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Today is opening day for the minor leagues. Starting today, there will be almost daily minor league ball until early September. With the stronger Blue Jays system, interest in the minor leagues should be higher this year so it is an exciting day.

There are three games on today's schedule, Buffalo start their season tomorrow. The Lugnuts are scheduled to kick off the Jays season with a 6pm first pitch.

New Hampshire are in Hartford with Francisco Rios on the mound. Rios only pitched 86 innings last year, it was a step back after an appearance at the futures game in 2016. Of course, the Vlad and Bo AA show kicks off tonight. Max Pentecost should be catching Zeuch. It will be interesting to see how many innings Pentecost catches this season. His backup, Patrick Cantwell got into several of the Blue Jays spring training games. The forecast for game time is partly sunny and 6 degrees.

By contrast it is supposed to be 24 degrees in Clearwater tonight when the Jays visit. TJ Zeuch takes the hill for the Jays, presumably throwing to Riley Adams. It was a little surprising to find Zeuch back in A ball but he will hope its a short stay. Adams and Logan Warmoth will see how it feels to skip Lansing and move straight to the FSL.

Lansing travel to Great Lakes, and Yennsy Diaz will be on the hill. Diaz spent some time in Lansing last season but not in April so the cold weather will be new to him. Game time temperature will be 4 degrees, cooling to plus one by 8pm.

Here's hoping that today is the start of an excellent and productive season for the Blue Jays minor leaguers.

Minor League Opening Day | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
krose - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#355582) #
Thanks Gerry. Baseball is not in full swing until we can follow the prospects. Good to have you and the other writers telling us about this important part of the Jays organization.
Gerry - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#355583) #
NH lineup is out and is Pentecost free. The lineup is
Bo (SS)
J Davis
Gurriel (2B)
Biggio (1B)
uglyone - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#355584) #
hey gerry I noticed Cantwell getting plenty of PA in spring training.....what's the deal with this guy?
Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#355585) #
Cantwell turns 28 next week, so I guess he's a soldier.  I guess the club has decided that it doesn't want its upper level catchers (Jansen, McGuire, Pentecost) to be catching nearly every day.  Keep the mileage down on the knees. 
85bluejay - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#355588) #
I view Vlad & Bo as longterm guys on the right side of the infield, so I will be looking to see if plus defenders emerge for the left side of the infield - The New Hampshire rotation was a disaster zone last year, hoping for some better results this year - Nate Pearson is the only FOR pitching prospect the Jays have, needs company.
jerjapan - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#355589) #
Ugly, I'm no Gerry, but Cantwell is an under the radar guy to me.  He had a big arm in college and has 3rd round pedigree - so many of these young catchers don't play enough for us to get a clear sense of their talents (Yan Gomes).   He looked like a decent prospect to me until his dreadful 2015.  he got the org soldier role in 2016, and lost last year to injuries. 
Gerry - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#355591) #
I am a Gerry. Catchers often do develop late as they are worked hard every day with the catching. Having said that, Cantwell has only hit over .200 once in any stop with over 100 at-bats in the last three years. He is probably a very good catcher but not much of a hitter. At age 28 he has plenty of experience and should be a good mentor to the younger pitchers.
mendocino - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#355593) #
Dunedin has added RHP Devin Malone to 7 day DL
Lansing has added C Javier Hernandez, 1B David Jacob, RHP Mike Ellenbest, RHP Matt Shannon and RHP Emerson Jimenez to the 7 day DL
Gerry - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#355594) #
Lugnuts lineup:
Samad Taylor 
Kevin Smith (3B)
Williams (DH)
Ridge Smith
Nigel - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#355597) #
Interesting how the SS situation has been handled at Lansing and Dunedin. I think its the right construction. I just don't see it being a good fit to have Vicuna and Warmoth on the same team for long. I suspect that Vicuna and Smith will rotate through the SS position in Lansing.

I am surprised to see Pruitt made it to Lansing this year. He didn't give any signs of being ready for that (offensively) last year.

Hooray for the start of the minor league season!
jerjapan - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#355598) #
For sure Nigel, and looking forward to your reports on the Vancouver team!
ramone - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#355601) #
Dunedin is posted now:
Palacios CF
Warmoth SS
Jones 1B
Adams C
La Prise 2B
Knight DH
Pinto LF
Castillo 3B
Orozco RF
bpoz - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#355602) #
Lugnuts up 2-0.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#355603) #
Yennsy Diaz with eight strikeouts over four innings, pretty nice work.
China fan - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#355605) #
Gurriel has smashed three balls to the deepest corners of the ballpark so far tonight. Two were caught, one went for a double. His power is continuing to develop.
China fan - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#355606) #
And in his 4th plate appearance, he hits another 2B.
Waveburner - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#355607) #
Maximo Castillo coming out of the bullpen for Lansing. Extremely disappointing if he's being converted to relief already. I thought he had more upside than that. On a positive note he struck out the side. But this seems like a pretty early conversion to me.

Yennsy Diaz with an amazing debut, 5.2 IP, 1 H, 10/0 K/BB. Jays really need some pitching prospects to emerge this season. Last year was a disaster almost across the board. Really only Borucki had a good season.

Francisco Rios with a short but great debut as well. 4 IP, 4 H, 5/0 K/BB. Vladdy Jr with his first AA hit. 1/3, 2B, BB, 2 R. Bo is 0/3, BB, R.
Gerry - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#355608) #
The last "workday" for teams was last Friday. They had meetings on Saturday, traveled Sunday and settled in the last three days. Starting pitchers often come out of the bullpen in the first game or two to get some game work in to try and keep them sharp. Maximo Castillo is a starter but won't start until Monday I believe.
bpoz - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#355609) #
Our road warriors are doing well.
uglyone - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#355610) #
nice start from rios too. still an interesting prospect imo.
Nigel - Thursday, April 05 2018 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#355611) #
I do think that Rios is a prospect but I also think any MLB future is likely in the pen. The stuff is pretty modest across the board but he could have a Tepera like transition to the pen. He also knows how to pitch which gives a leg up.
Waveburner - Friday, April 06 2018 @ 01:55 AM EDT (#355613) #
Thanks for the info Gerry. Great to hear. Do you you happen to know why Colton Laws isn't on any roster? 7th round pick from 2017 and was very good in his brief stint in Bluefield and Vancouver. I expected him to make Lansing ahead of guys like Tice and Sellers. Maybe he just had a poor camp.
scottt - Friday, April 06 2018 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#355619) #
Nate Pearson had a good season last year and Zeuch was quite decent.

Pearson had to be promoted aggressively  because he needs hitters who will swing at his 100 mph fastballs instead of just sitting on his off-speed pitches to develop properly.

uglyone - Friday, April 06 2018 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#355625) #
Yeah Nigel that sounds about right on Rios.

And I'll add in Palacios and Vicuna as two other under the radar guys that I think could rise quick this year. I've always been more intrigued by Palacios than I was by Olivares.
Minor League Opening Day | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.