Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
New Hampshire didn't start off very well -- a four game losing streak in the first week, then five losses out of six games to close out the month with only 8 wins in 22 games. Kevin Gray's article from Sunday morning contains the line: "If it weren't for the Wichita Wranglers of the Texas League, New Hampshire would own the worst winning percentage in all of Double-A baseball." That tells you pretty much all you need to know about the Fisher Cats, but, of course, more information on their "dismal start" follows.
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Orlando Trias recorded the only win for the affiliates.  Lansing ran into a pretty good pitcher for A ball, Kerry Wood.  Syracuse faced Cole Hamels, one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.  Lansing and Syracuse lost in extra innings, New Hamshire lost in regulation.  Vinnie Chulk made a AAA appearance and gave up a home run, and Billy Carnline is human after all.
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All four farm affiliates were visitors, and two were kind to their hosts.
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Hey, no offense, minor league affiliates, but you had no offense last night. Syracuse won one, but nobody else did. I worked top-down on this Minor League Update and it started off well, but by the time I got to Lansing...well, see for yourself:
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Rain helped Toronto avoid an organizational sweep Thursday, as only the postponement of the Pawtucket-Syracuse match meant that the SkyChiefs had no chance of joining the Blue Jays, FisherCats, Dunedin Jays and Lugnuts on the losing end of the scoreboard.

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The Lugnuts went 17-5 in April, as just about everything went right.  Shall we revel in the details?
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Last night, I was seconds away from going with "At press time, the score of this game was..." but Dunedin finally finished it up after three hours and 13 minutes down in Sarasota. Two wins for the affiliates last night (Lansing had the night off), including a fun ending in Syracuse that inspired the weak pun in the headline.

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It is easy to underestimate the Yankee farm system. A few years ago when Robinson Cano and Dioner Navarro were starting to make waves in Tampa, the Yankee system was considered by many to be among the poorest in baseball, but producing a starting second baseman and catcher is not a bad result. For 2006, the players to watch seem to be Phil Hughes and Jose Tabata. Jose Tabata? I hadn't heard of him either.
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The affiliates went 2-2 on the night with a NH rainout.

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Davis reminds us that Ricky isnít the only Blue Jay prospect named Romero, as the farm goes 3-2 with three, count Ďem, three shutouts.
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Last week in Buffalo I had a chance to sit down with Syracuse pitching coach Rick LangfordLangford has been a coach in the Jays system for eleven years and coached some of these AAA pitchers when they were in Dunedin.  Langford himself pitched in the majors for eleven years and was on the famous Billy Martin managed Oakland A's in the early eighties.  In 1980 Langford pitched 22 complete games in a row, on his way to finish that year with 28 complete games in 33 starts, and 290 innings pitched.
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The Devil Ray farm system is thought by many to be the best in the division. Let's see how they are doing.
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Fours were lucky for the farm affiliates yesterday.  They went 2-1 with a rainout.
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Boston and Tampa are widely held to have the best farm systems in the division. How are their top prospects doing? We start today with Boston.
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Great pitching performances and late inning fireworks lead to a 3-1 night for the farm affiliates.
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