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Casey Janssen's sterling performance, 7 innings of no-hit ball, in Lansing was the highlight of a 2-2 day for the farm affiliates yesterday.

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The Minor League season starts today, and so too does another season of BBRadio. It's an off-day for the big club, which usually means more attention to the farm affiliates. So, who's up to call a few innings?

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Bauxite Kevin Pataky remembers the 2003 divison champion New Haven Ravens well, and has tracked them down for us. Thanks for the pinch-hit, Kevin.

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It is time for a new Minor League Update thread.

Minor League rosters are expected to be finalized over the weekend, club officials are still making decisions on the last few spots on each team. But as a means of getting there the Jays have made some more player releases.
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The Syracuse Skychiefs have been the ugly sister of the Blue Jays minor league system for several years now. While Blue Jay minor league teams at AA, High A, A and Low A have been winning their divisions the Chiefs have been suffering through four straight losing seasons. Well the Jays are not going to take it any more, they have spent extra cash in the off-season to bring in some experienced minor leaguers to supplement a handful of promising rookies in order to restore some glory to the Skychiefs. The Jays have another motive for their support of the Chiefs, before last season the Board of Directors of the Chiefs expressed their dissatisfaction to the Jays, improve or we will find another major league team to affiliate with, was the message. The Jays have heard and have reacted.

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There are nine days to go until the start of the minor league seasons and the roster shuffling has started already with six pitchers released by the Jays.
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What do you do for an encore? If you’re Mark Knopfler, you do Telegraph Road. If you’re Velvet Revolver, so I'm told, you do Sweet Child O' Mine. If you’re Thomas Dolby, you only had one hit anyway, so why are you touring?

But if you’re the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, whose inaugural season in 2004 ended by capturing the Eastern League championship title, what do you do? You open a brand-spankin’ new jewel of a ballpark, that’s what.

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The Dunedin Blue Jays are the team's high-A affiliate in the Florida State League. The team's top college prospects, from Russ Adams and David Bush to David Purcey and Adam Lind, usually begin their first full season there. With the move of the low-A affiliate from Charleston to Lansing, Dunedin also has the nicest spring climate of any of the team's minor league franchises. This makes it a natural destination for pitchers recovering from arm surgery.

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The baseball season is gearing up and Batter’s Box is excited to offer bigger and better coverage of the Blue Jays minor league system than ever before. Welcome to the first installment of our minor league team previews. We begin with the newest member of Toronto’s minor league kin, the Lansing Lugnuts, and will work our way up the ladder to the Syracuse Skychiefs over the next two weeks. Look for our previews of the short-season teams in June once the draft is wrapped up.
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John Sickels' top 20 Jay prospects are up. For comparison, here is Jordan's top 30 from September.

Brandon League and David Purcey are the top rated prospects on John Sickels' list. Aaron Hill and Josh Banks rank 1, 2 on Jordan's.

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It is time to plan the minor league rosters for 2005. When I asked Dick Scott how he allocated the players to the teams he acknowledged that he first places his top prospects and then fills around them. He also said that 90% of the decisions are made before the players report in the spring; so let's see how we would do it if it was our call.

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After the holiday break, the winter leaguers returned to action. Ismael Ramirez got back on track with a solid start (5.2IP, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 0 W, 3K).
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Here's your Jay winter league report:
Puerto Rican League-Caguas
Rob Cosby- .263/.309/.434
Miguel Negron- .228/.365/.329

Venezuelan League
Zulia
Guillermo Quiroz- .245/.359/.491
Lara
Rodney Medina- .309/.377/.400
Oriente
Jorge Sequea- .241/.365/.443
Ismael Ramirez- 35.2 IP, 31 H, 9 W, 28K, 2 HR allowed, 4 HBP, 3.71 ERA, 5-1
Miguel Negron borrows a chapter out of Jayce Tingler's book in Puerto Rico, sporting a .250/.378/.368 line. Guillermo Quiroz hit his 5th homer for Zulia in the Venezuelan League, and is hitting .250 but with power and reasonable plate discipline.
Since we last talked, Ismael Ramirez went to 5-0 for Oriente in the Venezuelan League, after allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks with 3 strikeouts in 6 innings against Lara. He's now gone 34 innings, allowing 25 hits and 7 walks, while stiking out 27 and surrendering only 2 homers.
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