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The Florida State League is one of the toughest circuits for hitters in the minor-league chain. So it makes complete sense that Toronto’s FSL affiliate scored a dozen runs last night while their colleagues elsewhere in the system struggled to plate 4 in 3 games, right? Read on to find out why everything’s dandy in Dunedin.

Scranton 3-5 Syracuse 0-1

The power outage in Syracuse is getting troublesome. Glenn Williams’ solo home run (his 7th of the campaign) in the final inning of yesterday’s doubleheader loss to Scranton-Wilkes-Barre was the Skychiefs’ first in 21 innings. It’s a little mystifying how a team with the kind of talent Syracuse has on hand can be struggling so badly, but then, the same could be (and is being) said about the parent club as well. Russ Adams, Jorge Sequea, Alex Rios and Gabe Gross went a combined 2-for-24 in the twinbill. In fairness, these were two seven-inning games, and Scranton’s Brian Powell and David Coggin pitched very well. But the way Syracuse has been swinging the lumber lately, nine-inning affairs could well have simply extended the malaise. It’s basically a team-wide hitting slump, and like all such slumps, it will end sooner or later – there’s too much talent here for this to continue.

The pitchers weren’t all that bad for Syracuse, but they weren’t all that great either. Chris Baker had a decent game, throwing a complete six-inning game and allowing 3 runs on 5 hits; he walked no one and struck out 4. But he was done in largely on the strength of home runs by Chase Utley and Michel Hernandez. In the nightcap, waiver-wire acquisition Sean Douglass is continuing his reversion to a starting role, pitching 4 2/3 decent innings, allowing 2 runs but giving up 9 baserunners (7 hits, 2 walks) along the way. On the bright side, he struck out 6 batters as well. Vinny Chulk was tagged for 3 runs in his single frame of work, kicking his ERA up to 5.40.

Akron 4 New Hampshire 3

When you’re losing a lot, it seems that you’re often losing ugly. The Fisher Cats, in a mini-tailspin of their own lately, dropped another morning contest in far-off Akron before hitting the road for the 11-hour bus trip back to New Hampshire (think about that haul the next time you’re stuck in traffic for 15 minutes). Yesterday’s game got off to an inauspicious start for the Cats, when starter Gustavo Chacin walked in a run with the bases loaded – an unearned run, thanks to the first of shortstop Aaron Hill’s two errors on the day. That foreshadowed the 7th inning when, with the game knotted at three, reliever Dan Jackson unleashed (who says they all have to be uncorked?) a wild pitch, also with the bases loaded, that scored what turned out to be the winning run.

Chacin pitched decently enough, giving up 3 runs (though only 1 earned) in 5 innings on 4 hits (including a home run) and 2 walks, whiffing just 3. Jackson took the loss, surrendering the go-ahead marker at the end of his 2-inning, 2-hit, 2-walk, 2-strikeout stint. No Fisher Cat batter had more than one hit, and the team’s 7 safeties were all singles. Kevin Gray points out that the fledgling Fisher Cats, after a rousing start to their franchise, are hitting their first real rough patch of the year, as many batters labour to reach .200. We knew going into the season that New Hampshire’s offence was its weak spot; with leading prospects like Hill, John-Ford Griffin and Tyrell Godwin all struggling, the rest of the lineup can’t generate any heat. The Jays’ AA franchise needs to break out of a rut too.

Dunedin 12 Jupiter 5

If you ever need a smile when reviewing the minor-league results, just wait for Josh Banks’ name to show up. The young right-hander must be rapidly moving up the organization’s depth chart with his remarkable start in Dunedin, following his latest gem, 5 shutout innings of 4-hit ball, striking out 7 batters and walking nobody. Banks’ April totals: 5 GS, 22 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 27 K. Remember Banks’ first start of the season, where he appeared to some people to have struggled? Neither do I. Banks seems to be on a fairly tight pitch count, since he’s averaging less than 5 innings a start, but that’s just smart managing of a prized commodity: I expect to see his IP totals hit the 6- and 7-frame range before long. The bullpen was tagged for 5 runs in the remaining 4 innings of the contest, but the D-Jays had a 7-0 lead by the time Banks departed and scored a 5-spot in the 8th, so a lot of these runs were in garbage-time. Santo Valdez had his first rough outing of the season, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits in an inning; Chad Pleiness and Bubbie Buzachero also got knocked around a little in mop-up duty.

Offensively, Dunedin scored more than enough runs to satisfy offence-starved prospect-watchers, as the D-Jays broke out of a small slump of their own. Centerfielder Jason Waugh, recently returned from injury layoff, led the hit parade with 3 singles, a stolen base, a run scored and 2 RBIs. Compact leadoff man extraordinaire Jayce Tingler doubled, singled, walked and scored twice (driving in 2 as well), punching his OBP up to .457 and leaving him with an amazing 16/3 BB/K rate in 72 at-bats. Vito Chiaravalotti was one of 5 D-Jays who had 2 hits in the game. The juggernaut Charleston Alley-Cats had the day off.

Our Three-Star Selection

It should come as no surprise that all three of our stars come from the Sunshine State today.

The Third Star: Jason Waugh, CF, Dunedin, who had 3 hits to pace the D-Jays offence.
The Second Star: Jayce Tingler, LF, Dunedin, who reached base 3 times, scored twice and drove in 2 runs.
The First Star: Josh Banks, RHP, Dunedin, who is fast becoming one of the organization’s brightest prospects (5 IP, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K).
Minor-League Update: April 29 | 15 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#66465) #
Fine summary, Jordan. Tingler's early success in a tough environment after jumping from Rookie ball to High A is the most pleasant surprise of April. It'd be a real upset if he dislodged Gross or Rios as the leftfielder of 2007, but youneverknow.
Gerry - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#66466) #
“Ninety percent of all throwing errors are made because of poor footwork, guys not getting in the proper position with their feet,” Basso said. “Aaron can play shortstop with the best of them, but that’s something he’s working on.”

When I was in Erie I noticed that Hill likes to throw off his back foot. I am sure the Jays are trying to cure him of that habit.

Josh Banks, zero runs, 5 innings, 7k's. This guy is obviously on a pitch count, has he even pitched past the 6th inning yet?

I have been tracking the appearances for starting pitchers who are prospects. COMN for a start by start compasison for Banks. Scroll down to the bottom.
_Ryan01 - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#66467) #
This is Banks' first time in a full season league so it makes sense to start him (and Isenberg, Mastny, etc) slowly. IIRC, even Marcum's complete game only took him 88 pitches.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#66468) #
As Gerry's page on him indicates, Banks is 21 and still has a young man's frame. Kudos to the organization for not overworking him. It looks like his ETA is the start of 2006 with Dunedin/Manchester on the program for 2004 and Manchester/Syracuse for 2005. I expect that they'll try to lengthen him out a bit in 2005.
_coliver - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#66469) #
Seven home runs for Glenn Williams? Good for him!!!
_Steve Z - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#66470) #
Chris Kline's latest BA Daily Dish focuses on British Columbian lefty Jeff Francis, definitely a name to watch in Athens.
_Steve Z - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#66471) #
Three of tonight's four contests have audio feeds available (including Bush's start, 7:00, in Scranton-WB, as well as Mastny's start, 6:35, in Delmarva).

Here's a Daily-Mail story previewing the Alley Cats upcoming series.
_Jordan - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#66472) #
I just realized an error in my Dunedin report. Jason Waugh has not recently returned from injury layoff; he has 43 AB for the D-Jays already, after being being moved there from New Hampshire where he started the season. In my mind's eye, I was thinking of Rodney Medina, who's still on the DL. Mea culpa.
_Sneeps - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#66473) #
Thanks Steve V, I'm gonna catch the Alley Cats game online tonight. This will be my first time hearing anything in detail about most of their players.

Go Snavely Go.
_Steve Z - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#66474) #
Blair Morse, Delmarva Daily Times, has an article on Alley Cat star Ryan Roberts. It's also the first time I've seen a good explanation for Ryan's switch to second base:

Roberts is also thriving at the plate while spending his first season at second base after the organization suggested a move from third.

The Blue Jays felt that Roberts, because of his medium-strength power, would be better suited for success and on a quicker track to the big leagues at second base. While his power is slight for third, it's above average for second base.

"It's been good, it's worked well for me," Roberts said. "They told me it would be better and at second I have more time to react to the ball."

As I post this, Roberts takes a 6-pitch walk in the first inning.
_JohnnyS99 - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#66475) #
David Bush 7 ip 11k zero walks, Zero runs. COMN
_Sneeps - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#66476) #
Rosario only pitched 2 innings tonight. Wonder what happened there?
Mike Green - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#66477) #
Actually David Bush did give up one run, but still it was a noteworthy performance. Aquilino Lopez gave up a run in the ninth, but still receipted for the save.
_JohnnyS99 - Thursday, April 29 2004 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#66478) #
Oops, According to an article in the St. Petersberg times, Jays Draft and follow Aric Van Gaalen signed with Florida Atlantic , anybody here about this COMN7 But he is still on the St Petersburg College roster?

BASEBALL: Tampa Catholic third baseman/right-handed pitcher Charles Cleveland, who hit .366 last year and was 4-4 with a 3.23 ERA, signed a national letter of intent with Florida State. Middleton High outfielder Mark Gildea, who hit .367 as a junior, also signed. ... Aric Van Gaalen, a left-handed transfer from St. Petersburg College, signed with Florida Atlantic.
_Chris H - Friday, April 30 2004 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#66479) #
Says over at that it has been confirmed that McGowan's last start in New Hampshire is this Sunday...
Minor-League Update: April 29 | 15 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.