Jays Journal takes its daily look into the Toronto Blue Jays Minor League system. Cold rainy northern April weather continues to allow the season to get into full swing.
Buffalo Bisons vs Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders (Yankees)
As mentioned in the previous Jays Journal Minor League recap the Herd will begin their charge Saturday afternoon. The incredibly gross weather in western New York included rain and mixes of snow over the past 24 hours. The Bisons grounds crew appears to be working diligently to get ready for the game Saturday as pictured below.
The Bisons will send Casey Lawrence to the mound to lead the plethora of new faces of the Bisons into the season. They will be facing Johnny Barbato and the Rail Riders. The Yankees affiliate is the reigning National Champions.
MVB – Bisons grounds crew for putting in all the hard work
New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Rumble Ponies (Mets)
Once again the Fisher Cats game was rained out. The overly soggy field in Binghampton has pushed the season opener to a double header on Saturday. The Fisher Cats had a solid lineup card ready for this one. The below tweet showed what would have been for today’s rain out. Expect this to be the typical lineup day in and day out.
MVFC – Sean Reid-Foley for rocking the mustache in his team photo
Dunedin Blue Jays at Clearwater Threshers (Phillies)
What a difference a day makes in Florida. Yesterday the D-Jays were all but hit-less and this evening they popped 14 hits and scored 7 runs. Catcher Danny Jansen is still leading the way as he collected another 3 hit game and a run scored. Derrick Loveless also had 3 hits as he cracked 2 doubles while driving in and scoring a run. The D-Jays would collect 5 doubles during the game. Juan Kelly also had a solid evening and went 2-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
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On the bump Jordan Romano threw 55 of his 84 pitches for strikes which led to 9 strikeouts. Romano would pitch just 4.2 innings but was hard to square up. He did allow 2 earned runs on 4 hits. Andrew Case would get the win and pitch 1.2 innings while striking out a pair. Kender Villegas would record the save after a shut down 9th inning
T.J. Zuech will get the start on Saturday against Franklyn Kilome of the Threshers. The D-Jays will look to keep the offense rolling after it hit on all cylinders Friday evening.
MVDJ – Derrick Loveless 3-5 with 2 doubles, a run scored, and an RBI
Lansing Lugnuts at Great Lake Loons (Dodgers)
Game one 6-3 Win
Get ready to go nuts as the Lugnuts really geared up for this double header. The Lugnuts new talent was on full display as the youngsters took this game right out of the hands of the Loons. Blue Jays #1 prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did not waste any time to win over the hearts of Lansing fans as he hit a 2 run homer in the 5th inning to put the Lugnuts ahead. A few innings later fellow top prospect Bo Bichette uncorked his own 2 run homer. This one put the Lugnuts up 6-3 for the win. Vlad would finish the game 2-4 with the 2 run homer and 2 runs scored. Bo would add 1 more hit to the afternoon to go 3-4 with the 2 run shot and a pair of runs scored.
Justin Maese got the first start for the Lugnuts and pitched well but had a rather uncharacteristic first start. Usually know for his pin point control he walked 4 batters in his 5 innings of work. In his 10 starts for the Lugnuts in 2016 he only allowed more then 2 walks in 1 of those starts. He would allow just 2 earned runs and strike out 4 on his way to picking up his first win of the season. Dan Lietz would pitch the remaining 2 innings in the shortened contest and allow just 1 hit and a walk.
Game two 2-0 Win
Tayler Saucedo got the start but pitched just 2.2 innings of the 7 inning game. Saucedo would allow just 1 hit and a walk during his work and also threw 28 of his 44 pitches for strikes. Geno Encina would pitch the remaining 4.1 innings and was excellent. He showed excellent control and kept hitters off balance on his way to the win. He would allow 3 hits and a walk while striking out 4.
On offense the Lugnuts capitalized on walks and some errors to scrounge together a pair of runs in the 2nd inning. This proved to be enough for the Lugnuts with how the pitching was in game 2. The Loons wanted no part of Vlad Jr. after game 1 and walked him twice. Christian Williams would record 2 of the Lugnuts 3 hits.
Patrick Murphy will get the start on Saturday vs the Loons.