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So the Skychiefs are visiting David Newhan's favourite city this weekend, and while I don't expect to see Guillermo Quiroz and John-Ford Griffin touring the Florentine Renaissance exhibit at the Natinal Gallery, I also don't expect to attend any of the games in person. Last night's match showed that was probably a good decision on my part.

Ottawa 6 Syracuse 0

Sorry, but thereís nothing to talk about here from a prospect point of view Ė Chris Baker got knocked around, the Chiefs managed only 7 singles. The only noteworthy aspect is that Gabe Gross went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and a double play. I watched some of the game on Rogers Cable here in Ottawa (Iím not attending any of the weekendís games against the Skychiefs -- too busy with real life -- and last night was cool and rainy anyway). I think I must be bad luck for Gabe, because whenever I watch him Ė in person or on TV, minors or majors -- he performs terribly. Iím quite certain Gross will get a September 1 callup, and Iím equally confident that he will be dealt this off-season Ė the Jays need power in left field next year, and whatever his other virtues, Gross hasnít yet recaptured his spring-training home run stroke.

Box score

Portland 7 New Hampshire 4

He got beaten up last night pretty good, but coming into the game, Vince Perkins was showing signs of turning it around at Double-A. Sporting a line of 108 IP, 100 H, 43 BB and 94 K, Perkins had a 6-6 record and a 3.75 ERA (just 8 HRs allowed, too). Perkins has had a strong second half, last night notwithstanding, and will be on any list of the Jaysí more promising pitching prospects. Watch him if he debuts in 2006 at Triple-A, especially if they make him a reliever.

Prospect Watch:

- Vince Perkins: 5 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 3 K: 4.14
- Tracy Thorpe:2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K: 3.45
- Ron Davenport : 3/5, HR, K: .269
- Miguel Negron : 2/5, 2B, RBI: .257
- Rob Cosby: 2/4, K: .322

Box score

Dunedin 8 Tampa 1

Another below-the-radar starter in the Jays system pitched a masterpiece last night. Kyle Yates threw a complete game five-hitter, walking 2 and striking out 11 Yankees. Yates started the season at Lansing and despite a 4.43 ERA, actually put up some dynamite numbers: 81 IP, 82 H, 19 BB, 81 K. Coming into last nightís game as a D-Jay, Yates had posted an almost identical line, but for the strikeouts: 56 IP, 57 H, 14 BB, 44 K. Last nightís 11-whiff performance will get him back on the 1/1 K/IP track and secure Yatesí leading spot on the undercard of Jaysí pitching prospects.

Prospect Watch:

- Kyle Yates: 9 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 11 K: 3.38
- David Smith: 3/5, 2B, BB, 2 RBI: .289
- Vito Chiaravalotti : 2/5, 2 2B, 2 R, K: .192
- Adam Lind : 1/5, 2B, BB, 2 RBI: .324 (thatís his 38th double. Wow.)

Box score

Wisconsin 12 Lansing 9

Chi-Hung Cheng has had a few rough starts lately, including a manhandling in Wisconsin last night. Eleven baserunners, including 2 dingers, in fewer than 5 innings, is the kind of trouble you canít pitch yourself out of. For all heís struggled lately, Chengís line this morning is still an attractive 131 IP, 105 H, 69 BB, 140 K, 8 HR. Beware that 3.28 ERA, though: heís allowed 59 runs, only 48 of them earned. He just turned 20 a couple of months ago, so Cheng still has velocity and experience to add. He should become a pretty valuable property down the line.

Prospect Watch:

- Chi-Hung Cheng: 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 HR: 3.28
- Jason Armstrong: 3/6, 2B, RBI, K: .290
- Ryan Klosterman : 2/5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI: .235
- Charlie Anderson: 2/5, 2B, R, RBI, K: .252

Box score

Auburn 5 Aberdeen 3

He took the collar in 4 plate trips last night, but there are few more exciting hitting prospects in the Blue Jays system than Ryan Patterson. After posting a cool .369/.448/.718 line earlier this year in his last season at LSU, the powerful (5í11Ē, 205 lb) Patterson has been tearing up the NY-Penn League and displaying strong leadership skills. He entered last nightís game at .333/.381/.557. Between college and the pros, heís smacked 30 home runs in about 470 at-bats in 2005. Along with Adam Lind and Chip Cannon, heís probably one of the Jaysí three best hitters in the minors, and he wonít take long to move up.

Prospect Watch:

- Robert Ray: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K: 2.83
- Sean Shoffitt: 2/3, 2B, 2 BB, R, K: .248
- Cory Patton: 2/4, BB, RBI, K: .298.
- Joey Metropoulos: 2/4, 2B, 2 K: .298

Box score

Pulaski 9 Bluefield 2

Itís hard to pinpoint true prospects at Pulaski, but keep an eye on shortstop Jesus Gonzalez, who homered and doubled last night. His numbers are pretty dismal right now -- .233/.291/.391 -- but heís shown a modicum of plate discipline and pretty decent power for a shortstop. You might recall him as the Blue Jaysí Dominican Summer League recipient of the organizationís Howard Webster Awards in 2004 after he hit .338 with 7 HRs and 44 RBIs last season. Heís struggling with the average this year, but heís someone to put on the long-range radar.

Prospect Watch:

- Francisco Mateo: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 8 K: 4.91
- Jacob Butler: 2/5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, K: .280
- Paul Franko: 2/5, 2B, RBI, K: .322

Box score

Your Three-Star Selection:

3. Jesus Gonzalez, Pulaski: Home run and double.

2. John Schneider, Dunedin: Four singles, 2 runs scored and an RBI.

1. Kyle Yates, Dunedin: Complete-game 5-hitter with 11 strikeouts.

Roughed Up On The Rideau | 10 comments | Create New Account
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Lugnut Fan - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#126168) #
Chi-Hung Cheng has a few things to work on in order to be a top prospect in the organization. 1) A lot of the teams in this league have said that Cheng has the best stuff in the league. I interviewed the South Bend manager a few weeks ago after watching them play Southwest Michigan and he told me so. The problem is that he can't command it. He has a tailing fastball that he will either start inside and it will tail over the middle of the plate and get hammered, or he will start it over the middle of the plate and it will break out of the zone. The other thing that he is going to have to adjust to is 2) Crowd size. I've talked to him through his interpreter two or three times this season and he always says that he is having a hard time pitching in front of crowds. He still gets really nervous as of two or three weeks ago and I would have hoped that would have subsided by now. Lansing will typically get 3000 or 4000 people to a game during the week and 9,000 to 10,000 on a weekend in the summer, so he is getting exposure to a decent size crowd. He just gets nervous.

Cheng's strike out numbers are phenominal. He makes a lot of guys look really bad. I think that may patially be because of his lack of control. Hitters don't look too comformtable in the box against him because of his lack of command at times and they have a tendency to bail out.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#126171) #
The thing to remember about Jesus Gonzalez too, is that he is playing out of position. He was a third baseman in the Dominican, so that could explain some of his offensive struggles. I agree that he is definitely a sleeper to watch out for.
dr. haque - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#126177) #
Just wondering on what I read in your report Jordan about Vince Perkins. You think he will make it quicker to Toronto as a reliever but I am pretty sure I read in Rob Neyers report that in fact JP sees him as a potential starter as opposed to a reliever and he sees Josh Banks and Chad Gaudin as relievers. And I do agree with you that he would make it here very quick as a reliever but I also think that apart from Mcgowan there are really no other RHP power pitchers that are starting in AA/AAA. Every other starter fits in the mould of Bush. So as much as I would like to see him get to Toronto quick I think him being a starter is the best way to do it.

And anyone have a scouting report on Rob Ray in Auburn, I read somewhere he was possibly a first rounder but was inconsistent.
Rob - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#126183) #
It appears Newhan retracted his statements re: Ottawa a few weeks ago:
"The only thing I'd take back was what I said about Ottawa. It's not a bad city. I was just upset, but I stick to the other stuff I said." (OC Register, August 4.)

To refresh everyone's memory, he said:
They really screwed up my (all-star) break. I'll figure it out when I can get (to Ottawa). That place is a mess and really doesn't deserve to be a Triple-A city at all. It's just a terrible place to be at. Terrible stadium, bad weather, bad fans, bad atmosphere, going through customs. (Ottawa Sun.)

Jordan - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#126185) #
I am pretty sure I read in Rob Neyers report that in fact JP sees him as a potential starter as opposed to a reliever and he sees Josh Banks and Chad Gaudin as relievers.

I expect that you're right, and that Perkins will be kept in the rotation unless he really hits a developmental wall. Your point about the organization's power arms and their eventual role is an interesting one.

If we draw an (admittedly arbitrary and rough) distinction between "power arms" and "command arms" at the mid- to upper-levels, I think you'd find them breaking down into these two categories:

Power     Command
Halladay    Bush
McGowan     Banks
League      Marcum
Gaudin      Janssen
Purcey      Jackson
Perkins     Ramirez
I'm not really sure where you'd place Francisco Rosario post-surgery -- probably in the former category, but we'll see.

Halladay and McGowan are already in the Toronto rotation, while most everyone seems to think Gaudin will be a reliever. I'm pretty sure Purcey will be a starter as well, and could be in the rotation by spring 2007. League is up in the air -- if I had to guess, I would think he'll continue as a reliever for the foreseeable. He and Gaudin would make quite a 1-2 punch in the 7th through 9th innings, with help from a Davis Romero LOOGY. Zach Jackson and Rosario are wild cards and could go either way, but they should be major-league ready by next season. And Ricky Romero could surprise us all.

In the other group, Bush has had three strong starts since his return from Syracuse, one middling one and two stinkers. The concern, though, is his strikeout rate, which in his second go-round stands at 15 in 33 2/3 IP (4.0 K/9). That will have to rise if he's going to be effective in the long run; nonetheless, I'd stick with him as a starter for now. If even one of Banks, Marcum, and Janssen -- each of whom has arguably had an equal or better minor-league record than Bush -- can stick it out in the rotation, then the Jays are going to have one heckuva home-grown starting staff.

dr. haque - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#126188) #
I completely agree with you Jordan about the potential of the home-grown starting staff. It has the potential to be great. One of the really unfortunate things that happened to the Jays is that the three power guys Vince Perkins, Dustin Mcgowan and Rosario all suffered from season ending injuries over the last two years which means it delayed their developement and in turn their ETA to Toronto. Mcgowan and Rosario both seemed to have put it together when they went down. And I also read that Perkins would have been in AA last season and probably been in AAA this year. But thats how the cookie crumbles. Hopefully next year the Jays should see the fruits of their labours.

But one thing that did leave me puzzled in the Neyer article which is JP also thought Rosario is a potential starter but someone who is currently relieving. So I think you are right that in fact he is a wild card but do you think he is in the bullpen to work out his kinks and then will be in the AAA rotation next year?
Gerry - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#126189) #
If you look back at the Dick Scott interview posted last Monday, Scott states that Rosario's move to the pen was contemplated all along. I would not expect him to move back to the rotation.
timpinder - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#126191) #
Assuming the Jays keep Lilly and sign/trade for atleast one legitimate #2 starter during the off-season, their pitching staff is shaping up quite well indeed. Halladay,*Burnett*?,Lilly?,Chacin?,McGowan?,Bush? The extra pitcher can be moved to the pen for long relief.

I agree with the previous posts and I think this is where JP wanted to be all along, with a very deep home grown pitching staff. If one of the starting five is injured, you can call up Bush, Banks, Jackson, Marcum, Janssen, etc... When Ricky Romero is ready, Chacin can be moved to the bullpen where he won't get hit hard facing the same hitters the third time around. If you lose, heaven forbid, Halladay to free agency after 2007, maybe Purcey or McGowan are ready to step up and be the ace at that point. There's also lots of young power arms that can be put in the pen, like Rosario, Perkins, Gaudin, League, etc...

This looks good, really good. Lots of pitching depth, like Oakland, except with twice the budget.
Pistol - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#126192) #
"Along with Adam Lind and Chip Cannon, Patterson's probably one of the Jaysí three best hitters in the minors."

Jordan - In the past I always thought you discounted players in the low minors, or at least drafted players in Auburn who only had a couple months of professional experience.

So I was surprised that you have Patterson already ahead of players higher in the system, particularly Ryan Roberts.

Are you giving more credit to low minors performance than in the past?
Jordan - Saturday, August 20 2005 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#126197) #
Are you giving more credit to low minors performance than in the past?

Yeah, basically, that's it. I wish I had a more detailed and analytical answer than "I changed my mind," but I finally concluded it was silly to underrate a player's potential just because of the stage he's at. Patterson is of course nowhere near as close to the highest levels as Lind, but I'd consider the two players pretty similar in terms of their eventual profile.

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