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We’re all dealing with the lack of baseball in different ways. Me? I’m getting a lot of stuff done in my real job but there still is that hole that baseball usually takes up. I missed my annual trip down to Florida and, while we’re starting to see some glimmers of hope that there will be baseball this year, we’re still stuck with nothing for the next couple of months at least.
So what have I been doing? I’ve been using the trusty simulation game Out of the Park Baseball 21 (abbreviated as OOTP21) to simulate the 2020 Toronto Blue Jays and their minor league system! And I’ve been vlogging about it! If you head over the GM Games’s YouTube Channel, you’ll be able to find my vlog from the first episode. That said, Episode 11 just went up and from now on, I’ll be updating readers here with what’s going on in the game as each vlog is uploaded on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Thus far, I’ve simmed until June 1 and this is how things stand two months into the season. We’re 30-30 after a rough week in which we had actually climbed four games over .500. We are actually tied for the second wild-card spot but it’s a three way tie between us, the White Sox and the Twins with the Red Sox just a half a game back and Cleveland a game back.
You can see from the batting stats (organized by games/at bats) that Bo Bichette is struggling while Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is one of the club leaders. Randal Grichuk is having a really strong season and, overall, offense is not our problem.
On the other side, pitching hasn’t been great. Ryu has been ok but a bad couple of starts have bumped his ERA over 4.00 while Anderson, Roark, Shoemaker, Yamaguchi and Thornton have all underperformed. There have definitely been some ups and downs and, if you’ve been watching the series, you’ll know that I’ve moved both Shoemaker and Thornton to the bullpen and Yamaguchi was never in the rotation. The main bullpen guys have been very good, and you’ll probably notice a couple of rookie names on that list. Yup. Nate Pearson is a major leaguer (I played through his entire major league debut on the vlog so you can find that here if you’d like). And Anthony Kay has been pretty good as well and has earned himself a role in the rotation.
Over the first couple of months of the season, I’ve been slowly cutting pitchers from the minor league rosters, a painful process but I’ve had to get the numbers down in order to allow guys to get more innings. The Jays will have the same problem in reality when the minor leagues get under way (possibly not until next year) so I felt like I had to do something. Apologies to any minor leaguers who were released but I was really going by how the game viewed them and the performance in the game rather than any real-life basis. I am playing the game in Challenge Mode, meaning that I can’t edit anyone’s ratings to better reflect real life.
The Buffalo Bisons are not doing the best, they’re 22-28 and in 5th place in the International League North division. Nate Pearson threw a no-hitter for The Herd and their leaders offensively are Patrick Kivlehan, Andy Burns and Billy McKinney (before he was promoted to Toronto). Pitching-wise, aside from Pearson, there have been some great guys in the bullpen including Curtis Taylor (who started the year in Double-A) while James Dykstra, Thomas Hatch (who also started in Double-A) and Jacob Waguespack have also been great.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats
The Fisher Cats are 21-29 and they have not been great, particularly offensively. A lot of guys are struggling to keep up in Double-A including Logan Warmoth and Ryan Noda. Alejandro Kirk and Josh Palacios are bright spots offensively and we’ve already moved Thomas Hatch up to Triple-A.
Dunedin Blue Jays
The Dunedin Blue Jays have been on a tear and are in second place in their division now with a 28-21 record. Offensively they’re being led by Samad Taylor while Jake Brodt and Chavez Young are having great seasons. On the mound, Josh Winckowski, Brad Wilson, Sean Wymer and Turner Larkins have earned promotions to New Hampshire and Simeon Woods Richardson is looking good. Justin Maese has worked his way back into the starting rotation but Alek Manoah has struggled at the Advanced-A level.
The Lansing Lugnuts are our sole league leader. The ‘Nuts are 32-17 and are leading their division. Offensively, they’re being driven by a large group of second-year players including Cameron Eden, Tanner Morris and LJ Talley while Jesus Lopez is having a surprise year. Really, the only Lugnut who isn’t really living up to expectations is Jordan Groshans. On the mound, things haven’t been as rosy with top prospect Adam Kloffenstein struggling in some of his starts.
Come back soon and go to GM Games’s channel on YouTube to watch our updates as they come out on Tuesday and Fridays!
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