May 18 Minor League Report

There was a flurry of activity on Friday and Saturday with a shuffling of minor league pitching.  It will continue on Sunday as highly touted righty Marcus Stroman will be activated at the conclusion of his 50-game suspension and will get the start for New Hampshire. You can read all of the details of these moves which range from Triple-A Buffalo all the way to Single-A Lansing at Blue Jays from Away.

Buffalo Bisons (24-17)

The Buffalo Bisons pitching staff got hit hard on Saturday in a 11-6 loss to the Charlotte Knights. Ten of the Knights’ eleven runs came off of starter Claudio Vargas (who only managed to get through three innings) and the first reliever out of the pen, Bobby Korecky. Miguel Batista came on for the final inning, giving up the last run but the three pitchers in between offer a fascinating glimpse of what could be in the Toronto bullpen at some point this season. Jeremy Jeffress, sent down at the beginning of the season, walked one and struck out one in his two-thirds of an inning while Michael Schwimer and Dustin McGowan each pitched an inning while striking out one batter (each). McGowan needed only eleven pitches (six strikes) while Schwimer needed only thirteen.

The offense only managed five hits but took nine walks in scoring their six runs. Among the hits were two by Andy LaRoche (a single and a double) and a solo home run by Eugenio Velez. Velez and catcher Mike Nickeas each made an error.  Anthony Gose had a fairly good game, going one for three with a walk and three runs scored but he also struck out twice. Jim Negrych took another “oh-fer” and saw his average fall below .400 to .390. Nickeas, in particular, has struggled this season, hitting only .102 as a backup to Josh Thole. With a couple of decent catchers in Double-A, Nickeas could be a victim of a numbers game when A.J. Jimenez returns to health.

Roster Notes: Reliever John Stilson was promoted to the Bisons and reliever Clint Everts was released to make room for him.

Mar 5, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Andy LaRoche (left) tags out Baltimore Orioles base runner Luis Exposito during the top of the third inning of a spring training game at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Hitting:

Mike McCoy – 1/4, BB, 2 K
Anthony Gose – 1/3, 3 R, BB, 2 K
Moises Sierra – 0/3, R, BB, K
Luis Jimenez – 1/3, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
Mauro Gomez – 0/5, 2 K
Andy LaRoche – 2/5, 2B, 2 RBI
Jim Negrych – 0/3, 2 BB, K
Eugenio Velez – 1/3, R, HR, RBI, K, E
Mike Nickeas – 0/3, 1 BB, 2 K

Pitching:

Claudio Vargas – L, 3 IP, 7 H, 7 R (6 ER), 1 BB, 1 HR
Bobby Korecky – 2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 HR
Jeremy Jeffress – 2/3 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
Michael Schwimer – 1IP, 1 K
Dustin McGowan – 1 IP, 1 K
Miguel Batista – 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1BB, 1 K

Jay Blue’s Player of the Game: Andy LaRoche

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (21-22)

Pitching prospect Sean Nolin led the way for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats as he won his second game of the season in a 5-0 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats. Nolin went six innings, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out five. Newly promoted Scott Gracey threw two shutout innings, striking out three which was how many Tommy Hottovy struck out in his shutout ninth inning. The offense was led, once again, by Kevin Pillar who had two more hits and raised his batting average to .341. Catcher Sean Ochinko pitched in with two hits of his own while John Tolisano drove in three with a home run in the eighth inning, giving the Fisher Cats some breathing room. It’s an exciting time to be following the Fisher Cats. As of Sunday, there are three pitching prospects in the starting rotation: Deck McGuire, last night’s starter Sean Nolin and Sunday’s starter Marcus Stroman whose 50-game suspension for a banned amphetamine has now ended.

Roster Notes: Pitcher John Stilson was promoted to Buffalo while Scott Gracey was promoted to New Hampshire from Dunedin.

Hitting:

Kevin Pillar – 2/5, R, RBI, K
Ryan Schimpf –0/5, K
Kevin Nolan – 0/4, 3 K
Clint Robinson – 1/4, 2B, RBI, K
Brian Van Kirk – 1/4, 2B
Adam Loewen – 1/4, R, K
Sean Ochinko – 2/4,2B
Kevin Ahrens – 1/3, 2 R, 2B, BB
John Tolisano – 1/4, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K

Pitching:

Sean Nolin – W, 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K
Scott Gracey – 2 IP, 3 K
Tommy Hottovy – 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K

Jay Blue’s Player of the Game: Sean Nolin

Dunedin Blue Jays (23-16)

Top prospect Aaron Sanchez only lasted three innings as the Dunedin Blue Jays lost to the Brevard County Manatees 6-2 on Saturday. Sanchez gave up two runs on a home run in the first inning but was excellent after that but hit his pitch count and was removed from the game after the third. He was followed by Tyler Ybarra and Marco Grifantini who each gave up two runs. Tony Davis and Danny Barnes (in his season debut) completed the game, effectively shutting down the Manatees. Catcher Derrick Chung, who’s on a massive hot streak, had two hits for the Blue Jays while Michael Crouse (now listed as “Mike” Crouse) returned to lineup after his injury. He went oh for two with two walks and a stolen base.

Roster Notes: Outfielder (and Canadian) Mike Crouse and LHP John Anderson were activated off the DL while pitcher Scott Gracey was promoted to New Hampshire.

Hitting:

Jon Berti – 1/3, R, 2B, 2 BB, K, SB
Jonathan Jones – 0/5, 2 K
Andy Burns –1/4, R, RBI, 2 K, SB
Marcus Knecht – 1/3, 2B, RBI, BB, CS, E
Mike Crouse – 0/2, 2 BB, SB
K.C. Hobson – 1/4, R, 2B, K
Derrick Chung – 2/4, 2B
Pierce Rankin – 1/3, RBI, BB
Shane Opitz – 0/2, BB, K
Matt Newman – 0/1

Pitching:

Aaron Sanchez – 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
Tyler Ybarra – L, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Marco Grifantini – 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Tony Davis – 2 IP, 1 BB, 5 K
Danny Barnes – 1 IP, 2 K

Jay Blue’s Player of the Game: Tony Davis

Lansing Lugnuts (16-23)

The Lansing Lugnuts won their third in a row and their seventh of nine in a 9-2 romp over the Great Lakes Loons. The Lugnuts didn’t make any errors and scored in bunches behind pitching prospect Daniel Norris who threw a pitch-count-shortened four innings, giving up only one run on three hits and three walks but he struck out a season high seven (tying his professional career high). The other five innings of one-run ball came from the bullpen, including two perfect innings from Griffin Murphy and another shutout inning from Justin Jackson. The offense shone, hitting three home runs and had multi-hit games from Dwight Smith, Jr., Kevin Patterson (who drove in six runs) and Emilio Guerrero. The home runs came from Smith, Patterson and Balbino Fuenmayor. Dalton Pompey was held hitless although he did walk and scored a run while Aaron Munoz hit the first triple of his professional career and threw out three runners trying to steal.

Hitting:

Dalton Pompey – 0/4, R, BB, 2 K
Dwight Smith, Jr. – 2/4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SB
Christian Lopes – 2/3, 2 R, 2 BB
Kevin Patterson – 2/5, R, 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 2 K
Kellen Sweeney – 0/4, K
Balbino Fuenmayor – 1/4, R, HR, RBI
Chris Hawkins – 0/4
Aaron Munoz – 1/2, 3B, 2 BB
Emilio Guerrero – 2/4, R, K

Pitching:

Daniel Norris – 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K
Kramer Champlin – W, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Griffin Murphy – 2 IP, 1 K
Justin Jackson – 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Jay Blue’s Player of the Game: Kevin Patterson

If you like what you’ve seen by Jay Blue, read his work and listen to his podcast on Blue Jays from Away and follow him on Twitter: @Jaysfromaway.

Topics: Toronto Blue Jays

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