On Sunday Dunedin hitters were on fire, racking up 21 hits. Bo Bichette was 0-6. A weird exception to a great season. Anthony Alford hit a game tying home run in the ninth and scored the winning run in the eleventh. Sunday saw lots of competition for the three stars. Josh De Graaf pitched well again. Several hitters pitched in, Jake Elmore, Raffy Lopez, Conor Panas, Christian Lopes, Cavan Biggio, Juan Kelly, Edward Olivares and Yorman Rodriguez all had multi-hit games. A lot of those hitters are regulars on the good hitting lists.
Buffalo notes from a 1-2 weekend: Michael Saunders has just returned from an injury and went 2-5 on Friday but didn't play the rest of the weekend. Similarly Darrell Ceciliani came out of Friday's game with lingering shoulder soreness. He too did not return over the weekend. Veterans Jake Elmore and Raffy Lopez each had three multi hit games. Roemon Fields was 4-10 to keep his average just over .300. Rowdy Tellez sat out Fridays and Saturdays games but was 0-3 on Sunday.
The best start of the weekend was by new Jay Nick Tepesch who pitched five innings with one run and three hits. Lucas Harrell made a three inning start as he works his way back.
Some names to note in the bullpen: According to Bisons broadcaster Ben Wagner JP Howell is getting stronger, his last outing was the best Wagner has seen him. Taylor Cole has pitched three times out of the bullpen and hasn't allowed a hit. Leonel Campos is pitching on his way back from rehab. He could get called up if Smith gets traded. Tim Mayza is settling in nicely in AAA and has lowered his ERA to 1.29.
Sportsnet's Gare Joyce has followed Chris Rowley for a while and he wrote a long story about him. The money quote from Buffalo pitching coach Bob Stanley The storybook end to Rowley’s season would have the Jays calling up him to the big club in September. While effusive in his praise for Rowley, Bisons pitching coach Bob Stanley tries to tamp down such talk. “He’s been outstanding, very surprising for us,” Stanley says. “He’s a bulldog out there, attacking batters with his sinker. He’s got a great slider and his change-up’s getting better. Great command. He’s opened eyes. You could see him going up to the big leagues as a long [reliever] but I don’t think he’s quite ready for that right now.”
Ryan Borucki had a tough loss on Friday. He gave up the only run in the game. His line was 7 3 1 1 1 7. He has been impressive in his first two AA starts. John Harris has been pitching better recently but he was bombed on Saturday.
Francisco Rios came off the DL on Sunday to make a shortened start. Carlos Ramirez pitched 2.1 innings on Sunday and kept his 2017 ERA at zero. In 16 games Ramirez has pitched 21.2 innings. In that time he has allowed 8 hits, 7 walks and racked up 26 strikeouts. Due to his conversion to pitching Ramirez has a career total of just 136 innings pitched.
The bats were quiet on the weekend, just 18 hits over three games. The only multi hit game was by Anthony Alford who was 3-5 on Sunday. Alford hit a game tying home run in the ninth and then singled and scored the winning run in the eleventh.
Dunedin won all three games and put up 43 hits in them. On Sunday they scored 17 runs on 21 hits and Bo Bichette was 0-6. Christian Lopes, on rehab, had four hits. Cavan Biggio also had four hits including his ninth home run. Juan Kelly had three hits and six RBI.
Vlad Jr. was 3-8 with two doubles six walks over the weekend. Conor Panas went 7-12 over the weekend and is red hot right now. His OPS in July is 1061. He has five home runs in July.
Josh De Graaf made the best start of the weekend, he pitched seven shutout innings and now has a 2.58 ERA in the FSL. His ERA as a starter is 1.98.
Lansing had a quiet weekend, prospect wise. Kyle Weatherly pitched well through five, Andy Ravel and Mike Ellenbest each gave up three runs which counts as good for them this season.
Nash Knight, Josh Palacios and Edward Olivares were the only hitters with multi hit games.
The C's won two of three. Dalton Rodriguez had his best start of the year on Friday, seven innings without an earned run to lower his ERA to 5.02. Nate Pearson started and Saturday and just pitched two innings, an effective two innings. Wilfri Aletonwas hit around on Sunday.
The hitters were quiet other than Reggie Pruitt and David Jacob. Pruitt and Jacob each had three hits on Friday. Over the weekend Pruitt was 5-11. His batting average is still just .220 but over the last 25 games he is hitting .280 with a .717 OPS. It would be interesting to hear from our C's supporters if they see signs of progress in Pruitt. In addition to his three hit game Jacob hit a two run home run on Sunday.
The catchers in Bluefield are all hitting. Over the weekend, Yorman Rodriguez was 7-12, Ryan Gold was 2-7 and Reilly Johnson was 4-8. Chavez Young had four hits in three games, Ryan Noda had three.None of the starting pitchers were outstanding. Turner Larkins, 21st round, was good, Alvaro Galindo was not, while Josh Winckowski was in between. "Wink" went 5.2 innings, his longest start of the year, and arguably his best start of a year in which he has struggled.
GCL Blue Jays
The Jays won all three games and as I mentioned last week the hitters are playing well. They put up 26 runs in their three games. They were helped some by Christian Lopes and Reece McGuire on rehab. As I noted last week the infield is hitting well. The Jays mix and match players a lot but regular infielders Jose Reyes, Jose Theran, Luis De Los Santos and Otto Lopes each had a multi hit game. The star of the weekend was Dominic Abbadessa who had eight hits in 14 at-bats. Abbadessa was drafted last year in the 23rd round out of a California high school. His .373 average is second in the league.
Travis Bergen, one inning, and Justin Maese, four innings, each made a start.
Third Star - Conor Panas
Second Star - Josh De Graaf
First Star - Anthony Alford