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Dunedin and Lansing combined for just seven hits. Both starting pitchers - Jesse Hernandez and Blake McFarland - were roughed up.

Las Vegas 9 Sacramento 4

The eight-nine hitters in the lineup - Kevin Howard and Kenen Bailli - each slugged homer runs and drove in a combined three runs while scoring four times. Danny Perales and Jack Cust had two hits a piece. The latter walked twice and drove in two runs. Brian Bocock had a rough day with an 0-for-5 and three Ks. Scott Richmond won his 10th game on the year at triple-A by allowing just one run in six innings. He allowed five hits, one walk and struck out seven.

New Hampshire 4 Altoona 2

The key pitching performance in this game was the rehabbing Brandon Morrow who allowed two runs in 4.2 innings of work despite having so-so command. He walked two and struck out four batters. Sam Dyson worked a scoreless inning and struck out one. Recently-signed catcher Yorvit Torrealba continued to get into game shape with the AA team and went 1-for-2. Koby Clemens went 2-for-2 with a home run batting out of the nine-hole. Ryan Schimpf was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. John Tolisano had a solo homer.

Lakeland 7 Dunedin 3

Dunedin managed just four hits. Pierce Ranking went 1-for-2 with a walk. Kenny Wilson was hitless but walked twice and stole two bases. He was also picked off first base. Kevin Pillar had just one hit but he made it count with his first high-A home run. Making his first start since being returned to Dunedin from Lansing, Jesse Hernandez struggled. He allowed five runs in 4.0 innings of work. Danny Barnes was the only pitcher who survived unscathed by working a scoreless eighth inning.

Lake County 9 Lansing 2

The A-ball struggles continued on Sunday with Lansing managing just three hits. Blake McFarland struggled on the mound and was yanked after 1.1 innings of work. He allowed seven runs on eight hits and a two walks. Alesone Escalante worked 4.2 innings and allowed just one run. Philip Brua finished off the game with two innings. The three hits by the Lugnuts were had by Chris Hawkins, Andy Fermin, and Chris Schaeffer. Kipp Schutz was ejected for arguing after just one at-bat and his replacement, Michael Crouse, went 0-for-3 with 3 Ks.

Vancouver 3 Salem-Keizer 0

Kyle Anderson held the Giants affiliate scoreless for 5.1 innings despite failing to strike out a batter. Wil Browning, Eric Brown, and Andrew Sikula contributed to the shutout. Jorge Flores' late season slide continued with an 0-for-4 day. Matt Newman and Kellen Sweeney each had two hits. Sweeney and Balbino Fuenmayor went deep with solo shots.

Danville 5 Bluefield 4

Daniel Norris' struggles continued. He allowed five runs (three earned) in 3.1 innings of work. He gave up six hits, but just one walk, and struck out five batters. Brandon Kaye worked 2.2 scoreless innings. D.J. Davis continues to hit well in the Appalachian League. He had another two hits but was picked off first base by the Braves' catcher. Christian Lopes had two hits, including a home run. Santiago Nessy was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Bluefield 3 Danville 2

Davis had another hit in this game but was picked off first base again - this time by the catcher - and struck out twice. Christian Lopes had two more hits. Seth Conner went 1-for-2 with a strikeout. Matt Dean went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base. On the mound, Griffin Murphy earned his first start of the year and struck out seven batters in 4.1 innings. He allowed just one run and one hit. He walked three batters. Les Williams finished off the game.

GCL Jays off day

DSL Tigers 5 DSL Jays 4

Jimmy Cordero was roughed up and allowed four runs in 2.2 innings of work. Francis Eduardo relieved him and allowed just one unearned run in 3.0 innings. Miguel Burgos allowed four hits in 2.2 innings of work but did not allow a run to cross the plate. Rolando Sergovia went 2-for-5 with a double and two Ks. He also stolen a base and made two fielding errors. Leudy Garcia and Gustavo Perinan each had two hits. Juan Tejada went 1-for-2 with two walks and was caught stealing a base.

The Three Stars:

3. Griffin Murphy, 7 Ks in 4.1 IP

2. Christian Lopes, with 4 hits in 2 games, including a homer

1. Jack Cust, with two hits, two RBI and two walks

Rough Day for the A-ball Affiliates | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
eldarion - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#262439) #
Griffin Murphy's development this season has been a pleasant surprise..he's old for his level but I expect the Jays will be aggressive in his promotions next season if he can maintain the peripherals he's been demonstrating this season. Sometimes, it can take a bit of time for a young player to learn to pitch effectively instead of just being a thrower. I have no idea if that's the case with Murphy, mind you...just guessing.

I don't mind that Norris is struggling a bit early. Best to get them out of the way now and learn the nuances of pro pitching while in rookie ball. He's still striking out more than a batter an inning so there's reason for optimism.
sam - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#262447) #
My understanding from Gerry's intrepid reporting and interviews, Murphy experienced a (significant?) dip in velocity after signing two years ago. He has since regained some of that velocity.
eldarion - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#262448) #
That's interesting. From what I've read on this site, Comer's dip in velocity was one of the reasons why the Jays were willing to trade him. Is it common for recent draftees to inexplicably lost velocity from the readings taken during their draft eligible years? Is it a function of the team trying to change/update/refine their delivery? Does it have to do with conditioning?
BalzacChieftain - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#262449) #

Eldarion, if you take a look at the comments on this link to John Sickels' website, there are some who say it is very common for HS pitchers to suffer velocity loss once they turn pro. There isn't much development of the idea, but one theory is that if the pitcher has a strong build (such as Kevin Comer), the velocity usually returns.

eldarion - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#262450) #
Huh...interesting. Thanks, Balzac.

On another matter, did anyone else notice Stilson getting the save a few games ago? Have the Jays decided it's safer to develop him as a closer going forward?
Gerry - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#262452) #
Stilson was hitting his innings limit for this year and that's why he is in the pen for the rest of the season.  The Jays still say he could be a starter next year.
eldarion - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#262453) #
Cool - thanks for the update, Gerry.
sam - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#262455) #
eldarion, it's a function of a number of things. First off I will say this, too often do those interested in prospects think uncritically or "optimistically" on prospect scouting reports/velocity readings.

Mistaking "touches" with "sits" is a common error, or one I've enjoyed seeing frequently a number of pseudo scout/media types see a prospect or get a report from a scout. Say Keith Law hear's a prospect hit 93mph, Kevin Goldstein says the same prospect has been up to 96mph, and John Sickels has the guy at 94mph. Some people cherry pick those reports and quite quickly the prospect has a plus-plus fastball and the scouting report frequently cited is Goldstein's.

When the velo readings were taken and how deep into the game he sat with that velocity are also important considerations. Griffin Murphy, for example, in his last few starts before the draft started throwing to the guns and started to hit the low 90s early in his starts, which excited many prospect enthusiasts. If you look at video of Murphy of when he's hitting the low-90s vs. earlier starts that spring where he's sitting high 80s, it's clear that he's throwing with considerable more effort in his delivery when he's hitting the low-90s. The easy deduction there is he's not gained arm strength, he's just throwing with more effort/less control, and more importantly less sustainability. Daniel Norris is another with wildly diverging velo readings. A year before his draft, Norris was up to 96mph with the fastball and blew away scouts in a few marquee showcase events. Come spring 2011, 96mph came much less frequently and a few starts he was reported to sit high-80s as opposed to low to mid-90s. Most of us, however, in our readings of Norris chose to ignore those reports and still do, might I add, focus on the somewhat dated velo readings. Moreover, the common narrative of how Norris "fell" to the Jays was he asked for $4 million as a bonus and teams as a result shied away. The Jays, however, had done their research and got him signed for a steal at $2 million. This is a somewhat misinformed view of the events. For the top draftees, they will openly share their signing expectations with inquisitive organizations. That the Jays were the only ones who "knew" then that Norris was willing to go as low as $2 million, I would suggest is false. The likely scenario is the varied velo readings, awkward delivery, combined with limited physical projection led many scouting directors to question his long-term potential even at $2 million.

Of course, many prospects succumb to the ol' adage that they threw 95mph when the got on the bus and 90mph when they got off. It is equally important to see guys pitch and scrutinize how the arm works. Guys who throw the baseball with very little effort--free and easy--at a young age are almost certain to generate more velocity and sustain it as they get older. Aaron Sanchez right now is the best version of such a prospect right now. Quick arms are also a sure generator of good, sustainable velocity. The same goes with prospects with good baseball frames. High hips and broad shoulders are a scouts' dream and provided they've featured some velocity, it's likely they'll find it again after the pro development people start tinkering with their mechanics. Where they're from is another consideration. While many prospects in northern climates tend to work out in indoor facilities during the winter months they are still not a replacement for game situations, which southern prospects partake in almost year round. This has the effect of concerning teams that those Florida pitching prospects will blow-up at one point due to the increased work load at a young age, while also concerning teams that the northern pitcher possesses the needed durability to pitch 200 innings. On the flip side that southern pitcher has the potential of a fantastic track record in front of scouts against very good competition, while the northern pitcher has the proverbial "virgin" arm.

Comer was a multi-sport guy out of southern NJ. It is likely then that he's never had to pitch as much as he's had this season. His velocity drop from the reported low-90s at draft time last year to the high-80s now can likely be attributed to the increased work load of professional ball.

Be critical of prospects and what you read on them. This season, I personally experienced two very different situations. For this site, I did some research on potential draft targets for the Jays. One guy I was quite high on was Marcus Stroman. I had seen enough video and velo readings of him at 95mph in the sixth or seventh inning that I was honestly convinced that there was more velocity there or at the very least he might sit 94-96mph in short relief. I saw him in Vancouver and he worked 91-93mph and touched 95mph with considerably more effort in his delivery. It looked as though he had lost a bit of length on how he worked his arm. While he appeared tired and had already pitched over 100 innings on the season, I was a bit disappointed. I also got to see Roberto Osuna. In the fall Osuna had a spot inning in Lansing where he looked to be throwing as a hard as possible and was 93-94mph. His body looked sloppy and delivery looked a little out of control. He certainly had a very live arm and was still just 17, yet I wasn't so sure that he would sustain any of what he showed that night in Lansing. Flash forward a few months and he's pitching in Vancouver with much more composure and control. He's slimmed down and looks every bit the part of a future front end rotation guy. His fastball bordered on electric working it all over the 90's, which he complimented with two very good looking off-speed pitches. He looked a completely different prospect.

CeeBee - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#262456) #
Thanks for the great explanation sam :) I really enjoy reading knowledgeable information and insight and you really have a lot to share.
Doom Service - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#262457) #

I was at the Lansing v Lake County game and can add some details. McFarland definitely had a bad outing, but some bad breaks, too. He fell behind just about everyone he faced, but the first batter hit a routine grounder that hit first base and bounced into right field for a cheap double. A couple of the other hits were 100-bounce grounders that snuck through. He didn't impress, but he didn't look as bad as his scoreline. Both Escalante and Brua have offbeat deliveries. Escalante only pitches from the stretch and starts his motion by looking like a magician trying to sneak the ball from his right hip pocket up into his glove. Brua is a sidearmer, but starts his motion totally bent at the waist, with his head twisted to face the plate. Frankly, it looks like the ball is whispering something in his ear.

It wasn't a good day for position players, and none really impressed on this day. Crouse started the day on the bench, but entered to play center after Schutz was ejected (Schutz took three straight pitches for strikes, then got a bit lippy.) I was hoping to see Hawkins' unorthodox swing, but it didn't look too strange to me. HIs hit was a gift (pitcher bobbled a fairly routine grounder), but he laid off marginal pitches better than the rest and had a "just missed" deep fly to right. I was eager to see Pierre at third, because I'd seen him have problems at Auburn in 2010 (and there was a thread about him a few days ago). He looked very relaxed making a couple of routine plays early. A grounder in the seventh caught the grass/turf seam and took an odd bounce. He reflexively caught it, and even took his time, but still sailed the throw over the first baseman and out of play for a two base error. The other error was a Chris Peters drop on an excellent peg from catcher Chris Schaeffer on a steal attempt. I'm not sure why Peters is playing short over Pierre, but I'm sure there is a reason.

It was 7-0 early, and so Lansing didn't look that threatening the rest of the way, It wasn't like they were lazy or lackadaisacal, but they didn't have much grind to them either. Lake County's Francisco Lindor was fun to watch. He got fooled on a pitch, but still dropped the bat head on it for a bloop double, hung in at second on a 3-6-3 double play and made difficult Kevin Patterson grounder look easy.

Gerry - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#262458) #
Sean Nolin made his AA debut tonight. He pitched five innings and had eight K's. He gave up four hits and two walks and threw 86 pitches.

I will have some comments on Nolin, Stilson and others tomorrow in an interview with Dane Johnson.
Maldoff - Monday, August 20 2012 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#262459) #
The other thing to note is that the basic stats don't always tell the whole story. Daniel Norris, for instance, currently has an ERA of 7.97. But upon further inspection, he also has a BABIP of .367 and an FIP of 3.80. Therefore, there is likely some reversion to the mean in both the BABIP and ERA in the future, especially given his good K and BB rates
Rough Day for the A-ball Affiliates | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.