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With less than three weeks left in the season, I thought it would be a good idea to check out the playoff picture for each team. On the field, Eric Pardinho was perfect through six and a third and was generally outstanding. Cavan Biggio had two home runs, including a walk off, to give him 26 for the season. I think Andy McGuire doesn't get enough attention. Shohei Ohtani gets lots of attention but McGuire is hitting over .300 while holding opposition hitters to a batting average of .100. Sounds Ohtani like to me, or is that Ohtani-light?

Buffalo are toast, their elimination number is three as of Thursday afternoon. New Hampshire will almost definitely make the playoffs, they are 10 games ahead of the third place team with the top two making it.

Dunedin are the first of the split season leagues. They did not qualify out of the first half and might lose out in the second half too. They have gone 1-9 in their last ten games to fall out of a playoff spot and rest 4.5 games out. They need a winning streak to get back into contention. Lansing did qualify out of their first half. In the first half Bowling Green were first and Lansing second. In the second half the standing are the same. Lansing are playing well despite losing guys like Kevin Smith, Brock Lundquist, Zach Logue and Yenssy Diaz to Dunedin. Vancouver just missed out on qualifying from the first half, they currently have a two game lead in the second half.

Bluefield are in second place which would get them into the playoffs but they are just 2.5 games ahead of the third place team. The GCL Jays will not make the playoffs, neither will the DSL Jays.

So, in summary, it looks like the Jays will have between two and four teams in the playoffs. New Hampshire and Lansing look secure, Vancouver and Bluefield have leads.


Buffalo

Buffalo lost 4-2 and are almost eliminated from the playoffs. The Bisons had just four hits, Vlad Jr. hadtwo of them, plus a walk, to reverse his mini-skid. Tim Lopes had the other two hits.


New Hampshire

The Fisher Cats won 7-6 with a walk off home run from Cavan Biggio. He had two home runs, numbers 25 and 26 for the season,plus a double and a walk. He drove in three. Max Pentecost doubled in two runs.

TJ Zeuch just went four innings and was charged with five runs.


Dunedin

Dunedin's skid continued with another loss as Maverik Buffo was hit all over the park. Kevin Smith and Rodrogo Orozco each had two hits, Ivan Castillo homered.


Lansing

Lansing won 3-2 despite having just five hits. The winning run came through two errors in the same inning. Graham Spraker went seven innings with two runs allowed.



Vancouver

The C's lost 6-0 and had just four singles. There was little notable about this game.


Bluefield

Eric Pardinho was perfect through 6.1 innings before giving up a hit. He retired the next two hitters for a seven inning one hitter with six strikeouts. Andy McGuire is an interesting player. He was 3-4 playing first base. Those hits bumped his average to .314. When not hitting he has a 1.50 ERA in 18 innings. He has only given up six hits in those 18 innings. Also, according to his bio, he was born in Rabat, Morocco. Alejandro Kirk had two hits and two RBI.


GCL Blue Jays

The Jays lost 4-2. Joseph Reyes, who has been hot, homered. Jordan Groshans was 1-4.


DSL Blue Jays

The DSL Jays won. Pedro Ventura, a 21 year old who is new to the team, had three hits and four RBI. Erickvi Celedonio, Alberto Rodriguez and Geyber Jimenez had two hits each.

The starter was Lazardo Estrada had ten K's in six innings. Estrada has been the best of the DSL starters. The 19 year old Cuban will hope to get some time in the US next year.


Three Stars

Third Star - Andy McGuire

Second Star - Cavan Biggio

First Star - Eric Pardinho


Boxes

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ayjackson - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#363786) #
Apparently Cavan Biggio played Right Field tonight. That would be an interesting development.
Jdog - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#363787) #
Any chance Guerrero goes back to New Hampshire for the playoffs?
John Northey - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 12:08 AM EDT (#363788) #
NH has had Vlad (1120 OPS) and Biggio (903 OPS) as their big 2 at 3B so far.  Jon Berti has 17 games (748 OPS), and Gunnar Heidt (643 OPS) 10.  Nash Knight (470 OPS in 33 PA) 7, Santiago Espinal (781 OPS in 22 games) 5, and in desperation one day Juan Kelly (738 OPS) stood there but had no plays.

So Biggio or Berti are the most likely to play there in the playoffs, although I could see an advantage to the Jays to have Vlad there for the playoffs - give him playoff experience and supercharge that team for the title.  Btw, NH's team OPS is 768 so they aren't exactly weak hitting.
hypobole - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#363789) #
Wow, we're promoting Vlad backwards.



John Northey - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#363790) #
Well, he ain't getting playoff experience in the majors or AAA this year.
hypobole - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 01:04 AM EDT (#363791) #
He'll get playoff experience in the AFL.
ramone - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#363800) #
Groshans tweeted he's going to Bluefield
Gerry - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#363804) #
The Jays will likely move top prospects around to get playoff experience. There are rules about backwards promotions so I don't know if Vlad can go back to New Hampshire.
Marc Hulet - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#363805) #
Sounds like Jose Rivas, who received a healthy bonus last July, is coming from the DSL to GCL to replace Groshans.
hypobole - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#363807) #
Marc and/or Gerry, I keep seeing the term "firm" used to describe pitches, as in a firm fastball or Pat Murphy has a firm change. What exactly does "firm" mean?
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#363810) #
Groshans is getting bumped to Bluefield, but that is still 2 levels below Nolan Gorman who is aggressively promoted by STL. Gorman thus far has had a slightly stronger start to his pro career, but seems a little overmatched in A ball.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#363811) #
There was little notable about this game.

Actually, Yorman Rodriguez hit into not one, not two but three double plays and had a throwing error to boot. The first one was on a 3-0 pitch with runners at second and third in the first inning when he popped up in foul territory. Tanner Kirwer tagged up and tried to score but was thrown out on a 3-2 twin-killing.

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hypobole - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#363813) #
2080 with a scouting report on Eric Pardinho. Highly recommend checking this out.

https://2080baseball.com/reports/eric-pardinho/

Summary:Above-average in every way. Will not blow hitters away with stuff, but he already mixes well and will benefit by keeping hitters off-balance. Quiet delivery and sturdy frame both work well for uptick in command/control. Fierce competitor not afraid to throw inside.
hypobole - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#363815) #
And here is why I really like this site. Here's what they call a spotlight on Emanuel Vizcaino. I'm guessing Marc or Gerry are aware of this kid, but I've never heard his name mentioned before (a 6.63 ERA in the GCL may be a reason)

"Heís now looking like a sleeper prospect in the Jaysí organization, an intriguing blend of fastball velocity and breaking ball feel."

Full scouting spotlight

https://2080baseball.com/spotlight/emanuel-vizcaino/
scottt - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#363819) #
I think firmness is a measure of the sink and tilt as the ball crosses the home plate.
Ideally, you want the ball to sink into the catcher's mitt.

The other aspect of a changeup is the separation with the fastball.
If the difference is 10+mph it will produce more missed swing, less, more ground balls.

A guy who throws hard need more separation to produce misses because the change up might end up in the air otherwise.

jerjapan - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#363822) #
At his age, and with his frame and velocity, Vizcaino was interesting last year too.  Terrible results this season, but the scouting report doesn't mention his struggles.  Hopefully he's just working on something.
Billy McKinney up.  I understand why he gets ranked fairly well as a prospect, but he has to be the least exciting call up imaginable at this point.  I'm less down on the Happ deal than many, but that's because I hope there is still upside in Drury.  Even Atkins described him as average or above at everything when discussing his tools - and was framing that as a positive.  I'd rather see Pompey up, and no wonder he was pissed at being taken out for McKinney - the org wants to see their new prospect, despite his rough season and mediocre start in Buffalo. 
hypobole - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#363823) #
Pompey is on the DL again, at least he was yesterday when I checked.
hypobole - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#363824) #
scottt, what you're saying is a firm pitch has minimal sink or tilt?
Gerry - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#363825) #
I am not sure what a firm fastball means, unless its another word for heavy?

Gift Ngoepe has been released.
Spifficus - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#363826) #
I don't recall hearing firm in context of a fastball, but my first thought was maybe that it holds its plane, without a lot of horizontal run, ie a 4-seamer. Again, though, I don't recall ever seeing it in this context. When I googled it, the first article I saw had the Brewers talking about Ohtani's first spring training start, where they were talking about it as "firm but flat", so they seemed to be using it as a synonym for hard... That's not very helpful. At the same time, given what popped into my head, the pitchf/x numbers for it look like what I'd envision - not a lot of horizontal movement, and a decent amount of vertical 'rise'.

When I see someone talk about a 'firm changeup', I'm envisioning a changeup without much velocity separation from the fastball (I'd probably guess 5-7 mph). Maybe in addition, not a lot of movement separation.

That's what pops into my my untrained mind when I hear 'firm fastball' and 'firm changeup', anyway.

While googling, I did find an interesting series on Baseball Prospectus from about 5 years ago here:

https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/21675/what-makes-a-good-changeup-an-investigation-part-three/

scottt - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#363828) #
Yeah, that's the impression I get and hopefully if I'm wrong someone will correct me.

greenfrog - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#363832) #
"Gift Ngoepe has been released."

#ReGifted
Spifficus - Saturday, August 18 2018 @ 01:42 AM EDT (#363841) #
Ok, #ReGifted amused, greenfrog.
scottt - Saturday, August 18 2018 @ 05:51 AM EDT (#363843) #
Let's take Estrada for example. His fastball is around 90 mph. It's very straight with tons of backspin. Can we say it's firm? His change is around 78 mph. That's a great 12 mph of separation, but it doesn't have a lot of movement either and he doesn't get ground balls on it. Is it a firm changeup?

Going back to Murphy; is he a flyball pitcher?

Spifficus - Saturday, August 18 2018 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#363848) #
I actually did think of Marco (along with Osuna) yesterday when musing about firm fastballs. Thinking of it now, I'd probably say "firm for its speed", or maybe enough spin to even say it had a bit of hop.

As for the changeup, it has 3 inches more run and sink than the fastball, so in either velocity or movement separation, no, I wouldn't think of it as a form changeup at all.

Of course, I'm sure my ideas on them will be different from quite a few others on this, since we're still guessing in the meaning.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, August 18 2018 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#363856) #
Interesting stat for Zach Logue... He doesn't have extreme splits of any kinds BUT in 139.2 innings this year, he's walked 28 total batters... and just one left-handed batter.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#363906) #
I saw my first game at Nat Bailey Stadium this past week and have a few observations to share.

It's an excellent facility and the club is exceptionally well supported by the fans for a short season A franchise (as you might guess from the support for the big club when they visit Seattle).  It's a shame that both Guerrero Jr. and Bichette did not play there (and it looks to me like both Groshans and Moreno will jump to full-season ball next year without time in Vancouver).  It would be nice if the organization did something  to say thank you to the fans there- maybe a spring training game (perhaps if they opened the season on the West Coast).  If you see a late middle-aged guy at a political rally with a Lansing Lugnuts cap and a C's water bottle, that's me.

On to the players.  Otto Lopez turns 20 in October.  He's small with a nice quick short stroke and a  good eye at the plate.  He looks to me like he will hit- the Cs had him leading off and that's where I think that he fits.  He was playing third base the night we saw him, and he was OK- picking a short hop cleanly- but without much feel for the position.  He runs well and I'd guess that they make him an outfielder- he played right field today.  McGregory Contreras turns 20 next week.  He's got a long swing and he swings hard- his 5/56 W/K is no accident.  He runs well in the outfield but his routes aren't great.  Griffin Conine is in a slump and you can see it from his nervous timing mechanism with his foot.  His swing is also long.  In the outfield, he moves decently well and his reactions on the two balls hit to him were so-so.  Sean Wymer and Joey Murray each threw a few innings in a kind of tandem start. Wymer doesn't have an overpowering fastball, and didn't have good command either on the day we saw him.  Murray was better, enticing many swings on pitches outside the zone although the movement on his breaking stuff did not seem special to me. 

Lopez was the one who caught my attention. 


hypobole - Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#363909) #
Thanks for the observations, Mike, and welcome back.

And as for the C's, another 7 shutout innings for Josh Winckowski - 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K.
greenfrog - Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#363918) #
Who is just-turned-20 Josh Winckowski, and how is he managing to post such good numbers this year (including 1 ER total in his last four starts)?
Gerry - Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#363922) #
Nate Pearson just tweeted that he gets to throw a bullpen tomorrow. He might get back in time for the playoffs and he would be a good candidate to go to the AFL.
hypobole - Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#363924) #
Woo-hoo!!!
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#363925) #
That is good news about Pearson! He seems pretty excited.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, August 20 2018 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#363939) #
Huge news, getting him a head start on next season would be huge.
bpoz - Monday, August 20 2018 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#363940) #
The rehab will be interesting for N Pearson. Then assigned to a playoff team. Very possible that he could be a reliever working short innings.
bpoz - Monday, August 20 2018 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#363951) #
Adam Kloffenstein pitch 1 inning in the GCL today. 0 H, 1bb and 2K.
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