Wednesday night’s game against the Gwinnett Braves was cancelled due to rain so I compiled a report on a few of the important guys for the Bisons and Jays.
The Blue Jays went into spring training with cautious optimism in regards to Ricky Romero. The former ace showed positive signs, but ultimately his lack of control doomed him. He was sent to minor league camp late in the spring, but the team certainly did not see this move as the end. Unfortunately what was meant to be an opportunity for improvement, has simply amplified his problem. Romero has allowed 23 walks in his first 27 innings posting an even 6.00 ERA coming into tonight’s start, which is more than concerning. After a few years in the minors now people have to start wondering if he will ever be able to regain his command.
John Stilson could be just the man to remedy the problems in the Blue Jays bullpen. The 23 year old right hander has a rather unimpressive 4.41 ERA, but that number is inflated by one poor outing in the early season. In the team’s past ten games Stilson has worked 7.2 scoreless innings striking out 10 in the process. “We have tried to quicken up his delivery,” said manager Gary Allenson, “he is doing a better job of pitching it rather than throwing it”.
The former starter has proven he has the ability to work several innings out of the pen. He went three scoreless innings against Charlotte on the fourth of this month and two more scoreless on the ninth also against Charlotte. His electric late inning caliber stuff could make him a truly versatile weapon for the Jays. “He’s got such good stuff,” said catcher Mike Nickeas, “he really doesn’t have any business being at this level. With the kind of stuff he has he should be at the next level”.
Jonathan Diaz came into the day hitless in his first 24 plate appearances with Buffalo after being sent down on the first of the month. These struggles are really a continuation of what he had done in Toronto as he was only able to work a .176 average in 22 games for the Jays.
Jared Goedert got the day off yesterday after hitting three homeruns in the previous two games. The power surge was part of a four game hitting streak that raised his season average to an impressive .307 mark. Even more impressive is his .396 on base percentage which is near the top in the IL. He could be a reliable option if Juan Francisco cools off for the Jays.
The Bisons and Braves are hoping to get a doubleheader in on Thursday but the weather may again be uncooperative. If things go as planned Romero will start game one at 5 p.m. against Gus Schlosser and Kyle Drabek will take the mound in the night cap against Yunesky Maya. These games could prove to be critical as both teams are already in tight battles atop their respective divisions.