Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
In a reverse of yesterday's report, the Jay's affiliates won 4 out of 5 games.

Buffalo 9, Syracuse 10

It was a wild one in Syracuse last night as Brandon League made his first start of the year. Letís just say it wasnít pretty. His fastball wasnít fooling anyone as the Bisons pounded out 8 hits including 2 home runs for 6 earned runs in 4 innings. The Skychiefs trailed 6-0 when League left the game but they would battle back scoring 9 runs in their next three innings. The comeback was powered by the longball as home runs from Chad Mottola, Eric Crozier, John-Ford Griffin and Anton French scored 6 of the 9 runs.

Going into the 9th inning the Skychiefs led 9-7 but Justin Miller, in his 5th inning of relief and immediately following a heated bench-clearing exchange, yielded a 2 run homer to tie it up at 9 apiece. After Miller walked the next batter, Adrian Burnside came into the game and teamed up with Andy Dominique for a quick strike-em-out, throw-em-out combo to end the inning. Time for some bottom of the 9th heroics. Axe-wielding Aaron Hill played our protagonist, pulling a solo shot into left field for the walk-off homerun.

Box score
Game story

Harrisburg 3, New Hampshire 7

This game was rather ho-hum in comparison to the Fisher Catsí AAA brethren, as Shaun Marcum cruised through 7+ innings with only 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and 8 strikeouts on his record.

The offense broke out a little as the F-Cats had 14 hits. Ron Acuna, Carlo Cota and Big Vito led the way with 3 apiece. Jordan De Jong came on in the 8th inning with 2 on and none out but allowed only one of the inherited Marcum runners to score. On the negative side, Raul Tablado continued his slump going 0 for 4 with 3 Kís while Ismael Ramirez was placed on the DL, which may explain his rocky start.

Box score
Game story

Lakeland 4, Dunedin 5

Iíll skip straight to the end. The Blue Jays scored the go-ahead run after Lakeland pitcher Andy Baldwin intentionally walked Jayce Tingler to get to the right-handed Ryan Roberts. Iím not done yet. Then Ryan Roberts was taken out for the right-handed, spectacular-gloveman-but-career-.579-OPS Manny Mayorson. No, seriously. But hey, Mayorson rarely strikes out and he didnít dissapoint as he hit a sac-fly to score Scott Dragicevich from third.

Michael McDonald made the start for Dunedin going 5 and 2/3 while Brad Mumma and Brian Reed combined for 3 1/3 scoreless inning. Adam Lind and David Smith paced the offense reaching base 4 times each.

Box score

Cedar Rapids 2, Lansing 13 - Game 1

Cedar Rapids 4, Lansing 1 - Game 2

Lansing started out with a bang in this doubleheader, but finished with a whimper. A 7-run first inning boosted the Lugnuts to an easy win in the first game. Chi-hung Cheng pitched solidly giving up 4 hits, 2 runs with 4 walks and 7 strikeouts but fell one out short of qualifying for the win. The General, Cory Patton, broke out with a double and a homer and Chip Cannon notched his 5th long ball of the year.

The Nuts ran into a wall named Rafael Rodriguez in the second game as they could only muster a single run. Juan Perez struggled in his start once again, pitching 5 innings but yielding 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.

Box score 1
Box Score 2
Game Story

Three-Star Selection!

The 3rd Star John-Ford Griffin: 5 RBIís and a long ball
The 2nd Star Shaun Marcum: 7 solid innings
The 1st Star Aaron Hill: Walk-off homerun.

Chiefs Dig The Long Ball | 17 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
kpataky - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#113859) #
New Hampshire's morning game at 11 am today has been rained out. It will be made up as part of a double header on 8/8. Ismael Ramirez was supposed to start, but was a late scratch. He was put on the DL w/ a hand injury and Josue Matos was to pitch instead.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#113860) #
I did not know Aaron Hill played acoustic blues. It just gives me one more good reason to catch his debut later this season.

Syracuse (Glynn) hosts Buffalo this morning; the game is scheduled for 11 a.m. New Hampshire's game was rained out. Dunedin (Isenberg) hosts Fort Myers at 7 p.m, while Lansing has the day off.
kpataky - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#113861) #
Syracuse's stream for the game is dead. Buffalo's stream connects, but there hasn't been a sound coming through for over 5 minutes. Anyone else have any luck getting this game to come in?
kpataky - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#113862) #
SportsJuice Tech Support has indicated to me that the Chiefs game is in a rain delay - they will provide the feed once the delay is over.
papa - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#113866) #
in my perfect world (part deux), the Jays would move Marcum along with Banks to AAA, and have a starting staff of Gaudin (22 years old), League (22), Banks (22), Marcum (23) and Rosario (24). What GM wouldn't have a woody over that.

In Oakland, the pitching seems to come from the minors in waves, the most successful being the Hudson, Mulder, Zito troika. The new surge of course is headed by Harden and Blanton, with the hope of Myers to follow. It is my impression that this trend started with Van Poppel, Peters and a third whose name I've forgotten. Those three were pretty much busts, but I remember all the "young gun" press that they were getting at the time.

Does anyone have any other examples? (Or remembers the name of that third guy?)
Sister - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#113869) #
As per discussions a couple of days ago regarding Jackson, here is John Sickles' take (from his website):

"Zach Jackson, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (32nd overall, Texas A&M)
Four games, 4 starts, 19.1 innings for Dunedin in the FSL. 15/2 K/BB ratio, but has allowed 26 hits and 17 runs for a 7.45 ERA. K/IP and K/BB are just fine, but he's given up too many hits, resulting in a high ERA. If he keeps his command in gear, he should get better in the other departments. A step behind teammate David Purcey, but there's no reason to panic about Jackson yet."

His take on Purcey is:

"David Purcey, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (16th overall, University of Oklahoma)
Four games, 4 starts, 20 innings for the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Florida State League. 19/12 K/BB ratio, 15 hits allowed, 4 runs, 1.80 ERA. Showing good stuff, with impressive K/IP mark. His walk rate is a bit higher than I'd like, but it hasn't hurt him yet. He should not have major problems with the Class A level, and a few tweaks with his control should get him promoted in the second half."
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#113874) #
I checked the game logs for Zach Jack's 4 games. When he gets hit hard (and it has happened in each of the games), they're disproportionately balls in the air to left. In 3 of the 4 games, he was hit hard early. Lind in left has generally seen a lot more work than Tingler in center when ZJ is pitching.

Notwithstanding his excellent K/BB and good K/IP rates, it looks to me like he needs to learn his craft a fair bit, and in particular working within the strike zone to use the park to your advantage.

In fairness, Davis Romero has had similar issues so far, below average H/IP with excellent K/IP and K/BB, albeit at a lower level. Jackson's hit rate and ERA have probably been affected by the Dunedin defence. It is, however, only 4 starts.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#113875) #
I was at the Lansing double header last night. I was very impressed with Cheng. It was the first opportunity that I have had to see him. He is a very crafty left handed pitcher, although he is slightly built. His pitch count was his enemy, and kept him from getting the win. I guess that is what you get when you strike out seven. It kinda drives the pitch count up.

Chip Cannon is starting to heat it up. Two three run homers in two days. He just missed two other ones in the first game. They were foul by just a few feet. He was sitting dead red in the first inning. The Cedar Rapids pitcher had to come in with a fastball down the pipe as he was really struggling. He hit two of the first three hitters of the game, and when your fastball tops out at 85....Well you're gonna get hurt. There aren't many pitchers I look at and say "I could hit him", but that kid from Cedar Rapids was one of them. He had a below average fastball and a nice mid 70's curveball that kind of hung over the plate.

Patton's home run was just plain crushed. If you have ever been to Lansing, and are familiar with the birm in RF and the picnic area on top of the birm, well he hit it in the picnic area. It was a 390 to 400 foot poke.

The bad however has been Mark Sopko. When I saw him two weeks ago, he pitched 4.2 innings of outstanding relief, but since then he has really struggled. He is struggling throwing strikes and when he does, he is just getting ripped. I think Joyce is losing faith in him as well as I noticed he had Hill warming up as soon as he brought Sopko in in the 6th.
Jay - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#113876) #
Perhaps the most famous recent three-headed beast was the Mets "Generation K" several years ago with Isringhausen, Pulsipher, and Paul Wilson.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#113877) #
Thanks, Lugnut Fan. Cheng is very young, and it is great news that he looks good out there. His numbers (27 strikeouts, 7 walks and 2 homers in 20.2 innings) are excellent. The Jays have been very careful in monitoring the workload of their under-22 pitchers, and I see that they are continuing this practice with Cheng. I wonder if there will be a late season promotion for him, as there was last year from Pulaski to Auburn.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#113878) #
The Syracuse game today was also postponed due to rain.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#113882) #
It was only my first opportunity to see Cheng but I will say there are a few players in Lansing that would warrant a late season if not a mid season call up before him. I think that Janssen is one that definitlely has to move on. I love watching the kid pitch, but he is not going to get any better pitching at this level. He is probably the smartest pitcher I have seen in this level as far as changing speeds and utilizing location and what not. He needs to be moved up. Wideman is one that I think could get moved up as well, but a full year in Lansing probably wouldn't be a bad thing either. Cheng.....Same as Wideman. I think he has the talent for Dunedin, but a full year in Lansing I think would be good for him. The only guy that I have been disappointed in is Sopko. The kid is really struggling and I hold my breath when they bring him in.

Position players that I think may get a promotion before things are all said and done are Thigpen and Cannon. I worry about Thigpen though. He is pretty small to be a catcher and he is for sure going to have to pack some pounds on before he starts his MLB career. Cannon is really coming into his own in power. If he makes more consistent contact, I think he is looking at a promotion as well.
Sister - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#113886) #
Lugnut Fan. Thanks for your insights. How has Jays edition of the Lugnuts been received in Lansing so far? I know the Cubs put a quality team in Lansing for a number of years so I am wondering how the Jays on-field product compares thus far. Perhaps its too early to ask such a question.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#113892) #
Thanks Sister....I have seen six Lugnut games so far this year and my observations are this. Defensively, this is the best team I have seen Lansing field in the seven years I have followed them. They are also the most mature team I have seen. Pitching wise, they are on par with the Cubs I would say. Janssen is probably the smartest pitcher I have seen in Lansing as far as knowing how to get the most out of what he has. He isn't the best I have seen talent wise though. The only real knock I have on this team is a lack of speed. They are for sure the slowest team I have seen in Lansing.

As far as comparing them to the Cubs system, it is hard to do. The Jays focus mainly on the college players and that is what I attribute the maturity and the defensive prowess too. The Cubs would focus on high school players and Dominical players with pure raw talent. With that, there was growing pains and alot of errors....ALOT OF ERRORS...They would outslug teams, they always had quality pitching and they were fast. I read a thread about the grass being long on the infield in an earlier post. Part of the reason for that is the cubs players would beat the ball into the ground and beat the throw to first. For instance, Felix Pie who is the #2 ranked prospect in the Cubs system really had never played organized baseball until he was discovered. He was quite a deal as he was signed for $2800 and a pair of shoes (he was barefoot when he tried out). He is now tearing up the Southern League (AA) and I think will be a late season call up for the Cubs. He is a success story. A bust would be a Luis Montanez who was the Cubs first round draft pick in '01 I believe....He played in Lansing in '02 and has really never advanced. He is still in the MWL this season playing in Peoria and has been converted to the outfield from SS. Big chances bring big rewards or big flops.

As far as how the fans are receiving the Jays version of the Lugnuts. It really isn't any different than how they received past teams. We are now out of the 5:00 and 6:00 start times and the crowds will start to get significantly larger. Lansing markets the team very well and people in Lansing come to the ball game more for the attraction than the ball games on some nights. On Thursdays, it is Thirsty Thursday so the beer is cheap. You get 4,000 to 5,000 people on a Thursday night to drink $2.00 beers. Friday and Saturdays are fireworks nights. They will draw 10,000 people on a Friday and Saturday night because of the fireworks. I get kind of perturbed because alot of the crowd that comes to these attractions could care less about the game and if you asked them the score, they couldn't tell you and if you asked them who the Lugnuts were affiliated with, they couldn't tell you. But it is a buisness and if it draws people and makes money, who am I to say it is wrong.

At the beginning of the season, there was still alot of Cub stuff being worn in the stands. That seems to have faded though......
Sneeps - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#113897) #
its great to have people that are knowledgable about the game so close to our minor league teams. lugnutfan, you and kevin pataky are doing a great job covering the teams and keeping us informed. its almost like having our own personal correspondants.

if either of you guys have the time, i'd be interested in hearing some more in-depth analysis on individual players.
Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#113965) #

Thanks for the compliment. I go alot so I get a chance to see these guys perform. I really enjoy baseball at the minor league level because you generally don't have the hustle and hassle of the big city. It is nice to see a clubs fans take such an active interest in all aspects of the team, to keep an eye on the future.

I can let you know about my personal observations of most of the guys on the Lugnuts. Some of them I haven't seen enough of yet to formally notice anything or from an opinion of yet, but I would be happy to talk about it. I've also had a chance to talk with a few of the guys and they are all pretty solid kids. Pretty level headed and what not.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#113995) #
Dunedin lose 10-1, Isenberg was gone early. Adam Lind had an oh-fer!
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