The Buffalo Bisons currently (July 3rd) sit in third place with a 45-40 record. The Bisons finished the month of June with a winning record of 17-15. They started June in a bit of a tail spin with four straight losses. Combine that with 2-5 record to close out May and it looked as though the Bisons were heading for the basement of the International League North Division.
The Bisons played the first placed Syracuse Chief’s 9 times and finished with a record of 3-6 in those games. They faired much better against the second place Rochester Red Wings, who they faced 5 straight games. In that 5-game set the Bisons finished 4-1. Facing Columbus Clippers really turned the Bisons month around by beating up on them to a tune of a 7-3 record.
Longest Losing streak: The Bisons had two 4-game losing streaks.
Longest Winning streak: 6-game. The Bisons actually went 10-1 during this stretch, losing one game to the Rochester Red Wings.
The Bisons welcomed Deck McGuire to their rotation at the end of May. McGuire made 5 June starts and finished 2-3, 5.93 ERA pitching in 27.1 innings while striking out 26 and walking 11.
Liam Hendriks made a couple appearances for the Blue Jays in June butt was able to still make 5 starts. Although his appearances with Toronto were mixed his stats with the Bisons were really good. His June record was 1-1 3.13 ERA, 31IP, 12R, 2BB, 26K. Two walks in 31 IP that is crazy good.
Kyle Drabek started June in the rotation, but seems to have lost his spot. As a starter, Kyle made 3 starts and amassed an 0-2 record allowing 10 runs over 17 innings, while striking out 13 and walking 5. I actually thought Drabek was making progress and might even be working his way back to becoming a viable option if Toronto needed a starter….I was wrong. Coming out of the bullpen Drabek made 3 appearances, pitching 9 innings while allowing 5 runs and striking out 3 and walking 3…..I think he did better as a starter.
Sean Nolin made starts, but has been having some issues staying healthy this year…..leg problems. In 3 starts he went 0-2, 8.31 ERA, 8.2IP, 8H, 8R, 8BB, 8K. Looks like Nolin likes the number 8.
Since being DFA’ed in May Esmil Rogers has taken Kyle Drabek’s spot in the rotation and has performed very well. Rogers made 4 relief appearances and 3 starts in June. As a starter Rogers has pitched 13 innings while striking out 11 and walking 8. Rogers is 1-0 as a starter and 1-1 as a RP. Rogers actually seemed better as a relief pitcher.
Toronto’s number one prospect, Aaron Sanchez, was promoted to Buffalo and has made 4 starts which has been good for 0-1, 4.43 ERA, 20.1IP, 20H, 12R, 13BB, 15K and one HR. Opponents are hitting .270 against him and he has a GO/AO ratio of 2.82. With these numbers it is surprising to hear that Jays management actually thinks that he can make it Toronto this year. Sanchez last start was his best triple-A start when he went 7.0IP, 7H, 3R, BB, 2K.
P.J. Walters made two Triple-A starts for the Bisons and went 2-0, 1.50 ERA, 12IP, 10H, 2R, 4BB, 10K.
The bullpen was lead by Bobby Korecky, John Stilson, Raul Valdes, and Mike Zagurski. If only Korecky had the same success with Toronto that he has with the Bisons because his 1-0 1.42 ERA, 12.2 IP, 8H, 2R, 3BB, 10K over 10 appearances would be a welcome addition.
A.J. Jimenez is the Jays catching prospect that is the closest to being ready. He proved it in June by hitting .302 over 24 games. Jimenez drove in 11 run, struck out 10 and walked 3 times. Jimenez isn’t known for his power, June wasn’t any different. He didn’t hit a homerun in June, but did hit 7 doubles and a triple.
Ryan Goins has been very consistent since being sent down to Buffalo in May. June saw Goins hit .286/.314/.348 with 7RBI, 5 doubles and a triple.
Brad Glenn is with the Jays right now because he had been doing sooooo well in June. Glenn hit .278/.316/.486 with 4HR, 12 RBI in 20 games.
The Bisons have had to use an assortment of journeymen OF with Anthony Gose, Brad Glenn, Darin Mastroianni, and Kevin Pillar all seeing time with Toronto in June. This group really didn’t wow me. Kevin Pillar was sent down for showing his disappointment when John Gibbons pinch hit for him, but he didn’t miss a beat with the Bisons. Pillar still managed to hit .364/.417/.530 in 17 triple-A games.
Just like the Bisons OF the Bisons INF has been headlined with minor league journeymen lead by Dan Johnson and Jared Goedert, Dan Johnson, and Andy LaRoche. Johnson struggled with his average but managed to hit 7 HR and walk 20 times while striking out 26 times. Jared Goedert had his worse month as a Bison (.261/.363/.375), while LaRoche made the most of his 17 games hitting .310/.354/.483.
Pitcher to watch: Aaron Sanchez should continue to improve and could find his way to Toronto by months end.
Hitter to watch: Ryan Schimpf has struggled during his time with the Bisons, but I am hopeful that Schimpf can overcome his struggles to put himself into a position to compete for a roster spot in Toronto.