Blue Jays Weekly Pitching Prospect Update: Maese, Smoral highlight Canadians pitching staff

Sep 27, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays players salute fans in the third inning of their final regular season home game against Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays players salute fans in the third inning of their final regular season home game against Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

This weekly series will feature Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospects and provide weekly updates on whose stock is rising, and whose is falling at all minor-league levels.

Vancouver Canadians, Short-A

The youngest group of Blue Jays pitchers are getting set to kick off their season in the Northwest League with the Vancouver Canadians. The season gets underway on Friday as the Canadians open up on the road in Spokane. While the rotation has not been set in stone as of yet, there will be plenty of arms to keep an eye on over the next few months. Here’s a sneak peak at who we will see on the West Coast.

Justin Maese is a 19-year-old former quarterback from Texas with a lively arm and is looking to breakout this season. Gabe Noyalis made his return to baseball this spring after taking some time away from the game, until a Jays scout saw him throwing and brought him on board. Mathew Smoral is a 6-foot-8, 220 pound flamethrower and hopes to right the ship after a shaky 2015 where he pitched for Dunedin.

There will be plenty to talk about as the Canadians have an exciting team to follow this season.

Lansing Lugnuts, Class-A

Ryan Borucki (3-3, 3.72 ERA with Lansing)

Borucki has looked like a new pitcher since his demotion to Class-A. He is pitching with total confidence and is consistently in the strike zone, and it paid dividends in his most recent start. The 22-year-old struck out a career high nine batters and threw a season-high 97 pitches against the Great Lakes Loons, affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

He allowed just a run in six innings while the Loons could only come up with three hits on the night. The nine K’s and zero walks was especially impressive for Borucki, as it was the first time all season he finished a game without walking a batter. It looks like being surrounded by an extremely talented, young pitching staff in Lansing is paying off for the big lefty.

Jon Harris (5-1, 2.30 ERA)

More from Jays Journal

After missing a week with a hip injury, Harris made his return to the Lunuts rotation. He picked up where he left off as he took on the Dayton Dragons, affiliate of the Cincinatti Reds. Harris cruised through five innings and threw 77 pitches — relatively on par with his season average. He allowed one run on two hits, three walks, while striking out seven in Lansing’s 11-1 win.

Harris has now registered a win in five of his last seven starts and it’s possible the only thing holding him back from pitching for Dunedin is precautions over his hip injury.

Angel Perdomo (2-2, 2.45 ERA)

The 6-foot-6 powerhouse stumbled a bit in his two starts this week. Perdomo has been getting more media attention and has plenty of eyes on him after proving how talented he is as an unpolished 22-year-old. This week was nothing but a slight bump in the road in a long season, as every young pitcher goes through.

In his first start he lasted five innings before he was lifted after throwing 97 pitches and surrendering three runs. He allowed six hits, walked a pair, and struck out six. He fared worse in his next start, failing to retire more than one batter in the fifth inning. The southpaw gave up six runs on seven hits, three walks, and recorded seven K’s.

The good news is the strikeouts are still there, he has not given up a home run since his first start of the season, and he is still a very large young man with a ton of skill. Hopefully these three things do not change anytime soon.

Dunedin Blue Jays, Advanced-A

Sean Reid-Foley (4-3, 2.95 ERA with Lansing)

A 20-year-old Reid-Foley has pitched his way up to the Dunedin Blue Jays. In his first start with the D-Jays last night, Reid-Foley pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out 12. It’s no secret what the right-hander did to earn a promotion — he stopped walking batters. In his last four starts with Lansing, SRF has walked just three batters in 28 innings. Prior to that, he pitched 30 innings over seven starts and walked 18.

More from Jays Journal

He pitched seven innings of one-run ball against the West Michigan Whitecaps with Lansing, leading up to his promotion to Advanced-A. He allowed four hits and a walk while striking out four in the outing. He got some time in Dunedin last season, posting a 1-5 record and a 5.23 ERA in eight starts.

Francisco Rios (5-3. 1.91 ERA with Lansing and Dunedin)

Even at just 21-years-old, Rios is showing he belongs in Advanced-A, if not higher. He had another strong outing this week going five innings against the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Rios surrendered five hits and walked a batter while just a run crossed the plate against him. He struck out another six, bringing his season K-to-BB ratio up to 77-17 in 75 innings this season.

The start was his seventh with Dunedin, and after making six starts in Lansing to  begin the season, a trip up to New Hampshire is becoming more and more likely in the second half.

Conner Greene (3-4, 2.97 ERA)

Greene seems to have turned the corner in June and has looked like the pitcher many scouts always knew he was in his last two starts. The 21-year-old pitched six innings of one-run ball against the St. Lucie Mets with five hits and three walks against while tying his season-high with six strikeouts. He made his best start of the year an even better one in his next time out — six innings, one run, three hits, two walks, and six K’s. The walks are trending downward and the strikeouts are rising which is a great sign for Greene.

If he wants to be in the September baseball conversation, these are the kind of outings that will help propel him there.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Double-A

Jeremy Gabryszwski (4-3, 3.32 ERA)

Jeremy-G continues his coming out party in the Blue Jays system. In his most recent start, the 23-year-old pitched six shutout innings against the Reading Fightin Phils. He gave up nothing but four hits and a walk and struck out six batters. It was good to see the right-hander get back on track after a couple of rough starts.

Gabryszwski could be starting to come around and live up to the expectations that came with being a second round draft pick back in 2011.

Next: The reasoning behind Toronto's MLB bloodline draft picks

Shane Dawson (4-3, 3.62 ERA)

Dawson’s Canadian background always guarantees him a spot on the prospect watch list. He has given up at least one run in nine of 11 starts this season, but has minimized the damage against him for the most part. His last start was a perfect example. Dawson pitched six and a third and allowed three runs, although only one was earned. He gave up three hits and three walks while striking out three.

Dawson still struggles with his command at times, which is evident by the fact he has walked at least two batters in ten consecutive starts. If he can get that sorted out and make some minor changes, he could take his game to the next level.