I’m going to introduce a new structure here for what may be the rest of the summer. Instead of doing full recaps of the previous day’s minor league games, I’m going to give very brief recaps, award my Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game and preview today’s games.
Over at Jays Journal, they’re continuing the minor league recaps that I was doing last season but, with my larger role at Grading on the Curve, I’m not going to be able to maintain that pace so they’re off and running. Instead of competing, I’m just going to fill in any blanks that they might have missed as well as award the POTG (Player of the Game). Of course, I keep track of the POTGs throughout the season and will award the POTG Champion at the end of the year.
Click the link for Jays Journal’s minor league recap from yesterday’s games.
The Bisons didn’t play and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats lost their first game of the year, 6-5 to the Trenton Thunder. Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who doesn’t mind being called “The X-Man” (I asked), had a good start (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K) but Tony Davis was charged for three of the runs (without retiring a batter) and Randy Boone took the loss, giving up the other two. The offense was strong with 2/4 days from Andy Burns (including his first HR of the season), Brad Glenn (with a double) and Mike Crouse (including a triple). In the Ryan Schimpf Three True Outcome (TTO) watch, he went 1/3 with a HR, a walk and a strikeout (we’ll call that the “Ryan Schimpf Hat Trick”). Despite going 0/3, catcher Aaron Munoz had a productive day at the plate, driving in a pair of runs on a ground out and a sac fly. Kenny Wilson was impressive in the field, throwing out two runners on the bases and going 1/5.
BJfA POTG: Andy Burns and Austin Bibens-Dirkx
The Dunedin Blue Jays continue to pound the ball and are being led by K.C. Hobson who has the tendency to go through extreme hot streaks. I’ll admit that I have a personal interest in Hobson, mainly because I took the time to write an Honourable Mention article at Jays Journal for their Top Prospects series. I’m really keeping an eye on him this year because I think what he did last year warranted some attention and his batting average kept him way under the radar. He only went 3/5 with a double and two RBI yesterday.
Also having a good day with the bats yesterday were Dalton Pompey (3/5, RBI, SB), Matt Newman (3/5, 2B) and Jorge “Mighty Mouse” Flores (3/5, 2B, RBI, SB). Dwight Smith also had two hits and a stolen base.
The biggest news might well have been the fact that J.A. Happ was making a rehab start with the D-Jays and struck out five in his five innings (5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K). Justin Jackson, Wil Browning, Kramer Champlin and Arik Sikula each pitched an inning with Sikula striking out two of the three batters he faced.
BJfA POTG: K.C. Hobson, Dalton Pompey, Jorge Flores, Matt Newman
The Lansing Lugnuts were swept in a double header by the Lake County Captains. Things were looking good in Game 1. Chase De Jong started out strongly but got tagged for four runs in the third inning (after the offense had exploded for five runs of their own). Roberto Espinosa cleaned things up but Adonys Cardona wasn’t able to keep the club ahead, getting tagged for three runs (just one earned) in his two innings. While a Dickie Thon error led to the two winning runs for Lake County, Cardona didn’t really help himself by walking three and giving up three hits.
Thon provided the offense by hitting a grand slam but there’s no way I can give the guy the POTG when he negates two of those runs (and the winning runs) with a defensive miscue. By default, I’m giving it to catcher Jorge Saez who had a double in three trips to the plate.
BJfA POTG: Jorge Saez
When we add the second game into the mix, we see that the Lugnuts offense sputtered yesterday. They lost Game 2 5-0 and only mustered two hits (one by Dickie Thon and one by Jason Leblebijian). Starter Jeremy Gabryszwski gave up all five runs over 4 2/3 innings while Scott Silverstein allowed one inherited runner to score but that was all over 1 1/3 innings.
BJfA POTG: Scott Silverstein gets a half.
Keep reading for the preview of today’s games.
April 6 Preview
Buffalo Bisons (1-0)
The Bisons look to finally play their second game of the season and will send Kyle Drabek to the hill against Alex Meyer in Rochester. This game is on MiLB TV at 2pm. I’m looking forward to watching this game online because I’m curious to see how Drabek is going to do but also because the 6-foot-9 Meyer is one of Minnesota’s top prospects.
The Bisons have reported some roster moves before today’s game. RHP John Stilson has been placed on the temporarily inactive list while Marcus Walden was promoted to Toronto. Ricardo Nanita is going on the Disabled List and infielder Juan Francisco (recently signed to the club, no I didn’t write an article about him) has been activated.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (2-1)
The Fisher Cats send Scott Copeland (who looked really good in spring training) to the mound. Here is the Fisher Cats’ lineup for today’s game which is at 1:05 PM and will also be available on MiLB TV. Of note is that Peter Mooney makes his Double-A debut today at shortstop (giving Kevin Nolan a day off) while Jonathan Jones plays in center field, spelling Kenny Wilson who will be the DH. Aaron Munoz makes another start behind the plate with A.J. Jimenez nursing a minor injury. The Trenton Thunder have Joel De La Cruz pitching. He’s a 24-year-old Dominican righty who was mostly a reliever last year in High-A Tampa.
Dunedin Blue Jays (2-1)
In the fourth game of the home-and-home-and-home-and-home series against the Clearwater Threshers, the Dunedin Blue Jays send Daniel Norris to the mound against Miguel Nunez. In another game that I’d love to be watching, the D-Jays will be on internet radio with Tyler Murray calling the game starting at 1PM. I’m hoping that Chris King (follow him on Twitter: @StatsKing) will be watching the game and tweeting about it.
Lansing Lugnuts (1-2)
The Lugnuts finish up their series against the Lake County Captains before tomorrow’s off day with Kendall Graveman on the mound. The 2013 draftee looked strong in spring training and the offense is going to need to rebound from yesterday’s mostly anemic results. Join broadcasters Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Trey Wilson at 1:30. Trey tweeted the lineup earlier and it’s much the same as it was yesterday with Loveless starting again in left field and Jason Leblebijian starting at second base.
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