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It was a dark and stormy night. Most of the Blue Jays minor league teams had weather issues as they managed a 2-2 split with 3 rainouts and 1 rain shortened game.

Pawtucket 3, Syracuse 5

The Skychiefs were able to stay dry as Josue Matos pitched a solid 7 innings while recording 9 strikeouts and allowing only 1 run. Jason Kershner went 2 innings for the save but gave up a pair of runs in the ninth.

The top of the order did most of the damage for the Syracuse offense as Russ Adams, Julius Matos and Gabe Gross each went 2 for 5 including a 2 run shot from Gross. Simon Pond was batting down in the 7th spot but came up with 3 singles in 4 appearances.

Box score
Game story

New Hampshire 6, New Britain 1 - 5 innings

The newest member of the Blue Jays family, John Hattig made his debut, though rather unsuccessfully as he flied out, struck out twice and was the only Fisher Cat without a hit in this rain shortened affair. With the damp weather, the F-Cats coaches no doubt had an eye on Josh Banks who saw his draft stock fall last year due to blister problems in college. Banks battled on though, and earned the win pitching all 5 innings with only 4 hits, 1 run and no walks or strikeouts.

Dominic Rich doubled twice while driving in 3 runs and scoring twice. Ty Godwin also doubled twice in the leadoff spot while Aaron Hill singled, doubled and drove in 3.

The Binghamton Mets lost their game which means that the Fisher Cats are now tied for the Northern Division lead!

Box score
Game story

Vero Beach 11, Dunedin 1

Ugly night in Dunedin as Neomar Flores was trounced for 5 runs in 2 innings. Robert Nunley and Andy Torres were both also hit hard. Tommi Ozuna held down the fort for 3.2 innings and Tracy Thorpe pitched a solid 1.2 innings.

Ron Davenport singled, doubled and scored the only D-Jay run. Miguel Negron left the game after only 1 at-bat.

Box score

Lakewood 7, Charleston 1

“The Nasty” was on early in the game again last night. Tom Mastny cruised through the first 3 innings but a hard slide broke up a potential inning ending double play in the 4th. The ensuing 2 out rally resulted in 4 runs against Mastny in an otherwise solid outing. His final line was 6 innings, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk and 6 K’s.

The seemingly stalled Charleston offense was at least able to manage 7 hits this time but could only muster a single run.

Box score
Game story

Three-Star Selection!

The 3rd Star Gabe Gross: 2-5, 2 run HR.
The 2nd Star Josue Matos: 7 innings, 1 run, 9 K’s.
The 1st Star Dominic Rich: 2 doubles, 3 RBI, 2 runs scored.
Minor League Update: July 28 | 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 - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#20227) #
Like Douglass, Matos has been pitching better lately. If he gives the Chiefs 4 or 5 more good starts, he'll earn a September call-up, I think.
_Kevin Pataky - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#20228) #
You should have seen the collision between Mike Snyder of the Fisher Cats and Rob Bowen of the Rock Cats last night. It was like a freight train hitting a bus! I was on top of the 3rd base dugout in the first row, so I had the perfect angle. Snyder appeared to be safe despite the fact that the throw arrived at the same time. His foot was on the plate when he crushed into Bowen. Bowen went down hard backwards, his head bounced a few times on the hard clay, but he held onto the ball and Snyder was called out. Bowen got up, and although he looked like someone hit by a train - ie covered in mud, mask askew - he finished the inning and then was replaced in the lineup.
_R Billie - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#20229) #
Russ Adams breaks .280 and Aaron Hill is up to .275 after a funk that saw him dip to .260. These guys are close though Hill might need one more year.
_MatO - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#20230) #
Kevin, any insights on Chacin? This is Chacin's July line:

ERA 1.20 IP 30.0 H 20 R 5 ER 4 BB 7 K 29

Has he turned some sort of corner or is it just a good run?
_JohnnyS99 - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#20231) #
Aaron doesnt have the power numbers to play 3rd, and Hudson is at 2nd base. Where does Hill play? Hill will be in the minors at least 1 more year, and after that it will be interesting.
_Kevin Pataky - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#20232) #
I know Gus real well. He pitched last year out of New Haven's bullpen, and did an OK job. Although he is a quiet guy, he is a fierce competitor. Faced this off season with a difficult decision to continue to be a lefty out of the pen and possibly obtain a promotion to Triple-A or began a 5th straight campaign in Double-A as a starter, Gus chose the latter.

I met up with Gus in Spring Training and he told me of this choice he needed to make. He chose, without hesitation, the latter and was very excited about the opportunity. His dream is to pitch in the bigs, and he has worked very hard to get to this point this season.

Throw out his one aweful start June 5th up in Portland when his control just eluded him and he walked 6 batters and gave up 10 ER on only 7 hits in 2.1 innings, and his line is an eye-popping 11-1 w/ an ERA of 2.88.

Gus has really developed his cut fastball and has been mixing his pitches well this season - changing speeds. Part of his success can be attributed to the fact that (for the most part) he's been throwing to a catcher he's very comfortable with in Jose Umbria. Notice Paul Chiaffredo's offday is typically when Gus starts.
_Ryan01 - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#20233) #
Hill's power is just fine for a 22 year old in AA only a year removed from the draft (in what is supposedly a terrible hitters park no less). A lot can happen in a year. When the time comes, the Jays will find a use for Hill, I have no doubt.
_MatO - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#20234) #
Thanks Kevin.
_Kevin Pataky - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#20235) #
I like Hill's aggressiveness on the field, and his ability to make the difficult plays look routine - I have seen him make some truly acrobatic plays this year. But his 20 or so errors concern me. These have mostly come on his throws - which at times are rushed and offline - trying to make incredible plays when maybe they should just be eaten. His walk to K ratio is good, and he seems to be very instinctual on the base paths. Reminds me of Jeter that way. Only 22 XBHs though vs. 75 singles this year. Hopefully that will improve.
_Ryan01 - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#20236) #
Thanks Kevin, your insight is appreciated. Sounds like Hill may have more of a future at short than some would like to admit. The errors are a concern for the F-Cats playoff run but maybe less so for Hill's future home when you consider guys like Alex Gonzalez, Derek Jeter and Miguel Tejada who all had 45+ error seasons in the minors.
_Finn McCool - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#20237) #
It's way to early to make any prodictions on what kind of hitter Hill is going to be, though it speak well of him that he's playing as well as he is less than a year out of college.
_MatO - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#20238) #
Kevin. The F-Cats seem to have had a lot of trouble hitting at home this year. Hill as an example is hitting over .300 on the road. Can you confirm that there is a problem with the hitting background at home?
_Finn McCool - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#20239) #
Ok so it's more than a year, but I think Hill has shown in his brief time in the jays organization that the power is there and with time, coaching and experience you'll see more of it.
Gerry - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#20240) #
Throwing errors correct themselves with time and experience. Poor range is tougher to compensate for.

When I spoke with Dane Johnson last week he stated that this year Chacin is pitching TO contact whereas last year he was pitching away from contact. Perhaps the cutter helps in this regard, but he is being more aggresive.
_Kevin Pataky - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#20241) #
Most definitely. The rotating advertising signs in center are way too close to the batter's eye and although they only rotate between innings, the ads are mostly white and a huge distraction. Aside from that, playing at Gil is like playing in Oakland's Coliseum. Way too much foul territory. Check out my pictures of the place at:
_MatO - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#20242) #
Wow. Great pictures. You could park a 747 in foul territory :) That sure explains a lot.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#20243) #
Amen. Those are great pictures.

It's really not a bad home run park, but you'd expect that all that foul territory and the relatively small hitter's backdrop would not be great for batting averages.
_Rob - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#20244) #
Is there a site that has home/road minor league splits? I wonder if the strikeout rate is higher at home for the F-Cats than it is on the road.
_Rob - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#20245) #
And I liked the pics of the press box -- built in 1913 or what? :)
_Chris H - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#20246) #
Jays claimed Jesus Sanchez off of waivers from Cincy and have sent him to Syracuse. Article also suggests Jason Arnold will be back soon. COMN.

Apologies if this is old news.
_JohnnyS99 - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#20247) #
"Hill's power is just fine for a 22 year old in AA only a year removed from the draft (in what is supposedly a terrible hitters park no less). A lot can happen in a year. When the time comes, the Jays will find a use for Hill, I have no doubt."

Hills power looks like it doesnt warrant a promotion, he is not putting up any numbers to get noticed but more walks then k's. It doesnt matter if hes a 22 year old in AA, hes there cause hes supposed to handle it and be ready,,so age is not much of an excuse. He basically is just holding his own, but not wowing anybody.
_Jacko - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#20248) #

Jays claimed Jesus Sanchez off of waivers from Cincy and have sent him to Syracuse. Article also suggests Jason Arnold will be back soon. COMN.

Apologies if this is old news.

These are both news to me. Thanks for the update!

I wonder if they've spotted a mechanical flaw and think Sanchez can be fixed? He hasn't really been any good since his rookie season in 1998.

I think you might be reading into things a bit too much with Arnold. The article is just speculating that he may rejoin Syracuse. It doesn't actually say anything about him being close to returning.
Gerry - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#20249) #
COMN for an Auburn newspaper story on Purcey and Jackson. Look for them to pitch in about three weeks as we were discussing yesterday.
_Ryan01 - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#20250) #
Craig mentioned in the roundup thread that Sanchez reportedly cleared waivers, refused assignment and became a free agent. It's likely an error in the article and that they just signed Sanchez as a free agent. It's a pretty sensible destination for him considering the lack of lefties the Jays have. He and AAA pitching coach Brad Arnsberg spent a little time together in spring training in 2002 with the Marlins as well.

It doesnt matter if hes a 22 year old in AA, hes there cause hes supposed to handle it and be ready,,so age is not much of an excuse.

Sorry but players don't reach physical maturity at 22. The power will come in due time. Until then, he's doing everything and more than could be reasonably expected of him. Take a look at what Gabe Gross did in the exact same situation as a 22 year old in AA fresh out of college. If he continues to develop at his current pace he'll have more than enough bat to play either of the three infield spots.

Who said anything about promoting him anyways? Hill is still at least a year, probably closer to two years away from the majors. Projecting major league rosters a year or two down the road is a completely pointless exercise. Fun, maybe, but pointless nonetheless because things can and will change. Like I said, if and when Hill is ready, they'll find a good use for him.
_greenfrog - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#20251) #
I like Hill, and think he's doing a great job so far. He's come on strong over the last couple of months, and his BB/K ratio is excellent. Remember, he's moving quickly through the system and has had to make adjustments at each new stop. Yes, I would like to see more power, but as the cliche goes, power is often the last tool to develop. And he is 22. If he can finish the season around .280 or .290, with some modest power and more BB than K's, I don't see how we can complain.

For what it's worth, Gammons has described him as an "unquestioned major-league prospect".
_Finn McCool - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#20252) #
Here's Hill's stats for July . He's hitting .342 with 2 Home runs and 17 RBI's
_R Billie - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#20253) #
No wonder Hill hits better on the road. That foul territory is like having an extra left field and an extra right field to work with. I feel a lot better about Hill's numbers now. If he's closer to his road self in terms of actual hitting ability then he's doing excellent for his first full season and a big jump to AA after playing mostly in short season after being drafted. If he takes the same step forward that Gabe Gross did in his second full year then watch out.

I'm not worried about throwing errors at all. I would be a lot more concerned if they were errors from lack of hands or lack of tools, be it range or arm. That would indicate he probably HAS to move. Throwing is correctable with work and experience. He'll learn when to eat the ball and maybe improve his footwork when the play calls for a quick release.
_Sneeps - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#20254) #
Welcome to Tha Box Kevin. It's great to have a person that can share direct insight on our minor league teams.
_greenfrog - Wednesday, July 28 2004 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#20255) #
Included in the "In the Team Photo" section of Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet this week:

Thomas Mastny, rhp, Low Class A Charleston (Blue Jays)
_R Billie - Thursday, July 29 2004 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#20256) #
First star calibre performance for Ismael Ramirez today. 10 strikes and no walks or runs in shutting down Vero Beach.
Craig B - Thursday, July 29 2004 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#20257) #
Nice call, R Billie! I did give Ramirez the first star, over Vermilyea's performance for New Hampshire.
Minor League Update: July 28 | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.