Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Adam Lind is hot, hot, hot.
Josh Banks is not, not, not.
Two rainouts and a rain shortened game, plus bonus coverage!

Syracuse at Scranton - Postponed

Ed Gonser supplies a No Game Story

Altoona 11 New Hampshire 0

Altoona scored early and often against Josh Banks, three in the first and two in the fourth. Once again the longball was Banks' downfall. He allowed a three run home run in the first and two solo shots in the fourth. Other than that his line was OK, he pitched four innings giving up five hits (2 non home run hits), one walk and had four K's. A parade of relievers followed including infielder Brad Hassey who allowed one run in his inning pitched.

Meanwhile the Fisher Cats had only three hits. John Ford Griffin had a lead off triple in the second but was thrown out trying to stretch it into an inside the park home run. NH hitters had 15 K's on the night, Altoona starter Ian Snell struck out 11 in 5 innings.

Game Story

Dunedin 3 Lakeland 1

Neomar Flores started, looking to find his form again. After retiring the first five hitters in a row, Flores gave up a big fly to put Dunedin down 1-0. But in the top of the third the Blue Jays took advantage of an error. Jose Yepez who had reached on the error scored on a single by Carlo Cota. Ryan Roberts went deep in the fourth to give Dunedin the lead and Carlo Cota added a solo shot in the sixth for insurance.

Flores was strong, only allowing three hits and no walks, through seven innings. Andy Torres and Bubbie Buzachero finished up.

Dunedin only had five hits. Ron Davenport and Carlo Cota had two hits each. Vito Chiaravolotti has been out of the lineup for a few days now, although he has not gone on the DL.

Columbus at Charleston - postponed

Batavia 5 Auburn 11 - 6 innings

The Doubledays only led 6-5 in the middle of the third, but two runs in the fourth and three in the sixth returned the world to normalcy. Chris Leonard started and got the win despite allowing five runs, two earned in five innings. Eight hits and two walks left Leonard dodging trouble all night.

Adam Lind had a pretty good game. He drove in a run in the first with a single, drove in three more with a double in the third, was hit by a pitch in the fourth, and hit a home run in the sixth. His 3-3 night increased his batting average to .337.

Ryan Klosterman and Eric Nielsen had two hits each, Vinny Esposito hit a home run.

Kingsport 1 Pulaski 5
Kingsport 3 Pulaski 10

Chi Hung Cheng was somewhat wild, and somewhat unhittable, and as a result was done after 3.2 innings. In those 3.2 innings eight of the eleven outs were by strikeout, but he also walked four. He allowed an unearned run in the first on an error and a double, his only hit allowed. Eddie Cannon came on in relief and dodged trouble through 2.1 innings by allowing four hits.

Meanwhile Pulaski scored a couple in the first on three hits and an error. Pulaski added two more in the third and one in the fifth. Mike Macaluso, Charles Anderson, Joshua Lex and David Hicks had two hits each.

In the nightcap Pulaski's bats were in full force, every starter except Junior Churio had a hit. Pulaski scored four in the second highlighted by Joshua Lex's two run home run. Lex also doubled to drive in a run in the third. Yuber Rodriguez, Nick Thomas and John Ashford also had two hits. Pulaski used four pitchers, the last being James Pidutti who was awarded the win for pitching the sixth and seventh. James finished by striking out the last two hitters he faced.

Our Three-Star Selection

The 3rd Star: Joshua Lex, two hits in each end of the DH, with a home run
The 2nd Star: Neomar Flores, seven innings, one run
The 1st Star: Adam Lind, 3-3, five RBI's and a home run

Honourable Mention: Carlo Cota two hits and a home run

Bonus Coverage

I travelled to Binghamton and Auburn a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to talk with a number of the Blue Jays minor league coaches. Here are some comments that are not quite enough to be their own thread.

When talking with Dane Johnson and Dennis Holmberg we discussed looking after teams of young men. I was asking how much of their time was taken up with off-field issues and I was surprised to hear it was very little. The Jays start in spring training, or with new player orientation, with their professional philosophy. "Be professional, be on time, show up ready to play, do your homework, pay attention to the games, acting and treating people responsibly on and off the field." They want to have good ballplayers who are also good people.

There is a saying I heard on several occasions from Blue Jay personnel "This chance comes around once in a lifetime, you don't want to screw it up". Auburn players also have some rules to follow. "These players have a curfew at home and on the road. If they need help before curfew call me, if something happens after curfew I'm not going to help you. It doesn't just start on the field, it starts off the field". Dennis had a similar theme when I asked him about his lengthy service time with the Blue Jays and if there was anyone who surprised him by how well they had done. "No, but there are more guys who have all the ability in the world who don't make it".

I asked Dane Johnson about a couple of mid-season promotions that did not happen. Tom Mastny is still in Charleston, the Jays want him to throw his change-up a little bit more and work on his command of the change-up. Dane was not very specific when I asked him about Bubbie Buzachero, he said that they feel he needs a full year at Dunedin and the Jays are happy with him where he is at now.

"Shaun Marcum best pitch is his command" per Dane Johnson. Most young pitchers have good stuff but don't always know where it is going. Marcum does, now he needs to make sure his stuff is as good as it can be. "He is aggressive, goes after hitters, commands all three pitches, he does have a good slider, his change-up is outstanding, and he commands his fastball to both sides of the plate".

The Blue Jays have said that Curtis Thigpen is similar to their previous top hitters drafted, Russ Adams and Aaron Hill, they expect him to move quickly through the system. Thigpen's initial reviews suggest he might be like them in other ways too. Holmberg's initial review of Thigpen sees a strong bat but a catcher that needs some work. "His defence needs some work, but in the AL these days catchers need to hit, and he can do that."

James Keller, the Auburn pitching coach, gave me a couple of scouting reports:

Eric Rico: Locates fastball, good command, works fast, fields his position well, throws fastball at 86/87 mph, keeps it down in the zone with good tailing action.

Chris Leonard: mixes his pitches, works with great tempo, good change-up, has a couple of breaking balls, fastball 83-84 up to 86 mph

Fastest fastball in Auburn: Kristian Bell - 94/95mph; followed by Dewon Day at 93/94 mph.
Minor League Update: August 13 | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#42574) #
Thanks, Gerry, for the bonus coverage. Marcum sounds great. A pitcher with good command of the fastball, a good slider and an outstanding changeup really has very little to work on. You don't have to throw 95 to be successful.

As befits their draft placement, Thigpen and Lind have quietly taken a step forward to be the best of a tremendous Auburn batting order. By all accounts, both are fine pure hitters with medium range pop and good control of the strike zone.
Craig B - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#42575) #
Great "No Game Story" from our friend Ed.

I know that the budget is apparently very tight, but I really, really hope that J.P. can do right by a career minor leaguer and bring Anton French up to Toronto, even for a week, in September. He's never played in the bigs and he's paid his dues; plus he brings a skill set that the team lacks.
Thomas - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#42576) #
Craig, what does it cost to bring a guy up in September? Presumably 1/6th of $300,000, so $50,000?
_Marc - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#42577) #
I didn't realize Leonard was that much of a soft tosser... Is that a result of needing to build arm strength up or did he throw that soft in college too? If his fastball remains like that it doesn't sound like he's rotation bound in the majors...
Craig B - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#42578) #
Thomas, that's right, $50,000 plus benefits I suppose, if you were bringing him up for all of September. $12,500 a week.

Of course, the Jays are also squeezed pretty badly on the 40-man right now. Maybe bringing French up isn't practical at all now that I think of it.
Thomas - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#42579) #
Thanks for the bonus coverage Gerry. Great work.

Did you get the impression that the curfew was something that the players found onerous? I guess based on the "very little" comment that most players respect the curfew and don't give the coaches a lot of grief. What sort of punishments would be dealt out to those who broke the rules? Being benched for a game?
_Marc - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#42580) #
Of course, the Jays are also squeezed pretty badly on the 40-man right now. Maybe bringing French up isn't practical at all now that I think of it.

I agree. I doubt will see many, if any, players called up in September that aren't already on the 40 man roster unless the Jays decide to can Estalella, Nakamura, Lopez, Clark or Douglass.
Craig B - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#42581) #
Let's shut down those italics.
Gerry - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#42582) #
Baseball America has just run an excellent series on life in the major leagues. It is pretty representative of what I found.

The curfew is not a big deal, these players spend 10 hours a day at the park so they are tired at the end of the day. The big problem, as the story shows, is getting food at midnight in some of these towns.
Gerry - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#42583) #
The Auburn game story has now been posted, COMN. Adam Lind's home run was hit so hard the right fielder never moved. Batavia had a skeleton pitching staff last night so they were probably happy with the shortened game.
Mike Green - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#42584) #
I like the image of Lind's home run ball disappearing over the trees beyond the right-field wall. Maybe medium range pop was the early morning line on Lind's power.
_Anthony - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#42585) #
Dunedin's game for tonight is already cancelled. I hope that the really bad weather steers clear of them.
Gerry - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#42586) #
Josh Banks at Dunedin: 60 IP; 4 HR's
Josh Banks at New Hampshire: 70 IP; 14 HR's

His overall H/IP ratio is OK at AA, 70 hits in 70 IP. His problem is (still) the ball that is up and over the plate.
_Chris H - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#42587) #
Great stuff Gerry - esppecially the commentary/scouting reports on some of the players...

BA has just come out with its ranking of 3B prospects. Raul Tablado falls under Others to Consider. COMN (need subscription).

_Ryan01 - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#42588) #
Dunedin looks to be right in Charley's path. Hopefully everyone in Florida finds safe shelter. It may be a little while before baseball starts up again in that area.
_R Billie - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#42589) #
I think Josh's struggles may be in part because they are limiting him in using his splitter which is a major out pitch for him but the fatigue side of things should also be considered. This is his first full professional season and I'm not sure if he's ever pitched this many innings in any year before. Flat breaking balls and fastballs up are usually indicative of a tired arm. I guess to his credit he's not giving up that many hits or walks so that's a good thing. I hope these numbers aren't indicative of a lack of life on his fastball; the impression I got from his scouting reports and performance last year was that his heater had some jump to it.

Lind is among the leaders of many NYP offensive categories. His walks are a bit low so he doesn't appear on the OBP list. Chip Cannon leads the league in slugging % and extra base hits.
Mike Green - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#42590) #
As Ryan01 suggested, the FSL games tonight and tomorrow have been cancelled and Sunday was a scheduled day off. Dunedin is scheduled to resume against Tampa on Monday, all going well.
_Marc - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#42591) #
I agree that Banks' problems are likely related to fatigue... Remember it is his first full season in the minors.
_Tassle - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#42592) #
What about the D-Rays? I heard it was passing through Tampa. Are they moving their home games?
_Anthony - Friday, August 13 2004 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#42593) #
Not the best reason for a break in action for the FSL, but it will give the players a much needed rest. Especially those who are in their first full season.
Minor League Update: August 13 | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.