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The Charleston Alley-Cats were rained out early, so only three of the Jays’ farm teams took the field last night. Dunedin scored a huge victory, but New Hampshire and Syracuse lost close games.

Charlotte 5 Syracuse 4

Box score

Game summary

It was a classic Josh Towers start last night; he walked nobody and struck out 7 batters in 6 innings, scattering 8 hits. But 4 of those hits were solo home runs, all in the 6th, the first three back-to-back-to-back jacks leading off the inning. That one frame undermined what was otherwise a great effort. Towers has always suffered from the long ball; it’s a by-product of his remarkable control, since he’s always right around the plate. David Bush has to work to ensure he doesn’t end up with the same Achilles heel. But last night, through 5 innings, Towers was dominant.

On offence, the Skychiefs can still compete without Alex Rios, posting a strong performance against White Sox prospect Felix Diaz. Veteran outfielder Marvin Benard continued his audition for a return to the big leagues with a double and 2 singles, scoring twice. Gabe Gross cracked a two-run homer in 4 plate trips, while Russ Adams continued his surge with a single and a double, pushing his average to a season-high .279. Noah Hall also had 2 hits and a walk. And as a final note, a familiar face came in to close the game for Charlotte and gain his 8th save: Gary Majewski, former Blue Jays Rule 5 pick and D&D poster boy. Majewski is 1-1, 2.70 with those 8 saves and an excellent line of 24 IP, 13 H, 9 BB, 25 K. Toronto may never again see such great Rule 5 picks as they had in 2003 with Majewski, Aquilino Lopez and Jason Dubois.

Bonus feature: Blue Jays mine Skychiefs roster

Portland 6 New Hampshire 3

Box score

New Hampshire Union-Leader game story

Derek Lee deserved better; after 6 solid innings, in which he scattered 6 hits and allowed just 1 earned run (2 walks, but only 1 strikeout), Lee left the game trailing 2-1. The only Fisher Cat run to that point had come courtesy of a Justin Singleton home run leading off the 5th. But in the bottom of the 7th, Singleton struck again, cranking a two-run homer (his 7th of the campaign) to give the Fisher Cats a one-run lead. Jordan DeJong was in position for the win after a scoreless 7th, but setup man Dan Jackson imploded, allowing 4 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning on 2 hits and 2 walks, though an Aaron Hill error at shortstop certainly didn’t help.

The Fisher Cats, baffled all night by Red Sox knuckleball prospect Charlie Zink and other Sea Dog relievers, couldn’t recover. Singleton provided all the offence for New Hampshire; Ty Godwin, Jose Umbria and Matt Logan were the only other Fisher Cats to muster even one base hit.

Last night’s match was the first of 20 games this season between instant rivals Portland and New Hampshire, who have geographic proximity (New England franchises), divided loyalties (many Red Sox rooters locally), and appropriate nicknames (Cats and Dogs) to fuel what should become a heated and much-valued rivalry. Go Cats!

Dunedin 9 Lakeland 1

Box score

Game log

Now, that’s more like it. A picture-perfect game for the D-Jays, for whom virtually everything was clicking. Top prospect Josh Banks was dominant again, allowing just 1 run in 7 innings on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 7. I still think Banks should be given most of the summer in Dunedin, but at this rate, there’ll be very little reason to hold him back from Double-A. He’s the real deal. Jamie Vermilyea, who’s been both starting and relieving lately, came in for 2 perfect innings, with no strikeouts.

Offensively … where to begin? Carlo Cota’s 2-run double and Big Vito’s 3-run homer in the 3rd gave Banks all the offence he’d need. Vito added a single later in the game, while Cota had another double. In fact, the top three hitters in the order (Jayce Tingler, Cota and the recently returned Miguel Negron) all had 2 doubles; Tingler and Negron each added a walk for good measure. Only centerfielder Rodney Medina took the collar, going 0-for-4 and dropping his average to .222.

Your Three-Star Selection:

The Third Star: Marvin Benard, OF, Syracuse: 3 hits and 2 runs scored in a losing cause for the veteran.

The Second Star: Justin Singleton, OF, New Hampshire: 2 homers and 3 RBIs supplied all the offence for the Fisher Cats.

The First Star:Josh Banks, SP, Dunedin: Another outstanding start (7 4 1 1 0 7), another step closer to a promotion.

Minor-League Update: May 29 | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#61189) #
Today's games: Syracuse (Josue Matos) at Durham at 7 p.m. Portland at New Hampshire (Cam Reimers) at 1:05. Dunedin (Neomar Flores) at Lakeland (Kyle Sleeth) at 7. Charleston (TBA-Core?)at Lake County at 7 p.m. I'm on a tight schedule for the next 3 weeks and won't be on BBRadio for that period. All games except Dunedin's are available.

For newcomers, the Syracuse and New Hampshire broadcasts are most easily accessed through their websites ( and Charleston and Dunedin broadcasts are sometimes available through their opponent's broadcasts; go to for the details.

One more note on the Syracuse game last night. Syracuse's announcer felt that 4 of the 5 homers last night were cheap (only Jeremy Reed's wasn't), because of the short dimensions in Charlotte's ballpark (Knight's Castle). It's apparently 325 feet to right and left field in the Knight's Castle (under Ballpark Facts and Figures in the link).
_Thorn - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#61190) #
Need a confirmation about this. Banks is on his way to AA today according to some folks out of Florida. If this is true then I would say that he deserved it. Who falls out of the rotation up there? Also, Harper throws tomorrow midday game agaisnt Tampa Yankees, how much longer will he be there? Tablado has also returned to the lineup in Dunedin and should be ready to go to AA soon.
_Sneeps - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#61191) #
Banks should go to New Hampshire. I don't think there is much more he needs to prove in A ball.
Tablado I don't know about. He's only played what 10 games above Low A now? He's showed terrrible discipline at the plate so for in the minors, so I can't see JP being aggressive with him.
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#61192) #
I think Banks deserves a premotion no question. Just curious, who said Banks has been promoted "some folks" is a little vague?
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#61193) #
How about prove he can pitch past the 7th inning?
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#61194) #
"Tablado I don't know about. He's only played what 10 games above Low A now? He's showed terrrible discipline at the plate so for in the minors, so I can't see JP being aggressive with him."

I think he played about a quarter of 2003, with Dunedin last year.
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#61195) #
I'm not to worried if Banks hasn't gone past the 7th. I think the jays are keeping him on a strict pitch count.
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#61196) #
Well, it builds up his confidence and compusure, if he can finnish some games, if hes not ready and is on a pitch count, he should not be promoted.
_John Neary - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#61197) #

I believe he's on a pitch count because the Jays don't want him to go Rosario/McGowan on them. He'll likely stay on the pitch count whether he's promoted or not, so I'm not sure what relevance the pitch count has to the question of promoting him.

Just my $0.02.

_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#61198) #
If hes not used to going past the 6th inning, he hasnt felt late inning pressure situations. He also needs to build up arm strengh. (isnt this his second year starting, as he was a reliever in College?)
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#61199) #
I don't think it's a question of Banks not being ready but rather the jays paranoia about having yet another prospect injured, so they are limating Banks his innings and pitches intill he gets to the higher levels in the minors. The jays are not alone in this paranoia, Kansas City also put strick limates on Zack Greinke. For example they did not want Greinke to pitch more than 140 innings this year. When it appeared that he was going to easily pass this limate they accually sat him out and he missed 2 straight starts to ensure he would not pass 140 innings. Of course now Greinke is in the majors and all the restrictions are off. Time will tell I guess if this is or was the right thing to do.
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#61200) #
Unless Banks, has a "pre-existing injury" or has had problems that we have not been informed about.
Gerry - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#61201) #
NH starters are Reimers, Lee, Ozias, Rosario and Chacin. Promotion could be due to injury, or else someone gets bumped. Not sure who they would bump, all have pitched well. Lee and Ozias are older career minor league guys, they would be first to be bumped.
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#61202) #
Ozias deserves to stick, he has been pretty impressive.
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#61203) #
Re: If hes not used to going past the 6th inning, he hasnt felt late inning pressure situations. He also needs to build up arm strengh. (isnt this his second year starting, as he was a reliever in College?)

You may be right johnnys99, but what's happening with Banks is not unusual all teams use this same philosophy with just about all thier young prospects and infact Banks is accually tied for 4th in innings pitched at 60 so he's not exactly being babied. Banks will be test more vigoriously by the jays I sure once he reaches New Hampshire
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#61204) #
Syarcuse has been short handed ever in Jason Arnold injured his shoulder. They bumped Josue Matos into the starting rotation and he's been so so. They may want a more proven starter and both Cam Reimers and Gustavo Chacin both deserve, to be promoted.
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#61205) #
Banks has pitched 60 innings, cause, he has never got rocked and bumped out early.
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#61206) #
Re: Banks has pitched 60 innings, cause, he has never got rocked and bumped out early

That's becuse he's too good for this league
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#61207) #
Russ Adams is on fire. He got a lead of single in the first inning and now has a 13 game hitting streak where he's hitting close to .400
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#61208) #
lead off single.
_JohnnyS99 - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#61209) #
Give him 3 more starts. No need to rush him. As long as he plays half the year in AA.
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#61210) #
agreed Banks will be in new hampshire this year, probably just after the draft.
_Sneeps - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#61211) #
It's one of those nights for our minor league squads.
New Hampshire lost 5-1, only 1 runner made it past 2nd base.
Syracuse is down 7-0 after 6 to B.J. Upton and the Durham Bulls.
Dunedin is losing 4-1 after 6.
Charleston is down 6-1 after 5 innings to Lake County.

So not much to cheer about from the minors today, looks like an 0 for.
_goatboy - Saturday, May 29 2004 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#61212) #
Sneeps I think your right, all in all a forgettable night. Also syarcuse needs to put Josue Matos back in the pen, he really has been ineffective as a starter
_redjba24 - Sunday, May 30 2004 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#61213) #
Banks is on his way to NH right now! Take it from me. I'm a good source, but I will leave my identity hidden just to give you baseball junkies a little rise!!! He has always been a starter, since high school. He is ready for double A and has the experience in later innings to do well. He has always worked incredibly hard and is ready to go to the next level where he can face some tougher batters.
_Sneeps - Sunday, May 30 2004 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#61214) #
That's good news. I for one believe he's ready. Also I want to get some of our top end prospects closer to the bigs, and taking on more of a challenge. I believe it's better for development sometimes to get hit a little harder, and learn to pitch around hitters and fool them more.
_Jordan - Sunday, May 30 2004 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#61215) #
Here's the thing to keep in mind about Josh Banks: his innings-pitched totals over the last three years.

Year Age Locale IP
2001 21 FIU 36
2002 22 FIU 34
2003 23 FIU/NYPL 167

That's 101 innings at Florida International and 66 innings at Auburn. Banks is an efficient pitcher, and so his total pitch counts aren't terribly high. But if the Blue Jays are proceeding carefully with his workload, they have excellent reason. He'll be along in good time.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 30 2004 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#61216) #
Jordan, Josh's date of birth is August 18, 1982, so the ages shown in your table need to be adjusted. He is even younger than shown, and this reinforces your point.
_goatboy - Sunday, May 30 2004 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#61217) #
Re: He has always been a starter

You better get your facts right redjba24 Banks has not always been a starter. He was a reliever at Florida Internation intill his final year and only in his final year did he move into the starting rotation
_goatboy - Sunday, May 30 2004 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#61218) #
Re: I'm a good source

By the way, what makes you a good source??
_redjba24 - Monday, May 31 2004 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#61219) #
I'm his older sister.
Minor-League Update: May 29 | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.