Minor League Update: August 13

Friday, August 13 2004 @ 09:34 AM EDT

Contributed by: Gerry

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.