Blue Jays Minors Recap – 4-1 Record

Feb 20, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jarrett Grube (53) throws during the spring training workout at the Bobby Mattix Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 20, 2017; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jarrett Grube (53) throws during the spring training workout at the Bobby Mattix Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Jays Journal takes its daily look into the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system, and it is safe to say it was another great day for the farm system. The Blue Jays’ affiliates went 4-1 on the day, giving the organization something to smile about while the big league squad continues its early struggles.

AAA: Buffalo Bisons vs. Rochester Red Wings (Twins) – 2-1 loss

Coming off a win on Wednesday, the Buffalo Bisons were looking to finish the series by taking three out of four games against the Rochester Red Wings. Unfortunately for the Bisons they were unable to get the bats going, and dropped the game by a score of 2-1 in 10 innings. The two teams ended up splitting the four game series.

Right-hander Jarrett Grube took the hill for the Bisons and pitched very well. The 35-year-old minor-league veteran went six innings, allowing one run off of two hits and one walk while striking out seven. While it ultimately wasn’t enough to earn his team a victory, Grube definitely pitched extremely well.

Following Grube was lefty Jeff Beliveau. While he did not pitch for a long time, Beliveau did his job, going 0.2 of an inning, allowing zero hits and a walk while striking out one batter.

The other two pitchers to see action were right-handers Danny Barnes (0-1) and John Stilson. Barnes pitched a decent game out of the bullpen, going 2.2 innings allowing one run off of two hits. Barnes also struck out five batters, but the lone run he gave up proved costly and he was credited with the loss.

Stilson finished off the game for the Bisons, going 0.2 of an inning, walking two batters. However, neither of those two came around to score.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

While the pitching was superb, the bats were not. The Bisons were only able to muster up five hits and one walk over 10 innings.

The players to make a difference offensively were Dwight Smith Jr. (1-4, 2B), Rowdy Tellez (2-3, BB), Juan Graterol (2-4) and Christian Lopes (0-3, RBI).

The Bisons are now done with the Red Wings for the series, and will play the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders on Friday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. EST.

MVB: Jarret Grube – 6.0 IP, R, 2 H, BB, 7 SO.

AA: New Hampshire Fisher Cats vs. Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies) – 7-2 win

While the team has not started all that hot, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats are starting to play a bit better over the last few games. In a game that was close until the seventh inning, the team was able to take down the Hartford Yard Goats on Thursday by a score of 7-2. The Fisher Cats now sit with a 3-4 record.

The starting pitcher for the Fisher Cats was right-hander Conner Greene. Considered by some to be one of the Jays best pitching prospects, Greene pitched so-so on Thursday. He was able to give the team five innings, allowing two runs off of four hits and four walks. What helped Greene was his ability to strike batters out when he was in a jam – he sat down seven batters via the strikeout.

After Greene left the game, Carlos Ramirez (1-0) came in. The righty went two shutout innings, allowing no hits or walks, while striking out three. He also took home the win.

Related Story: Prospect Report: Conner Greene - By Ashley Weisdorf

The last pitcher to toe the rubber for the Fisher Cats was Murphy Smith. The right-hander went two shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.

Offensively, the Fisher Cats had a great game. While it took them awhile to really break out, they did so in the seventh inning. The team was able to register 10 hits and 10 walks, leading to seven runs.

For the second consecutive game, Gunnar Heidt led the team at the plate. The 24-year-old continued to hit the leather off the ball, going 3-5 on the day with a homerun and two RBIs.

Related Story: Gunnar Heidt Spring Profile - By Clayton Richer

The other players to join the offensive parade for the Fisher Cats were Tim Lopes (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, SB), Richard Urena (0-4, BB), Anthony Alford (0-4, BB, SB), Ryan McBroom (1-3, 2B, 2 BB, RBI), Emilio Guerrero (2-4, BB, SB), Reese McGuire (0-3, BB, RBI), Jonathan Diaz (0-2, 3 BB) and Roemon Fields (2-4, BB).

While the Fisher Cats may have taken game one, the Yard Goats will be looking for revenge in game two on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST.

MVFC: Gunnar Heidt – 3-5, HR, 2 RBI

A+: Dunedin Blue Jays vs. Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins) + (Doubleheader) – 4-1 win, 1-0 loss (first game went seven innings, second went to extras)

While the Dunedin Blue Jays were only supposed to play one game today, Sunday afternoon’s game was moved to Thursday, leading to a doubleheader. The team split on the day, taking game one and dropping the second. The Blue Jays now sit with a 4-5 record on the season.

In a game that saw both great pitching and hitting, the Blue Jays hammered the nail into the life of the Hammerheads, defeating them 4-1.

Right-hander Josh DeGraaf started the game for the Blue Jays, and pitched extremely well. While he did not pick up the win, DeGraaf went four shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four.

More from Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

The two pitchers who came in as relief of DeGraaf were Danny Young (1-0) and Kender Villegas. The lefty Young was credited with the win, pitching two shutout innings while allowing two hits and walking one. The right-handed throwing Villegas came in next, pitching the final inning. Villegas allowed one run off of two hits and two walks. He also had two strikeouts on the day.

At the plate, the Blue Jays broke out. The team collected 11 hits and walked three times, leading to four runs.

The players who helped the team win offensively were Andrew Guillotte (0-2, 2 BB, 2 SB), Cavan Biggio (1-4, 2B, RBI), Juan Kelly (2-4, 2B), Derrick Loveless (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Lane Thomas (3-3, BB, RBI), Connor Panas (1-3), J.C. Cardenas (1-3) and D.J. Davis (1-3).

MVDJ Game 1: Josh DeGraaf – 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 SO.

While the Blue Jays may have had a great team performance in game one, only the pitching pulled their weight in game two. The Hammerheads edged the Blue Jays and were able to take the second game by a score of 1-0 in 11 innings.

Honduras native Denis Diaz took the mound for the Blue Jays in game two, going four shutout innings. Diaz registered three strikeouts while allowing one hit and five walks.

Throughout the game, three right-handed relievers came in to pitch after Diaz. The first of the three, Tom Robson, pitched incredibly well for the Blue Jays. The Canadian right-hander went three shutout innings, allowing just one hit while striking out four. Following Robson was Justin Shafer, who also went three shutout innings for the team. Shafer allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out three over those three shutout innings.

The pitcher who was credited with the loss was Canadian Andrew Case (1-1). Over 0.2 of an inning, Case allowed one hit, one walk and the game-winning run. His ERA now sits at 9.64 for the season.

Related Story: Canadians In The Blue Jays System - By Nick Raponi

When you only get four hits and draw three walks over 11 innings, there isn’t a whole lot to write about on the offensive side. The players who made somewhat of a difference were Derrick Loveless (0-4, BB), Juan Kelly (2-5, 2B), D.J. Davis (0-0, SB), Danny Jansen (0-2, BB), Mike Reeves (0-0, BB), Matt Dean (1-4) and Deiferson Barreto (1-4).

The Blue Jays will play game three of the series on Friday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST, and the Blue Jays will be looking to take the lead in the series.

MVDJ Game 2: Tom Robson – 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 SO

A: Lansing Lugnuts vs. Lake County Captains (Indians) – 5-0 win

The Lansing Lugnuts continued their great play on the season by defeating the Lake County Captains on Thursday by a score of 5-0. The Lugnuts now sit with a record of 6-2 on the season.

The starting pitcher, and ultimately the winning pitcher was righty Patrick Murphy (1-0). Murphy diced up the Yard Goat hitters, going six shutout innings while allowing four hits and three walks.

The next three pitchers to take the mound were righties Geno Encina and Jackson McClelland followed by lefty Kirby Snead. Encina and McClelland were both credited with their first holds of the season, while Snead closed out the game. All three pitchers each threw one inning of shutout ball.

At the plate, the Lugnuts were very patient. The team not only had seven hits, but they were able to grind out at-bats and draw nine walks.

While quite a few players produced today for the Lugnuts, the player who led the way was infielder Bo Bichette. The young prospect went 2-3 on the day all while driving in an RBI and walking twice. While it is early, his average is now up to .417 on the season.

Related Story: Prospect Report: Bo Bichette - By Craig Borden

The other players to contribute offensively were Edward Olivares (1-5, HR, 2 RBI), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (0-3, BB), Christian Williams (0-3, BB), Bradley Jones (2-3, BB, RBI), J.B Woodman (1-3), Michael De La Cruz (1-3, 2B, RBI), Jake Thomas (0-3, BB) and Yeltsin Gudino (0-2, 2 BB).

The Lugnuts will be looking to continue their hot start to the season on Friday night when they play game two of the series against the Captains. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST.

MVL: Patrick Murphy – 6.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 SO.

Next: Blue Jays MiLB Season Preview

That’s all for today’s MiLB recap. Check back in tomorrow when Jays Journal recaps Friday night’s minor league action.