In the latest turn through the affiliate rotations, most of the best outings were turned in by the pitchers who have been a groove recently: Sean Reid-Foley, Jon Harris, Ryan Borucki, Justin Maese and even Justin Shafer. Taylor Cole also rebounded from a very bad outing to have his best start of the year. Eight seemed to be the magic number: 8 innings for Borucki and Maese, 8 strikeouts for Harris and Cole.
Before going through at all that and more in detail, the Futures game was Sunday, which featured two Blue Jays pitchers (though unfortunately both were touched up a good bit):
- Angel Perdomo came in for the 3rd inning, and faced six batters but could not finish the inning. It started well, with a first pitch ground out on a fastball at 92. Alex Bregman drilled a 3-2 fastball into left centre field for a double, and then he lost the strike zone, his Achilles heel. A 3-0 fastball was crushed by Clint Frazier for a double, followed by back to back five pitch walks to load the bases. He did jam Dom Smith, who had an RBI ground out, but that was it. His fastball was 92-93 at the beginning, falling to 90-91 as he appeared to take something off to find the zone. He also showed an okay sweeping breaking ball at 83-84. 23 pitches, 9 strikes (1 whiff, 80% contract rate).
- Francisco Rios came in to finish the 3rd, also on a first pitch groundout, and then stayed in for the 4th. In all, he gave faced seven batters, and gave up a run on three hits via a solo bomb from Chance Cisco. His fastball velocity was better than I expected at 93-96, but he definitely looked to be overthrowing and didn't command it well. The major positive takeaway was his slider around 84, which showed good shape and tight downward action though a couple were a bit hung and caught too much plate. He used it quite a bit, around 10 of his 25 pitches, yielding a line drive single and infield single when it was put in play. He also may have tossed a couple changeups which didn't appear more than than a show me offering. In total, 25 pitches, 16 strikes (2 whiffs, 80% contact rate)
- Cole had his best start, with some of his better fastball velocity too at 92-93
- Conner Greene had another mixed outing, good contact results mixed with poor peripherals. He started with a couple mostly clean innings, one runner, but then had a lot of deep counts and nine runners over the last three innings. Fastball readings at 91, 95 MPH.
- Jeremy Gabryswzski walked a few more than usual, but was otherwise okay. Got squared up quite a bit his last couple if innings, FB reading at 89.
- Tim Mayza is yet to find his groove at AA in the month since he's been promoted, with the the appearance above representative.
- Chris Rowley had an offday, just not as sharp as usual as he struggled to consistently find the zone. The most interesting note from that game is likely LHP Jose Fernandez, who followed with 2.1 innings of relief and was 95-96 with his fastball in his first inning of work, which is above where he's been in the past
- Reid-Foley was again overpowering, though with some control struggles that lead to deep counts (all hitters but one saw at least three pitches). He just blew his fastball past the Fort Myers lineup at 91-96, and may have touched higher a couple times. He also a couple bats each with his 86-87 slider and 80-81 curve.
- Kirby Snead made his professional debut in Dunedin and was good after back to back walks to start. Fastball was just 86-89 though.
- Tayler Saucedo had a decent start, touching as high as 94 on the stadium gun and as low as 87, which a few readings in between
- Jon Harris had his best most dominating start since mid/late May, combining weak contact with missing bats and piling up strikeouts.. Touched 95 on the stadium gun at least a couple times.
- Angel Perdomo made a short start, presumably due to being added to the Futures roster. He was not his sharpest, working a lot of deep counts, and giving up a home run. Fastball 93-94, same as Futures game.
- He was followed by Tom Robson, who struggled mightily over 3 innings as he walked three and gave up a cycle with an extra triple to spare. 95-95 in his first inning, reading 89 in his 3rd inning.
- Ryan Borucki turned in another excellent start going a season high 105 pitches, though he ran out of gas towards the end with three runners reaching in the 8th and fouling up his line a bit. Again, his changeup was his big weapon, also getting some whiffs on his slider and hitting as high at 95 on the stadium gun.
- Jordan Romano had a shaky 1st inning (though touched 97), settled in to retire nine straight, then ran into trouble in his last inning with a home run and some walks coming back to bite him
- Pat Murphy had a short start, in part thanks to errors/misplays prolonging two of the innings. Fastball range was 91-94. He had 28 and 30 pitch innings to start, a quick 3rd but was taken out at just 66 pitches anyway. 3 runs in 3 innings isn't spectacular, but when he left the real fun started as four relievers gave up 13 runs in 5 innings. Yay short season baseball!
- The first of those relievers was Matt Smoral, who didn't get anyone out while giving up two hits, walking two, and hitting two. That's not the right kind of trifecta. The most effective of those relievers was Jackson McClelland, who retired seven straight batters after allowing the first three to reach.
- Luis Sanchez was working on a decent start, had really settled in nicely the second half until with out an infield hit, another ground ball snuck through, a walk and then a grand slam wrecked his start and blew an early 5-0 lead to which he was staked.
- Justin Maese showed no ill effects from the comebacker that ended his last start after 3 batters. In fact, he allowed just one runner over his first 7 innings, putting on a clinic of weak contact with 14 of 17 balls on the ground. His fastball was in the low to mid 90s, touching 95. He faltered some in the 8th, giving up a couple of hard liners (one hit), followed by a two run home run.