It’s that time of year that we begin our reports summarizing the season for the Blue Jays’ minor league affiliates. We continue our reports with the Lansing Lugnuts.
If you’re new to Blue Jays from Away, we summarize all eight of the Blue Jays’ minor league teams in four parts: The Blue Jays from Away Awards, Starting Pitchers, Relief Pitchers and Position Players. Players are discussed with the team that they spent the most time with (by innings pitched for pitchers and at bats for batters).
Manager Cesar Martin got the Lansing Lugnuts to the postseason by having a tremendous first half of the season, earning a playoff spot by finishing second in the Eastern Division with a 43-27 record and they had a second place finish in the second half with a 37-33 record. The Lugnuts were swept in two games in their best-of-three series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods (who had the best overall record in the league), losing both games 4-3.
The Lugnuts trailed the Hot Rods for second place in the league for offense, scoring 5.14 runs per game (above the league average of 4.30 r/g) with an offense that was 0.2 years below the league average. On the pitching side, however, the Lugnuts had the third-worst runs-per-game in the league at 4.71 and their pitching staff was 0.3 years over the league average.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion
For those of you who followed the minor league reports here, you’ll know that I “awarded” Player of the Game (PotG) accolades on a game-by-game basis. It should comfort you to know that I’ve been keeping track of these daily awards and my rationale for the system is as follows.
The Player of the Game Awards were determined by a number of factors that included who I thought had the most impact on the game and who might have gone “above and beyond.” Many nights, there was just one Player of the Game. If there was, he earned one point. If I thought that either a) no one stood out enough to merit a single PotG, or b) two or more players were outstanding and deserved mention, I split the point up into two, three or four shares. If two players earned PotG mention, they each received 0.5 points and if three players earned mentions, they each received 0.33 points, etc. There were occasions that I felt that no one merited the award and therefore, I did not give out any points.
Here are the final standings for Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game for the Lansing Lugnuts:
Congrats to Ryan Noda, our runaway Player of the Game Champion for the Lansing Lugnuts!
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
While there were a tremendous number of players on the Lugnuts who had excellent numbers most of them only played in a limited number of games before moving on to Dunedin. That left Ryan Noda as our Player of the Year. Not only did Noda distinguish himself with a .256/.421/.484 slash line, he hit 24 doubles, four triples and 20 home runs on the way to an outstanding .905 OPS.
Honourable mention: Chavez Young
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
Deciding on the Pitcher of the year was tough in that the starting pitcher who spent the most time in Lansing and logged the most innings had his ups and downs. That said, I’m going to go with Graham Spraker who lost time due to injury but still made 15 starts and logged 91 innings (third most on the team) with a 3.26 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. The two best starters on the team were promoted early on with Zach Logue and Yennsy Diaz only making nine starts each.
Honourable Mention: Donnie Sellers, Yennsy Diaz, Maximo Castillo, Zach Logue, Maverik Buffo
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
The Lugnuts had a lot of solid relievers but none who were with the team for an extended period really stood out from the pack. Dany Jimenez had a rough start to the year but turned things around to earn our Reliever of the Year nod but it was close race between he and lefty Brody Rodning. Jimenez had a slightly better ERA and WHIP but it was his far better strikeout rate that earned him the award. Brayden Bouchey was excellent but threw slightly more than half the inning that the other two pitchers threw.
Honourable mention: Brody Rodning, Brayden Bouchey
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All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2018) and may not be used without permission.