With this afternoon’s game in Buffalo postponed due to rain, there are still three games going on this evening for you to tune into (along with the Toronto Blue Jays’ home opener with Dustin McGowan toeing the rubber).
In New Hampshire, Deck McGuire gets the start against the Trenton Thunder. In his first start of the year, McGuire looks to continue what he was doing as 2013 wound down. We’ll see how he responds to new NH pitching coach Jim Czajkowski. He’ll be pitching against 26 year old Jeremy Bleich, who was named the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year by the Jewish Baseball News. He had a solid season last year with Trenton but was mostly throwing out of the bullpen and had quite a high walk ratio.
The Dunedin Blue Jays send Taylor Cole to the mound against 23-year-old Canadian lefty Ethan Stewart and the Clearwater Threshers. Cole, 24, was a dominant pitcher in the Northwest League in 2012, leading the Vancouver Canadians to the 2012 championship. His success in Lansing last year was a little more tempered but his numbers were solid overall. Moved up again to Dunedin, he had one solid start and is looking to build on that in 2014.
In Lansing, they’re off to start their first league game against the Lake County Captains. After winning a tight game in the Crosstown Showdown, the Lugnuts send the piggyback combination of Jairo Labourt and Alberto Tirado against Dace Kime. Labourt and Tirado were both excellent last season in Bluefield and are looking to step up against better competition. Both are young (I think Labourt is 20 already and Tirado will be 19 all season) and have solid stuff that needs polish. Kime is ranked by MLB.com as the 15th best prospect in the Indians’ system with a low-90s fastball and a good curveball. The Lugnuts hitters will have a good test on their hands.
Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!