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The Blue Jays affiliates dropped three of four Tuesday night despite the shutout efforts made by two starters making their next-level debut. #LetsGoBlueJays

Buffalo 9 Gwinnett 6 (10 Innings)

The Herd blew a 5-2 lead but managed to pull it out in overtime. Anthony Alford tripled home the winning run before a pair of insurance runs cross the plate on an error and a wild pitch. Alford opened the scoring with a two-run double and Ben Revere doubled home two more. Jordan Patterson added an RBI single and Andy Burns tied the game in the eighth with an RBI double. Revere, Patterson and Burns joined Alford in the two-hit club. Alford also drew a walk while Revere picked up an assist from left field to cut down a runner at second. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Reese McGuire also doubled with McGuire getting hit by a pitch. Cavan Biggio was 0-for-4 with a walk while Roemon Fields went 0-for-5.

Ryan Feierabend was victimized for two unearned runs over 5-1/3 innings, scattering six hits and three walks. He struck out five and threw 61 of his 91 pitches for strikes. Dusty Isaacs stranded a runner for Feierabend in the sixth but blew the save in the seventh by giving up a three-run home run among the four he surrendered in 1-1/3 innings. Javy Guerra pitched 1-1/3 shutout innings before giving way to Conor Fisk, who got the win with a scoreless ninth by striking out two to overcome a walk. Justin Shafer got the save with a shutout frame that included a strikeout.

Portland 4 New Hampshire 2

Nate Pearson made quite a statement in his Double-A debut. He sat down the first 10 hitters he faced and struck out two batters in his first three innings before "tapering" off to one in the fourth and fifth. Four of Pearson's five outs were on the dirt. He was in line for the win but Yennsy Diaz was dinged for four runs on six hits and two walks over three innings, striking out two.

RBI singles by Chad Spanberger and Alberto Mineo accounted for the Fisher Cats runs. Chad Spanberger had a two-hit night. Nash Knight singled, walked and stole a base while Kevin Smith walked and swiped a bag. Forrest Wall and Brock Lundquist heard ball four once.  Santiago Espinal, Kacy Clemens and Riley Adams were all 0-for-4 with Adams still searching for his first Double-A hit.

Tampa 4 Dunedin 1

This game was scoreless heading into the seventh inning stretch. Tampa would score twice against Turner Larkins in the seventh and added two more with a home run off Matt Shannon in the eighth. That ruined a great outing by Joey Murray who made his Florida State League debut. The former Kent State hurler retired the first five hitters in a row and retired seven of the first eight. He stranded a double and a single in scoring position and allowed just one other runner to reach base on an error. Murray yielded just two hits and a walk and struck out six.

Dunedin's lone run came in the ninth when Cullen Large doubled and moved to third on a Christian Williams single. Williams was thrown out trying to steal second. However, a wild pitch brought Large home. Williams had two hits while Chris Bec had a hit and two walks. Norberto Obeso singled and walked. Kevin Vicuna and Cal Stevenson had the other hits. Luis De Los Santos walked but Demi Orimoloye went 0-for-4.

Quad Cities 6 Lansing 0

The Lugnuts were limited to five singles, two of them belonging to Otto Lopez but he was caught stealing. Nick Podkul, Ryan Gold and Tanner Kirwer had the other hits. Kirwer also drew a walk as did Jake Brodt, Dominic Abbadessa and McGregory Contreras. Reggie Pruitt and Rafael Lantigua were 0-for-4.

Josh Winckowski did not have his best stuff as he coughed up four runs (three earned) on four hits and five walks over four innings and also uncorked a pair of wild pitches. He struck out two and got six getting six outs on the ground. Marcus Reyes gave up a run on two hits, a walk and a hit by pitcher while ringing up three over three innings. Sean Rackoski surrendered a run on two hits while punching out one in the eighth.

*** 3 Stars!!! ***

3. Joey Murray, Lansing

2. Anthony Alford, Buffalo

1. Nate Pearson, New Hampshire
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Glevin - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 04:00 AM EDT (#373792) #
Great to see by Pearson. He's on a pretty strict innings plan so interesting to see how he'll progress ROS. A stud prospect though. Murray apparently throws 87-91 so not too excited by him. Feierabend will be up soon I think. Would really like to see the Jays using some tandem starts with their guys and Feierabend with his lefty knuckler would be a fantastic tandem to a bunch of guys (Sanchez, Thornton, Gaviglio, etc...) Nice to see some guys turning it around (Stevenson, Alford). It's still early. Interesting to see mid-season prospect lists, how many Jays will be top-100. Bichette, Pearson, and Groshans look like should all be there (Bichette and Pearson could be top-20).

Some mock drafts up and what I can gather is that the Jays should get a very good prospect but it's too wide open to be able to narrow it down much. Law has them getting Manoah, Callis has them taking Rutledge, and CBS has them taking Stott. Fangraphs had Jays apparently interested in Carrol and Batty. I don't know enough about any of the guys, but generally, I prefer taking hitters higher in the draft because of the greater predictability/less injury risk. Jays also pick 42 and 88 so the system should get another influx of talent.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#373793) #
All of those mocks have us getting solid players with no major red flags outside of Baty who is an older HS player.

Manoah and Rutledge are pretty much the only pitchers I see as good options at #11, as this draft is weak on pitchers overall.

I will note though that Stott has really good college numbers, but his cape cod numbers weren't overly impressive.

Disclaimer: I understand teams know more than me, but I enjoy speculating.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#373795) #
I wonder what the innings target is this year for Pearson.  He's made 7 starts and thrown 26 innings.  A typical minor league starter who throws a full season gets about 28 starts in the regular season- so Pearson is on pace for about 105 innings.  I think that they might prefer to get him to 120-130 and pass on the AFL. 

If he dominates double A, I'd like to see him get a number of starts in triple A with the juiced-up baseball to see how that goes.  If he passes both of those hurdles, I don't see why you wouldn't want him in Toronto from the middle of August through to the end of the year- maybe making a start at the end.  He turns 23 in August, and I see no reason at all for service time games. 
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#373797) #
Mike I agree with your timeline, but you can almost guarantee service times games with Pearson given his talent level and how they managed the last uber prospect. I think especially with pitchers there is less guarantee of initial success, and with the ever constant injury risk I would personally just call him up when he's ready.

hypobole - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#373800) #
I caught some of Pearson's start last night. His fastball was sitting 96-98 with life and he was commanding it on most occasions. Painted the corners for called strikes and blew it by hitters swinging. His secondaries looked less impressive, but he didn't have to use them much.

If we were in a pennant race, I could see fast-tracking him as a late inning reliever. But were not, so I'd go the slower route and have him refine his secondaries. He's not going to be able to just blow fastballs by hitters the 2nd/3rd time through an order in the majors.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#373801) #
I too am very excited by Pearson. Coaches, managers and development personnel always say positive things about any prospect. Some kind of rule according to Mel Queen.

There have been stories written on his AA debut with quotes from Pearson and V Horsman. When he and R Adams arrived in NH it was raining and cold. Pearson asked his fellow NH starters how much harder AA was from A+. They said not too bad and to just continue doing it his own way. Pearson said his FB, slider and Change was working well last night. He has had great results. He started working from the stretch exclusively in the AFL and is still doing that. It helps his control. Next for him is to work with V Horsman on his curve.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#373802) #
Pearson's repertoire, as it is now, plays very well against LHBs as well as RHBs.  Platoon issues are usually the number 1 reason for waiting on further development of secondary pitches, in my view.

It's strange, hypobole.  I feel the exact opposite about the impact of the Jays being out of contention.  If the Jays were in a pennant race, I'd be worried about calling him up because of the confidence issues if he struggles.  Out of the pennant race, I don't feel that way- the heat is off.  Berrios, for instance, made 14 starts with an ERA over 8 in his first year.  That was fine. 

There are a couple of hurdles before any reasonable club would consider it.  Let's see how he does, and how his stuff looks in a couple of months. 
bpoz - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#373803) #
Thanks hypobole for telling us what you saw when Pearson pitched.
His pro career is 47.2 IP, 8 bb and 70 K. So incredible, but very low IP. I am fine with the FO calling him up when they feel he is ready. I don't know if they will manipulate his service time. If ready I expect him in Toronto next year to get used to pitching in the Majors.

Everything Atkins has done is sacrificing 2019 for a future season. Tellez, Jansen, McKinney and a few others are still building up to 500 ML plate appearances. These are growing pains. Others like Alford, Biggio, Bichette and McGuire will start/continue their 500 AB this year and next. Some will thrive and others will not survive.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#373804) #
Mike, to me,it doesn't look like we'll be contending next year either. Let him take his lumps then.

Now that he's out of Dunedin, all his games will be televised. His stuff played well against both sides because few minor league hitters can square up his FB, which seemed to be his out-pitch, other than one change up last night. I didn't see one swing and miss on either his curve or slider in the few innings I watched.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#373805) #
I'm with hypobole - the big club is a long way from contending and may well get much farther away if the rumours of moving Stroman and Sanchez are true. I would imagine that the earliest we will see Pearson is as a September call-up next year. Of course, he might force the issue as Vladdy did.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#373806) #
That's a problem too, Nigel.  If the club is acting as though 2020 is a lost cause, they're going to lose even more fans.  It's a shame to write off 2 of Guerrero Jr.'s 7 years of control- the 1st year was entirely reasonable, the 2nd should only be done with great reluctance.  Guerrero Jr. is the one most likely to make a difference. 

2020 isn't really a lost cause now.  It may well be that Stroman, Pearson, Sanchez and Borucki is a very strong front 4 in 2020 if you let it happen.   
Nigel - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#373807) #
Mike, you're preaching to the choir on this issue. I have been saying for some time now that it seems inevitable to me that they are going to waste Vladdy's cheap pre-arb years if they decide to dump Stroman and Sanchez. There just isn't the pitching to make a competitive club without them. Keeping them gives you something to work with for next year. Personally, I would go with a blended approach and sign Stroman and move Sanchez. I do think counting on Borucki as a rotation cornerstone, given his injury history, is a huge risk. I've also thought for a while now that the competitive window could, in theory, open as soon as next year and as far out as 2022. Right now I lean to the later end of that spectrum because of the dearth of pitching in the high minors. Lots can change though.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#373808) #
My point is that Pearson may, or may not, be part of the "compete in 2020" plan.  And the best marker of that is how he does in the next 3 months.   He's not likely to be striking out 47% of the batters he faces (as he has so far) on a sustained level in the high minors without major league ready stuff.  
PeterG - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#373809) #
I read recently but don't ask for a link, that the goal in innings for Pearson is 100 this season and 140 next.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#373810) #
1. I don't think they have any intention of making any type of attempt to contend prior to 2021. if things go well.

2. The key with Pearson for me was getting him up to an age appropriate level asap instead of wasting time with him at a level where his results couldn't tell us much. Well, now he's caught up, at age 22 in AA. From now on he should be treated like any other prospect, and promoted as deserved, but not rushed without getting a solid taste of a level first. Even if he dominates here I'd hold off of any promotions for a couple months at least.

As for MLB - I guess a september callup could make sense but he'll probably be past an innings limit by then. But I don't see much reason why he can't be up in MLB for most of next year if he keeps performing well.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#373811) #
I think we have about 3 major factors.

The top priority is job protection for Shapiro and Atkins.

The 3 factors/goals would be 1) Big revenue. 2) Low cost. 3) Always try for big revenue and low cost.

To achieve big revenue be in a pennant race (2WC) very often. Making the playoffs adds more revenue. Waves of ML ready prospects coming up to the Majors would keep costs down. The TB model. Never acquire an expensive contract and be careful of expensive extensions.

Cheap backup and depth is easily attainable. Solarte and A Diaz were quality depth.

Grichuk if healthy is easy to trade in the last 2 or 3 years of his contract.

Going for it (WS) is a bad/risky plan. You would have to give up prospects and raise payroll. They have to be careful.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#373812) #
We got swept by the Angels, won 1-0 vs Texas and then lost the next 4 games. Our ranking as a bottom 3 Runs scored in the AL stayed. Our V good Runs against in the AL suffered but we are still #7 a drop from #3.

It does seem wrong to give our defense credit for the good Runs Against. So it has to be the pitching. Yet our pitching has had a lot of injuries.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#373817) #
I agree with Nigel with what he phrased as a blended approach to Sanchez and Stroman. I think if you keep/extend Stroman and trade Sanchez you can still have a good rotation mix of Stroman, Pearson, Thorton, Borucki, Shoemkaer and Zeuch for next year while perhaps addressing another need in the outfield. At some point this team needs to trade for a young center fielder.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#373819) #
That's a different thing, Shoeless.  Trading to fill current needs is something teams do at all stages of the competitive cycle.  If one can get a centerfielder who can contribute for 3 or 4 years, that's something you have to consider. 
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#373820) #
This team has infielders at every level, but you have to squint to see a MLB outfielder for 2021. If you are looking to trade players, I expect the return to fill some needs.
scottt - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#373821) #
They're looking to trade players who are not controllable.
It's nothing like the AA trades where he went after players that other teams were trying to unload, for whatever reasons. The exception is the trade that brought EE back for Scott Rolen.
EE was 26 and didn't produce until he turned 29.

They're trying to develop their prospects.
They don't expect these prospect to produce instantly.

It's way to early to qualify the current year.
Pitching has been good, but it's early.
Hitting has been bad and only the vets they signed as placeholders have produced but it's early.

We need to see Biggio and Gurriel back at some point.
Maybe Bichette, but you don't want too many struggling rookies in the lineup at the same time.
We need to see a whole bunch of pitchers, Borucki, Merryweather, Reid-Foley, Phelps, Paulino, etc...

They'll keep watching where they're at all year long, but they're not trading prospects for vets anytime soon. Right now, they're probably focused on the draft. After that, they'll try to move some players to create openings as needed.  Hopefully somebody starts hitting soon.

John Northey - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#373825) #
Right now it is pure prospect time. Well, mixed with 'lets see if Joe Smoe can come back to form and be a good trade chip'.

To be traded because they are free agents post 2019 (something better than nothing)...
Justin Smoak
Eric Sogard
Clay Buchholz if he figures out how to get guys out again
Clayton Richard if he ever gets healthy enough to show enough to get something

Might be traded ... not free agents until post 2020...
Marcus Stroman
Aaron Sanchez
Ken Giles
Matt Shoemaker would've been on this list but (#&@(! freak injury.

Everyone else would require a real return, not just a token one to make them look good while saving money.

Should be interesting to see what happens.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#373828) #
The top 30 July 2 international prospects list is up on MLB pipeline and strangely the Jays are almost nowhere to be found on the list. Riklevin De Castro is the only player linked to the Jays at 27. The past few years they have been linked to the higher priced signings like Orelvis, Pardinho, Hiraldo, Jimenez and not to mention Vladdy.

The other point is that Yeiner Cano and Robert Sanchez are still eligible to sign from the 2018 July 2 period, and maybe the Jays use some of the draft pool money they've acquired to sign one of those guys.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#373829) #
Just read that Cano's spending restrictions are lifted in the next signing period and is expected to sign a very big deal. Hopefully the jays use some of payroll space to bring in a younger pitcher.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#373830) #
Just finished reading it too Shoeless Joe. I was disappointed that the Jays were invisible. But then I thought of G Moreno and A Kirk.

In last years DSL we had 2 or 3 interesting OFs and a 3B. They produced good results but were unheralded as amateurs.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#373834) #
Groshans is the DH tonight for Lansing.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 08 2019 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#373843) #
The International free agent list is interesting as it says the Jays are expected to be very active, but has few linked to them. Hopefully that means the Jays are being stealthy and will sneak in and sign a top prospect or two.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 09 2019 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#373881) #
Travis Bergen has been getting better results of late. He hasn't allowed a run since April 17 (6.2 consecutive scoreless IP), and his ERA is down to 3.46. In fact, he has only allowed runs in 2 of his 14 outings this year, and apart from his one bad outing on April 17 (4 ER allowed), he has allowed only one earned run all year. However, it remains to be seen whether he can improve his overall game (as yet the more advanced pitching stats do not seem all that favourable for him).
dan gordon - Friday, May 10 2019 @ 01:58 AM EDT (#373891) #
Careful, greenfrog, or the anti-Bergen faction will accuse you of being hysterical. He has pitched pretty well except for that 1 appearance. On the other hand, he seems to have started to nibble a bit too much after that 2 HR game, and has started walking too many, with 5 walks in his last 6 games since the 2 HR game.
Mike Green - Friday, May 10 2019 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#373897) #
I'm not anti-Bergen.  I wish the club still had him.  But the Statcast numbers so far are terrible- avg exit velocity of 93 mph and xwOBA of .396.  That would be worse than any Blue Jay pitcher who has faced 50 batters this year., and worse than everyone last year except Preston Guilmet (who faced 52). 
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