Vancouver was the place to be on Sunday. Danny Jimenez was lights out on the mound while some 2017 draft picks had good days at the plate. The new kids were hitting in Bluefield too. Many of the new kids on the block are off to hot starts.
Buffalo lost Friday and Saturday to put their losing streak at ten games, tied for the Bisons record. They were losing headed to the ninth on Sunday but pulled out a win. Glenn Sparkman took the loss on Friday and got the win on Sunday. Sparkman is now pitching out of the bullpen, his most likely role in Toronto, and has to be recalled by Friday.
Raffy Lopez was the best hitter in the two losses, going 3-4 in both. On Friday, two of his three hits were doubles, on Saturday, two were home runs and the third a double. On Sunday, in the win, he was 0-4.
Chris Rowley made his second appearance in AAA on Saturday. He came into a bases loaded, no outs, jam in the second inning. He picked up a strikeout and then a double play to escape the mess. Rowley just allowed a single and two walks in the next three innings. Then, in his fifth inning, two singles and a walk led to two runs and that was it for Rowley. His final line was 4.2 3 2 2 3 4. His ERA in AAA is now 2.89 although his WHIP is 1.6.
Among the usual suspects Roemon Fields had a hit in each game, going 5-11 with no walks and no strikeouts. Jason Leblebijian was 3-11, Rowdy Tellez, 2-8, and Christian Lopes, 5-14.
The Fisher Cats split four games. Sean Reid-Foley had his best AA start on Friday. He pitched seven shutout innings, a four hitter with two walks and five K's. Again, consistency is the key before promotion can be considered. Conner Greene had an average start on Sunday, just one strikeout though.
Jon Harris had pitched poorly last time out, not getting out of the first inning. On Saturday it seems as though he was trying to avoid contact, he walked six hitters in 4.2 innings, as well as allowing six hits. His WHIP is 1.77 to go along with his 6.47 ERA. Harris is still looking for a fastball that isn't straight.
Gunnar Heidt homered in two of the games but struck out in all three at-bats in another. Richard Urena had four hits in four games including his third home run on Sunday.
Danny Jansen played in three of the games and had two hits. Andrew Guillotte played in three games and had one hit in each.
Dunedin's bats were quiet with just five runs scored in three games. They were no-hit on Sunday until the ninth inning, two infield singles saved them from shame. There were just two multi-hit games by hitters over the weekend. Lane Thomas had three hits on Friday and finished the weekend at 4-13. Cavan Biggio was 3-8 including his fifth home run.
Bradley Jones is finding it tough in high A. He was 0-9 at the weekend with eight strikeouts. His average is down to .156 and he was pinch hit for on Sunday. He could go back to Lansing to find his stroke. Lourdes Gurriel had two 0-4's and made his eighth error.
Angel Perdomo had trouble throwing strikes and was pulled after two innings having thrown 28 strikes and 27 balls.
Lansing are struggling recently losing all three games on the weekend. They did lose Bradley Jones to Dunedin but its their pitching that is letting them down. Yenssy Diaz is the most reliable pitcher while the other four starters all have ERA's over 6.60. Andy Ravel was pretty good for seven innings on Sunday but he left in the eighth with the bases loaded and the bullpen let all three runs score.
Vlad Guerrero Jr. had a day off on Friday then was spiked at third base on Saturday. He left the game and did not play on Sunday. Meanwhile Bo Bichette went 5-9 in two games.
Edward Olivares was 4-13 including his team leading 11th home run.
Kevin Vicuna was a decent hitter when he filled in for Dunedin earlier in the season so he should be ready for NWL pitching. Over the weekend he was 6-11 with four walks. His OPS is 822 in Vancouver.
Riley Adams is the Jays third round pick in this years draft, he turns 21 on Monday. Adams was the DH on Friday and Saturday and had one hit in each game. He was behind the plate on Sunday and went 4-4 including two doubles and a home run. That's how you make a good first impression. Brock Lundquist is also making a good first impression. He had three hits on Sunday and is sporting a .500 average. Kacy Clemens is off to a slower start but two hits on Sunday brought his average up to .286.
On the less happy side, Reggie Pruitt had just one hit over the weekend and his average is down to .075.
Dany Jimenez came on for the second inning on Sunday and retired 17 hitters in a row. Two doubles then allowed a run but Jimenez had a great start. His line was 6 2 1 1 1 9. The nine strikeouts were excellent. Matt Shannon, another 2017 draftee made the start but just pitched one inning. The same relief "start" was made by Wilfri Aleton on Saturday. He gave up two runs in five innings.
The Bluefield bats are hot, they had double figures in hits in all three weekend games. Ryan Noda went 8-14 with two home runs. Noda is a 15th round selection in this years draft. Before we get too excited about Noda, big hitting first basemen often hit very well in the lower minors. It's a tough path for a first baseman to the major leagues. I do expect Noda to continue to hit well and to continue next year. It's Dunedin that is usually the first test for first basemen. Brandon Polizzi is a 35th round draft pick and he had a 4-4 day on Sunday bringing his average up to .500. Remember these are all small samples so far. Sterling Guzman, who is repeating Bluefield, is hitting .467 so far.
Randy Pondler, Maximo Castillo and Elio Silva were the "starters". All three were OK but none were outstanding. The actual starter on Sunday was Zach Logue, the Jays ninth round pick. He just went one inning.Kelyn Jose is pitching out of the bullpen. He pitched two innings with three strikeouts on Friday and two more innings with three more strikeouts on Sunday. He is worth watching.
Third Star - Brandon Polizzi
Second Star - Riley Adams
First Star - Dany Jimenez