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Jay Bruce struggled against the Syracuse pitching staff, but the Chiefs still lose in extras. Brandon Magee doesn’t quite have the start he hoped for in his Double-A debut and Lansing destroys Fort Wayne in a blowout win. And some guy called Ryan started for Dunedin, but only lasted an inning.

(Now update to include the second game of Syracuse's double-header, which I missed earlier.)

Louisville 5 @ Syracuse 3 (11 innings; game 1) - Boxscore

Yesterday Syracuse faced off against the Louisville Bats and super-prospect Jay Bruce. Baltimore’s Josh Banks got the start for the Chiefs and went 5.2 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on three hits and two walks. Banks struck out six and threw 50 of his 73 pitches for strikes. The big hit against Banks was a second inning 2-RBI single by Ryan Hanigan, which scored a couple of former big leaguers in Andy Phillips and Jolbert Cabrera. Jesse Carlson threw 1.2 scoreless frames and turned it over to Tracy Thorpe, who managed to give up two hits and a walk to load the bases with one out. However, Thorpe escaped the inning without surrendering a run by striking out Jerry Gil and retiring Hanigan on an infield pop out.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs scored three runs of their own against Matt Mahoney, the Louisville starter. Two of them came in the third inning, courtesy of an RBI groundout by Curtis Thigpen that scored Wayne Lydon and an Adam Lind single that scored Joe Inglett. The Chiefs actually loaded the bases later in the inning following a Hector Luna single and a Robinzon Diaz walk, but Russ Adams popped out to end the threat. This missed opportunity would turn out to be crucial. Inglett singled in the next inning and Lydon scored his second run of the game. The Chiefs got a couple of runners on in the seventh, but Diaz grounded out and otherwise didn’t threaten in the next few innings. The game remained tied 3-3 through 8.

Jordan De Jong came in to pitch for Syracuse and allowed a harmless walk in the ninth inning, but that runner was erased on a caught stealing. Jim Brower retired the Chiefs 1-2-3 with 2 strikeouts. De Jong allowed another walk and a hit in the tenth, but again escaped the inning without any damage. Former Oakland farmhand Marcus McBeth gave up two walks to the first three batters in the bottom of the tenth, but got Sergio Santos and Jorge Velandia to send the game to the eleventh. In the eleventh the Bats scored off Bubba Nelson thanks to a Jerry Hairston Jr. RBI triple and a wild pitch that allowed Hairston to scamper home. The Chiefs went down without a fight in the bottom of the eleventh. The Chiefs outhit the Bats 11-9, with Inglett, Luna, Lydon and Santos each getting two in the game. From the pitching standpoint one bright spot might be that Bruce went 0-6 with three strikeouts, although he did score the unearned run off Banks.

Louisville 4 @ Syracuse 1 (7 innings; game 2) - Boxscore

In the second game yesterday between the two teams Syracuse came out on the losing end, again. Although the headline refers to Bruce’s 0-6 performance in the first game, he didn’t far too much better in the second, going 1-4 with a single. Kane Davis got the start for Syracuse and gave up one run through five. He gave up four hits and two walks and struck out three. The lone run scored in the fifth on Alvin Colina’s RBI single. Mike Gosling came in for the sixth and promptly gave up a single and double to Phillips and Cabrera. However, he escaped the inning with only one run scored, as he limited the Bats to a sacrifice fly. In the seventh Gosling retired two of the first three batters, but then ran into problems, giving up Bruce’s one hit of the day, a walk to Andy Phillips and a two-run double to Jolbert Cabrera that made it 4-0 for the Bats. Shawn Camp came in to get the last out of the inning.

As this was all going on, the Chiefs were being no-hit up to that point.Tom Shearn pitched five hitless innings, allowing only three walks. Tyler Pellard, who arrived in Cincinnati’s system more than four years ago in the Scott Williamson trade, threw a scoreless inning, but Ricky Stone gave up the lone hit and run in the next frame, as Russ Adams hit a solo homer to lead off the seventh. In the end, Shearn, Pellard and Stone combined for a one-hitter. Lind picked up two of Syracuse’s five walks, while Matt Watson went 0-3 with three strikeouts.

New Hampshire 1 @ Connecticut 6
- Boxscore

Despite only having one less hit than Connecticut, the Fisher Cats lost 6-1 yesterday. Brandon Magee will hope to improve on his first start at Double-A next time out, as he went 5.1 innings, but gave up three runs on two homers. He walked three batters and only struck out two. He was followed by Daryl Harang, who stranded the one runner he inherited. Jean Machi came out for the seventh inning and gave up two hits and a walk, while retiring only one batter. He was followed by Seth Overbey, who inherited a bases-loaded one-out situation in a 3-1 ballgame.

Defenders right fielder Carlos Sosa singled to his counterpart, Eric Nielsen. Nielsen managed to throw the runner from first out at third, but two runs came home to score and the following batter singled home Sosa, who had advanced to second on Nielsen’s throw. These three runs broke the game wide open, as Overbey did not succeed in getting out of a tight jam. Michael MacDonald pitched the eighth and got a strikeout.

New Hampshire’s lone run came in the sixth inning on Scott Campbell’s first homer of the year. Campbell had two hits on the day, as did Kyle Phillips, who started at DH. However, the offence didn’t manage much else against Connecticut starter Garrett Broshuis, who was his high school valedictorian. On the defensive side, Nielsen had two assists on the afternoon, as he also threw out a runner trying to stretch a single into a double.

Fort Myers 1 @ Dunedin 5 (7 innings; rain)
- Boxscore

Dunedin won 5-1 in a game that ended after six and a half innings due to rain. Some guy called BJ Ryan made the start for Dunedin, I can’t tell you much more about him, as I can’t find any record of him in the minor league system last year. He went one inning and gave up a hit, but retired all three of his batters on groundballs. Ryan was followed by Armando Benitez, who struck out all three batters he faced on the afternoon. Finally, Reider Gonzalez taught these two guys about endurance, as he went four innings, allowing two hits, a walk and one run, while racking up four strikeouts. Gonzalez got six outs through groundballs and not a single one in the air.

Dunedin’s first two hitters, Chris Emanuele and Sean Shoffitt, went 0-6 on the afternoon, but the rest of the lineup picked up the slack. Travis Snider, batting third, went 2-3 with a homer and two runs scored. Brian Dopirak was hitless, but drew a walk and scored a run. Cory Patton went 1-3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in the five-hole, while JP Arencibia duplicated that line, except with 2 RBIs, in the six spot. Bradley Emaus and Jonathan Sanchez each added a hit, as well.

Lansing 11 @ Fort Wayne 1
- Boxscore

This was not a game to remember for the Fort Wayne Wizards, as Lansing scored early and often in a blowout win. After a scoreless first, Lansing began the scoring in the second when John Tolisano tripled and was driven home by a Manny Rodriguez double. Lansing decided that if the Lugnuts scored one in the second inning, it was only fair to score two in the third and went back to work against Robert Woodard. Kevin Ahrens singled and then Darin Mastroianni and Jonathan Jaspe walked. Tolisano popped out for the second out of the inning and it looked like Fort Wayne might escape unscathed, but Manny Rodriguez came to the rescue with another double, driving in two runs. Fort Wayne got one back in the bottom of the frame thanks to an error by Mastroianni, who is playing center field now after being drafted as a second baseman.

The Lugnuts love a good pattern, and decided that if they scored two in the third it meant they should score three in the fourth. Raul Barron led off with a single and Moises Sierra followed with another. Justin Jackson was called on to sacrifice bunt, but the second baseman covering first dropped the throw from the pitcher, allowing Barron to score and Sierra to end up on third. Ahrens then doubled, scoring Sierra and Jackson, from first. At this point there were still none out, but the Lugnuts were unable to push across any more runs. They scored five in the seventh to cap off the 11-1 victory, with four hits to lead off the inning, including an RBI single by Sierra and an RBI double by Jackson. Ahrens grounded home another run before Jaspe capped off the inning with a 2-run homer. Rodriguez and Barron both had three hits on the day and Ahrens, Tolisano and Sierra each added a couple.

Nathan Starner went four innings and only gave up one unearned run. He struck out one, walked one and gave up four hits. Alan Farina followed Starner and vultured a win, but it was well-deserved, as he didn’t allow a hit and struck out four. Ross Buckwalter pitched two scoreless frames to finish out the game.

If you didn’t read yesterday’s minor-league recap thread, which you really should, Bauxite Lugnut Fan has some firsthand observations from yesterday’s game, which I’ll quote some of here.

I was impressed with the way [Starner] threw today. Last year, he was stepping towards the first base line and throwing across his body, but he had a more conventional delivery today where his lead foot was falling towards home plate. He changed speeds very well on his fastball and I think he hit every number from 83 to 92 with it. It looks like he may have also added a cutter to his repertoire. Farina followed him up and that kid can bring it. He throws a very heavy fastball. He hit 94 on the gun in Ft. Wayne…

As far as the infield, I was impressed with all of them at the plate. Jackson is extremely fast and I think he is going to be a very good lead off hitter. He laid down a very good bunt, which not many kids at this level can do, so I was happy to see that. Ahrens is a switch hitter and it looks like his bat speed is a little better from the right side rather than the left. Tolisano has a very long swing and a very big swing. I think he may strike out quite a bit this season, but I also think he is going to drive in a lot of runs. He hit two balls today that dropped my jaw. His triple in the second was from the left side of the plate and the ball just jumped off his bat and hit off the center field wall, which was 400' away. Later in the game, he hit one foul from the right side that had there not been a screen in left field to protect the street would have probably gone over the road. Impressive power.

Sierra has one hell of an arm from right field. He gunned a guy out at the plate today from right and the throw was on a frozen rope. Jaspe looked to me like he needs a little more work defensively. He squared his body up to a couple of balls in the dirt today, but he had trouble getting out of that crouch and even though the one ball was laying in front of him, he still allowed the base runner to advance.

Very interesting observations, Lugnut Fan, and thank you for sharing them with the Box. We’ll have to keep an eye on Starner’s delivery throughout the rest of the year. It’s refreshing to hear such positive things about Tolisano, who the Bauxite Minor League Crew ranked as the number 6 prospect in the system last fall.

Three Stars

3rd Star – Alan Farina, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

2nd Star – Travis Snider, 2-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, 5 TB

1st Star – Manny Rodriguez, 3-5 0 R, 3 2B, 3 RBI, 6 TB

Bruce Baffled by Syracuse Staff; BJ Begins Climb Back to the Bigs | 27 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Sister - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#182236) #
The kids in Lansing are having a great first few days. I'm really looking forward to see how they progress given the overall struggles during the short season last year. I'm also a big Tolisano fan and I want him to do well (power hitting 2nd baseman -- maybe another Jeff Kent?).

Alex Obal - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#182238) #
Ditto. Great start for the 07s, and I'm looking forward to all the burnination to come.
CeeBee - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#182239) #
Looks like Snider hasn't missed a beat with the time off. Home run yesterday and already a double today in his first at bat.
peiscooter - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#182241) #

Not a great start of the season for Ricky Romero today. 

Just pulled after giving up a 3-run homer in the fourth. 

Line of 3 2/3, 3 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts..  A three run homer was the final blow.  First run scored in the second on a walk, error (3B Gutierrez), double steal and sac fly.


ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#182251) #
No surprise on Romero. Unforgivably bad draft pick.

There will be words in the BJ clubhouse after the game. Macdonald ignored the rule, and you can't let that pass. The Jays were lucky that it only cost a run and not a 126 million contract. I would not be awfully surprised to see Macdonald released after that play.
jmoney - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#182252) #
Can you elaborate on what MacDonald did? I did not see the game.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#182255) #
On a short flyball to centre, Mac went out while Vernon was coming in. No problem there. Except Vernon yelled at least 3 visible times, "I got it" and Mac kept coming and they both got to the ball, and each other, at the same time. The Jays were very, very lucky that no one got hurt on that play.

The outfielder has the call, and you cede to him. It's an important rule for people who play, because leaving aside the out you can get badly hurt out there when the rule is ignored. No excuse for Macdonald and he knew it. I suspect that was still weighing on him when he Saxed the throw in the 9th.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#182256) #
I should have added. When they collided, they collided hard. It was only a matter of fortune that they didn't hit heads, because the collision was entirely out of control.
Chuck - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#182258) #
Except Vernon yelled at least 3 visible times, "I got it"

Well, yelled as well as a guy can yell with a cheek full of sunflower seeds. It was like he was chewing tabacky the way his cheek was all puffed up.
sweat - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#182263) #
I noticed that as well, and I'm sure it had something to do with why MacDonald didn't hear Vernon.   Vernon is lucky he didn't asperate all of those seeds.
Thomas - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#182264) #
I would not be awfully surprised to see Macdonald released after that play.

I would. I'd be beyond awfully surprised.

timpinder - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#182266) #

According to, Ricky Romero actually had a good day today in his first start.  He went 3 innings of shutout ball, 2 H, 1BB, 2K.  0.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.  Parrish is the guy who got yanked.

So far so good for the 6th overall pick with the good control, average-plus fastball, plus curveball and plus changeup.  Tulo sure looks good, but if Romero stays healthy he'll be a very solid #3 starter or better.  One stagnant, injury plagued season does not make him a "bust" yet.

timpinder - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#182267) #

My bad!

I was looking at the other Romero!  Not on my game today.

Either way, don't write off Ricky Romero yet.

peiscooter - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#182268) #

Don't you mean Davis Romero?  Ricky pitched today for New Hampshire.

Lefty - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#182269) #
Sounds like hyperbole all the way from Arnolds Cove.
Hodgie - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#182270) #

And the feel good start to the 2008 season continues across the organization. Kenny Rodriguez made his debut with Dunedin today and the 20 year old acquitted himself quite well.

Perhaps it is only perception, however it is much more encouraging to see so many legitimate prospects start the new season en fuego when compared to the relative struggles of most not named Snider last year.

timpinder - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#182271) #

I don't think it's "hyperbole".  Read a scouting report on Ricky Romero.  Great change, great curveball, and until last year, good control.  I'm just tired of hearing the pick described as a bust already.  It's way too early for that.

CSHunt68 - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#182273) #

"Unforgivably bad"? "I would not be awfully surprised to see Macdonald released after that play."??

Hyperbole much?

Brian Barnas - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#182274) #
I don't think people would already be considering this pick a bust if troy tulowitzki wasn't already a franchise player for the colarado rockies
CSHunt68 - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#182275) #

Meh. I'm not willing to grant "franchise player" status after one year. And nobody else who knows baseball should, either. Seriously.

Small sample size warning: Tulowitzki's hitting for a .408 OPS this year. And franchise players don't hit for .719 OPS on the road, which was his full-year number last year.

I bet Russ Adams would like playing 81 games in Colorado, too ...

I'm willing to "forgive" JP for not drafting a shortstop who can't hit anwhere but Coors.

RhyZa - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#182277) #
Released?  Ha, I would boycott if someone was released over that.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#182281) #
Well, maybe this is the year that Jays fans get the Season from Heaven.  The big club is playing well, and little things are going well around the minors to start the season.  Davis Romero's return for Syracuse was great, and Yohermyn Chavez might win the WPA trophy for the day in the minor leagues courtesy of 2 big homers.
Magpie - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#182285) #
they collided hard.

I blame A-Rod.
timpinder - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#182287) #
Chavez doesn't seem to get the same attention as the 2007 teenage draft picks, but he was the best hitter of the 18 year-old prospects in short season ball last year and is off to a hot start again this year.  Is he being overlooked because he was signed as an international free agent as opposed to being drafted, or is it because of his defense?
Ryan Day - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#182291) #
Leaving aside the question of who should have been picked when, the universal opinion on Romero was that while he may not have ace potential, he was a polished pitcher with great control who would be able to move through the system quickly. Ricciardi may have been wrong - though I'm not willing to write off a guy who's still 23 - but so was everyone else.
Pistol - Monday, April 07 2008 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#182311) #
Snider's HR came against Deolis Guerra, who was part of the Johan Santana package (and pointed out by Kevin Goldstein).
John Northey - Monday, April 07 2008 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#182314) #
Something to always remember with the draft - it is a crapshoot. Educated one, but still has a lot of those elements in it.

In 2004 8 of the top 10 picks were pitchers. Neither of the two hitters have made the majors yet. Verlander was the #2 pick, while #6 was Sowers for Cleveland (127 ERA+ in '06 as a 23 year old, 72 in '07 as a 24 year old).

In 2005 8 of the top 10 have made the majors already with just 3 of the 10 being pitchers. Of those 3 only Mike Pelfrey has made the majors but with a 77 ERA+ over 94 IP. Outside of Tulowitzki the only other round 1 pick the Jays could've drafted who has done anything of note in the majors is Matt Garza who had a 118 ERA+ last year for the Twins and now is with the Rays (95 ERA+ lifetime over 138 IP). Jacob Ellsbury is off to a real good start with the Sox but only has 142 ML PA's so far. Both of those guys were picked in the 20's so I doubt they were on the radar for a top 10 pick.

Did JP screw up by not taking Tulowitzki? So far it looks like it, and odds are it will still look like it years from now. Still, it is worth looking at the '04 draft and seeing how odd that '05 draft was for quick production from guys in the first 10 picks.

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