I don't think 'Perry for Griffin' will be the last prospect for prospect trade we'll see. I for one would love to see more of them.
_Sneeps - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#70389) #
I'm worried about Gabe Gross. He's not hitting for any power this year (1 double) and he's striking out at an alarming rate. He's walked 2 times against 17 strikeouts. Not good.
_Steve Z - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#70390) #
BTW, wasn't someone working on a sortable Jays minor league database? I'm afraid I can't remember who, but this is a great initiative and would be the easiest way to check it out...whoever's working on it, it's a great idea.

That'll be me! Unfortunately, the project is lagging a little. Hopefully, the comprehensive database will be fully functional by summertime (when I'll be able to dedicate even more time to these minor league endeavors). Apologies to those who were anticipating the database's arrival sooner!
_Steve Z - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#70391) #
Here are a couple additional links:

- a Daily Mail story on the Alley Cats' franchise-best start
- a Union-Leader story on Fisher Cat outfielder Justin Singleton
_Steve Z - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#70392) #
David Bush (5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, BK) didn't have his best stuff today, and the PawSox beat the Chiefs again, 4-2.
_Sneeps - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#70393) #
Wow. I'm listening to the Fisher Cats broadcast right now, and they just mentioned that 2 of the founders of this site are going to be on air w/ them at some point during the broadcats.

I'm looking forward to hearing from them. Way to go guys!!
_A - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#70394) #
COMN for Fisher Cats' radio.
_Steve Z - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#70395) #
Charleston won their 9th in a row, 10-4, though their pitchers' scoreless streak ended at 24!
_Sneeps - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#70396) #
Ryan Roberts hit his 3rd & 4th dingers tonight!

I think they should bump him up to Dunedin. They could really use his bat in Dunedin where they are having a huge power outage.
_Mark - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#70397) #
Any idea who the jays called up to replace towers and lopez?
Craig B - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#70398) #
Justin Miller will replace Towers in the rotation and Mike Nakamura will take the place of Lopez in the pen.

They could really use his bat in Dunedin where they are having a huge power outage.

Welcome to the Florida State League, the toughest hitter's league in creation.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 24 2004 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#70399) #
In addition to his 2 homers, Roberts had 2 walks. He's hitting .434, and is head and shoulders above the league. Charleston itself has a pitcher's park, but Roberts is learning a new position so he may be awhile there.

In other good news, Juan Peralta has started to hit, and led off for Charleston and had 2 hits.
Minor League Update: April 24 | 19 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.