The Jays Journal take a look at the week that was at the short season levels of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. The Canadians are off and running and the Bluefield Blue Jays kick off the season with a few wins. Week ending 6/24
The Vancouver Canadians
The Canadians have been looking A+ thus far in the Northwest League. This is the Single-A short season league and the Canadians kicked things off on June 15th. They have come out of the gate hot so far and have already scored 64 runs as a team while allowing just 36 runs. This run differential has led to a 7-3 record through their first 10 games.
On offense Deiferson Barreto has played in all 10 games and is batting .314. The only players that have played more then 2/3rds of the games that have a higher batting average are Lance Jones (.423) and Kevin Vicuna (.344). Kevin Vicuna has been one of the biggest contributors on offense here in the early goings as he has scored 10 times and drove in 6 RBIs. He has 2 stolen bases so far this season as he rounds out a solid start to the season.
Currently third basemen Bryan Lizardo leads the team in RBI with 7. He has a .211 batting average at the moment but has come up big in key moments with runners on. He also has one of the teams 3 total home runs and 3 doubles. Javier Hernandez has nearly as many RBIs as Lizardo with 6 but he has played in just 5 games thus far. Hernandez also has 2 triples. Recently drafted Riley Adams has made his way into 3 games this far and already has 6 hits which includes his first pro home run. Speaking of this years draft picks Kacy Clemens also has 6 hits in 4 pro starts.
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The offense has been putting up some crooked numbers on the scoreboard but the pitching has been equally impressive to start the season. Juan Nunez got to pitch opening day for the Canadians and was lights out. He did not allow a run and just 3 hits in 5 innings. He also struck out 3 and walked only 1 batter. His second outing was much shorter but he struck out 5 during a 3.2 inning outing in which he allowed a pair of runs. Dalton Rodriguez followed suit in the second game of the season by shutting out the Eugene Emeralds through 5 innings as well. He would finish the night with 4 strike outs, 4 hits, and a walk. His second outing also did not go as planned when he allowed 4 earned runs over 4.2 innings.
Kyle Weatherly put together two solid performances on the bump totaling 9.1 innings while allowing 3 runs on 9 hits. He would walk 3 batters in those outings but struck out a total of 9 batters thus far. Danny Jimenez currently leads the team in innings to start the 2017 season with 11. He has been terrific in those 2 outings. One of those outings was a start in which he allowed just 1 run. His second outing was out of the pen but he threw 6 innings in which he allowed just 1 run and struck out 9 batters.
The Bluefield Blue Jays
The dirt on the infield is barely settled and the Blue Jays are heading to their first home stand with a 2-1 record to start the season. The Rookie short season affiliate to the Toronto Blue Jays in the Appalachian League is off to a good start. Thus far the story is the offense as they have scored 24 runs in their first 3 games. The issue so far has been the pitching which has allowed 22 runs. Most of those opposing runs came in the first game in which the Jays lost 6-13. In that first game the defense also factored in the equation as the Jays committed 4 errors that led to 6 unearned runs.
On the mound Randy Pondler has had the best start and was rewarded with the win. Pondler pitched great against the Greeneville Astros through 5 innings. He would allow 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks. He also struck out a pair of Astro hitters. Josh Winckowski had then second longest outing of the season for the Jays as he allowed 2 earned runs over 4 innings of work. He also struck out and walked a pair.
As mentioned before the story so far has been the offense. Ryan Noda has been a power source out of the gate. He has had 2 hits in each of the first 3 games and has a pair of home runs. He also leads in batting average with a .538. Sterling Guzman leads the team in RBIs with 4 and also has a home run while batting .455 in the first 3 games. Antony Fuentes was part of a Jays win in which they hit 3 home runs in 1 game.