Blue Jays MiLB Recap – Smith Jr. stays hot

Feb 28, 2017; Bradenton, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dwight Smith, Jr. (65) waits to hit in the batting cage before the start of the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2017; Bradenton, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dwight Smith, Jr. (65) waits to hit in the batting cage before the start of the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Jays Journal takes its daily look into the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system. It was a day of tough competition for the Jays affiliates, as half the games played required extra innings. However, the team was able to split on the day, winning and losing two games.

AAA: Buffalo Bisons vs. Norfolk Tides (Orioles) – 9-5 loss

Coming off a win on Tuesday, the Buffalo Bisons were looking to clinch the series by taking the first two games against the Norfolk Tides. Unfortunately for the Bisons they were unable to claw back from an early deficit and dropped the game by a score of 9-5. The team now sits with an overall season record of 8-4.

Right-hander Jarrett Grube (1-1) took the hill for the Bisons, and it was not a start to remember. The 35-year-old minor-league veteran went just four innings, surrendering eight runs (five earned) off of seven hits and three walks. Grube was handed the loss on the day.

Following Grube was righty Luis Santos. The Dominican-born pitcher impressed today, going three innings of shutout ball while allowing two hits, one walk and striking out three. The final pitcher to get work was John Stilson. The righty pitched okay out of the bullpen, going two innings while allowing one run off of two hits. Stilson also recorded an impressive four strikeouts.

While Grube may have struggled on the mound (his defense did not help him, either), the rest of the team, including the hitting, pulled their weight. The Bisons scored five runs in the game off of 12 hits and three walks.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Today’s offensive hero for the Bisons was the red-hot Dwight Smith Jr.. The outfielder went 4-4 on the day with two RBIs, a walk and one run scored. Smith Jr. is now hitting a ridiculous .357 on the season.

The other Bisons to pull their weight were Christian Lopes (2-5, R), Gregorio Petit (1-4, RBI), Mike Ohlman (1-4, 2B, RBI, BB) and Ian Parmley (3-4, 2B, 2 R).

The Bisons will be looking to take the third and final game of the series on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. EST.

MVB: Dwight Smith Jr. – 4-4, 2 RBI, BB, R

AA: New Hampshire Fisher Cats vs. Trenton Thunder (Yankees) – 4-2 win/11

After losing the first two games of the series to the Trenton Thunder, the Fisher Cats were looking to win game three for a chance to split the series in game four. After grinding for 11 innings the Fisher Cats did just that, winning the game 4-2 and improving their record on the season to 6-6.

The starting pitcher for the Fisher Cats was right-hander Conner Greene. Considered by some to be one of the Jays top pitching prospects, Greene pitched masterfully on Wednesday. The righty went 6.2 innings, allowing two runs off three hits and two walks. Greene also had five strikeouts.

After Greene left the game, flame throwing lefty Tim Mayza came in. Mayza went 2.1 shutout innings, allowing one hit while striking out three. The next and final pitcher to enter the game was the one who was credited with the win, left-hander Jose Fernandez (1-0). The Dominican Republic native pitched to contact, going two shutout innings allowing zero hits or walks while striking out nobody.

Related Story: Prospect Report: Conner Greene

Offensively, the Fisher Cats had a solid game, but nothing to write home about. Over 11 innings the team had ten hits and five walks, leading to four runs.

Today’s offensive player of the game was first baseman, Ryan McBroom. The right-handed hitter went 3-5 on the day with 2 RBIs, all while hitting a double and a home run.

The other players to have good at-bats for the Fisher Cats were Richard Urena (1-5, 2B), Anthony Alford (1-5, 2B, R), Emilio Guerrero (1-5, R), Reese McGuire (0-3, 2 BB, R), Jonathan Diaz (2-3, 2 BB) and Roemon Fields (1-6 2 RBI).

The Fisher Cats are back in action on Thursday where they will look to split their four-game series with the Thunder. It will be an early one, as first pitch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EST.

MVFC: Ryan McBroom – 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, R

A+: Dunedin Blue Jays vs. St. Lucie Mets (Mets) – 9-1 win

The Dunedin Blue Jays entered Wednesday’s game down 2-0 in the series and sitting with a record of 6-7. The team was itching to bring their record up to .500, and they did not disappoint. The Blue Jays were firing on all cylinders all day long, taking the game by a score of 9-1.

Left-hander Angel Perdomo (1-1) started the game for the Blue Jays and pitched a great outing. Perdomo was able to pick up his first win of the season after going five strong innings, allowing one run off of six hits and one walk. The 6’6”, 200 lb. lefty also had his strikeout pitching working, registering seven punchouts over his five innings of work.

The two pitchers who came in as relief of Perdomo were right-handers Adonys Cardona and Jared Carkuff. Both pitchers went two shutout innings, allowing a hit and a walk each. Cardona registered three strikeouts, while Carkuff picked up one.

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At the plate, the Blue Jays absolutely raked. The team knocked the ball around the park for 15 hits and drew two walks, leading to nine runs on the day.

The player who stood out the most today was outfielder Andrew Guillotte. The leadoff hitter for the team did his job today, going 4-5 with a homerun, a double and an RBI. Guillotte also came around to score three times.

The other players to make a difference at the plate for the Blue Jays were Cavan Biggio (2-5, 2B, 3B, RBI 2 R), Lourdes Gurriel (1-2, 2B, RBI, R), J.C. Cardenas (1-3, 2B, 2 RBI), Max Pentecost (2-4, BB), Juan Kelly (2-5, 2 R), Derrick Loveless (0-3, BB), Lane Thomas (1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R) and Matt Dean (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI).

The only bad news to come from this game was that Gurriel left the game after re-aggravating the injury to his leg. He was pulled from the game and replaced by Cardenas. More details on the injury should come out on Thursday.

Related Story: Prospect Report: Lourdes Gurriel

The Blue Jays play again against the Mets on Thursday, where they will be looking to split the series 2-2. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST.

MVDJ: Andrew Guillotte – 4-5, 2B, HR, RBI, 3 R

A: Lansing Lugnuts vs. Dayton Dragons (Reds) – 4-3 loss/11

The Lansing Lugnuts entered the day tied 1-1 in the series with the Dayton Dragons. While the team battled hard they were unable to pick up the win, dropping the game by a score of 4-3 in 11 innings. The team now sits with a 7-6 record on the season.

Right-handed pitcher Mike Ellenbest started the game and had a very solid outing. The Parma, Ohio native went six innings, striking out four while allowing two runs off of seven hits and one walk.

The next two pitchers to take the mound were Dan Lietz and Jackson McClelland. Lietz, a left-hander with a career minor-league ERA of 4.67, did his job out of the bullpen. Lietz went four innings in relief of Ellenbest, allowing one run off of three hits and two walks. Lietz also had four strikeouts.

Related Story: Canadian's In The Blue Jays Farm System

The righty McClelland (0-1) also did not pitch bad, but his inability to make plays defensively today proved the team costly. McClelland made a throwing error in the 11th, and after two hits and a walk, the unearned run came around to score. It was his first loss of the season.

At the plate, the Lugnuts did not hit all that great. Over 11 innings the team had nine hits and three walks, leading to only three runs.

Today’s player who shined the most offensively for the Lugnuts was infielder Bradley Jones. The right-handed hitter went 2-4 with a home run, two RBIs, a walk and one run scored, improving his average on the season to .396 with an OPS of 1.215.

Related Story: Prospect Report: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The other players to contribute offensively were Edward Olivares (1-4, 2B, BB, SB), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2-5, 2 2B), Christian Williams (2-5), Jake Thomas (1-4 RBI) and Bo Bichette (1-4, BB).

The Lugnuts will be looking to get back in the win column on Thursday when they start their four-game series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST.

MVL: Bradley Jones – 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB, R

Next: Jays' Week One MiLB Standouts

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