Good Pitching From The Conveyor Belters

Thursday, August 15 2019 @ 09:02 AM EDT

Contributed by: Gerry

Santiago Espinal singled in the winning run for Buffalo in the eleventh inning. New Hampshire scored just one run but that was good enough for the win. Dunedin also had a shutout win. Lansing had a more normal win. Vancouver lost in extras. Bluefield and the GCL Jays did not play. Some of the pitchers listed in the waves of those coming to deliver the Jays to the playoffs pitched well on Wednesday. TJ Zeuch, Yennsy Diaz, Maximo Castillo all pitched shutouts while they were on the mound.

Toledo 4 Buffalo 5 - 11 innings

New Hampshire 1 Binghamton 0

Dunedin 6 Clearwater 0

Fort Wayne 3 Lansing 5

Vancouver 6 Spokane 7 - 10 innings

Bluefield - Scheduled day off

GCL Yankees at GCL Jays - Postponed

DSL Padres 8 DSL Blue Jays 9

Here are some things I noted from Wednesdays games:

TJ Zeuch has been consistent over the last month, consistently average. Over his last six starts he has conceded three or four runs, each start. He hasn't given up too many hits, around one per inning, but he was only punching out about three per start. To be fair he pitched well in his last start until he ran out of gas in his last inning. On Wednesday he has his best start of the year, six innings, four hits but most impressively, six K's. Zeuch did have his sinker working and recorded seven ground ball outs to two fly outs.

Anthony Alford has only played six games in Buffalo since coming off the DL but has hit consistently. Alford has been hitting well before his injury, he hit .361 in June. He deserves a call up in September.

Richard Urena has hit .280 in June, July and August. He should be good enough to be a decent utility backup in 2020.

Yennsy Diaz had a brief call up to the major leagues. When he came back to AA he struggled in his first start. On this day he pitched well, five shutout innings, five hits, two walks, four K's. His pitch total was high at 89.

Cullen Large was promoted a week ago to New Hampshire. He went hitless in his first four games. Then in game five he got his first hit. On Tuesday he had two hits and on Wednesday two more. He might be getting used to AA.

Dany Jimenez has 35 K's in 27.2 innings in AA. His results have been getting better. His WHIP has declined from 1.09 in July to .80 in August. Jimenez is 25 and in his fifth season in the Jays system.

Maximo Castillo has a good start, 5.2 shutout innings. He has thrown 113 innings so far this season with 102 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.13. Castillo doesn't throw hard but he is successful.

Demi Orimoloye got everyone excited with his 1050 OPS in June but he has returned to a 650'ish OPS in July and August.

Samad Taylor has cooled down some in August but his OPS is still over 800 but his K rate has gone up.

Fitz Stadler pitched six innings and gave up two runs. His ERA is an unremarkable 4.84. But Stadler is notable because of his height, he stands 6' 9". Taller pitchers can take longer to get their coordination down. He could be one to keep an eye on next year. Stadler was drafted last year and is still 22 years old.

Alex Manoah gave up a two run home run in the first inning. He also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. He didn't strike out a hitter until the third inning. His final line was 3 2 2 1 0 2.

On a more general note, I have noted how few excellent pitching seasons I have seen in the lower minors. Shapiro and Atkins have talked of waves of pitchers arriving so that caused me to recall that there has been a lack of standout pitchers in the short season leagues. Alek Manoah has been good in a tiny sample, as has Kendall Williams. A couple of lower draft picks have been good, Michael Dominguez and Luis Quinones. But they are lower draft picks and might just be ahead or have something quirky. Among the latino pitchers, and there are a lot in the four short season teams, very few have dominated this season. Maybe you could argue for Rafael Monsion but most others have had mixed results. They are all young and could develop but I would be surprised if many Jays pitchers, other than Manoah and Williams, made BA's league top 20's. There is still a lot of pitching potential in thew system, it just seems to have hid a bump in this one area.

3 Stars

3rd star: Santiago Espinal

2nd star: Maximo Castillo

1st star: TJ Zeuch