Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

Blue Jays MiLB Report: The View From Lansing

Craig Borden
Jun 8, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) hits a three run RBI in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 8, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) hits a three run RBI in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays’ single-A affiliate Lansing Lugnuts climbed back above .500 last night (57-56) with a 1-0 shutout win

My work travels have finally brought me to a place that is seeded in recent Toronto Blue Jays history as a place that produces winners.  The Lansing Lugnuts have been a part of the Blue Jays Minor League Organization since 2005 and have helped to produce 36 Major League Baseball players since.  Current Blue Jays Aaron Sanchez and Kevin Pillar performed well in their time with the Lugnuts and are stars for the Jays now.  

Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing some of the Toronto Blue Jays future players.  Justin Maese got the start against the Fort Wayne TinCaps.  He got things off in the right direction for the Lugnuts and was dealing.  Maese was in a two-outs, runners on the corners situation in the 4th and was able to get a ground ball to first basemen Justin Atkinson to end the inning.  Maese got squared up well by Austin Allen in the first and again by Marcus Greene Jr. for a double but neither hit came to hurt the Lugnuts.  Those were also the only two hits that Maese allowed through his five innings of work.  

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Going toe to toe with Maese was Tin Caps starter and prospect J.C. Cosme.  Cosme had allowed three hits over the first inning but was keeping the Lugnuts at bay for the time being.  Finally in the bottom of the 6th inning the Lugnuts were able to chip into the armour of Cosme.  Juan Kelly led off the inning and laced a line drive into left field.  Kelly stole second to set the stage a few batters later to give Ryan Hissey a chance.  Hissey then singled on a full count with two outs to drive in Kelly.  Kelly was not being held to second very well by the TInCaps and was able to get a big jump to score the run.   

Maese closed out his day with 5.0 innings of shutout work and allowed just two hits.  He also walked a pair and struck out 2.  Maese matched Cosme for the day and bested him as the Lugnuts were able to claw together a run during the game.  Dan Lietz then came on in relief.  Lietz pitched a solid 2.1 innings and was rewarded with the win.  Andrew Case picked up from where Lietz left off and was dominant over the remaining 1.2 innings to pick up his 5th save.  

The Lugnuts collected a total of seven hits during the game but the excellent pitching of the TinCaps kept them off the board for the most part.  Andrew Guillotte picked up a pair of hits which included a double and a stolen base.  The double was his 23rd of the season.  Ryan Hissey also collected a multi hit game and the lone RBI.

The broadcast team in Lansing is world class and I was humbled to be their guest on a beautiful day for baseball in Lansing Michigan.  If you do not follow Jesse Goldberg-Strassler (@jgoldstrass) on twitter you are doing yourself a disservice.  He is a wealth of knowledge and knows his Blue Jays Minor League Baseball.  The Around the Nest podcast is a fun source for everything about the Blue Jays Minor League system and should be looked into by all fans.  Jesse and other broadcasters throughout the Jays Minor Leagues participate and discuss Jays baseball together.

This was my first trip to Lansing to see the mighty Lugnuts and I got to see them win their 2nd game in a row.  This team has the talent and will continue to do well over the remainder of the season.  Blue Jays fans if you are in the area or within a quick drive to Lansing do yourself a favour and go see this great ballpark.  This is a fun team to watch and the ballpark has a view of professional ballplayers that you rarely get in bigger venues.  This team turns out winners and it is really fun to see the raw talent on display here with the Lugnuts.

Next: Blue Jays vs. Rays series preview and pitching matchups

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