The major league Toronto Blue Jays were horrible this past week, but exciting things happened in their minor league system since last Friday, and you will be able to hear about it today at 5 pm if you tune in to the weekly Around The Nest podcast. Around The Nest is hosted by the Lansing Lugnuts' Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, and Jesse goes up and down the Blue Jays organization to chat with the radio broadcasters of each level. These broadcasters watch every game and so can give fantastic insight about how various prospects are doing.
You can listen to the show live here at 5 pm Eastern, or download the archive version following the broadcast using the same link.
In case you missed it, here is last week's show--it includes a great interview with Sal Fasano about catching development in the Blue Jays system:
We at Bluebird Banter have partnered with Around The Nest to allow you to ask the broadcasters questions you have about various players and teams. Simply put your questions in the comments below and Jesse will ask as many as he can on the air.
Leading off this week's show will be special guest Chris King (@StatsKing on Twitter), a Baseball Prospectus scout who lives in Florida, covering both the A-advanced Florida State League and the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. This past week, Chris saw the professional debut of 2014 first round draft pick Max Pentecost, rehab appearances from Roberto Osuna and Mickey Storey, as well as two innings of Sean Reid-Foley (2014 second round pick). I am eager to hear him talk about how they all looked.
My first question of the week is for Chris: After going 0-for-3 in his pro debut, Max Pentecost went 5-for-5 the next day with two doubles--were all five hits hit hard? Did the pitchers make mistakes or did Pentecost hit some difficult pitches? Also, what happened with the caught stealing I see on the box score?
Batting second will be Kevin Fitzgerald from the other Rookie-level team, the Bluefield Blue Jays. It seems that Richard Urena is doing well while Rowdy Tellez is struggling. Matt Smoral had two appearances this week: in his Friday start, he was cruising through the first two innings before struggling through the third and fourth innings, and he looked to have a good game on Wednesday when he pitched innings four through seven.
My other question of the week is for Kevin: What went wrong during the two innings of struggles for Smoral? What was going right during the other six innings he pitched this week?
Moving on up, the three-hitter this week will be either Rob Fai or Lucas Scott from the short-season-A Vancouver Canadians. Batting cleanup, Trey Wilson will join Jesse to talk about the single-A Lansing Lugnuts, and in the five-hole will be Tyler Murray or Al Hernandez of the A-advanced Dunedin Blue Jays. Rounding up the lineup will be Tom Gauthier or Bob Lipman from the double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and triple-A Buffalo Bisons' Ben Wagner.
Don't worry Ben, even though you are batting last you won't be asked to sacrifice bunt; however, I would like ask you about how Cory Aldridge has been welcomed to Buffalo. His Twitter photos page shows that he is a man who loves food--has anyone taken him to Anchor Bar or Dinosaur BBQ yet?
Enough of my questions... what are yours?