Labour Day marks the end of the minor league baseball regular season, and therefore the seasons of all affiliates except Dunedin who qualified for the playoffs. Let's look briefly at how each affiliate finished the seasons:
- Buffalo 66-78 (5th in IL North). After hitting the high water mark of 46-34 on June 29th, the Bison went 20-44 the rest of the summer including losing 16 of their last 19.
- New Hampshire 69-73 (4th in EL East). Nice charge to end the season.
- Dunedin 76-59 (2nd half champions). Will take on first half champion Tampa Yankees tonight, not clear who will be taking the mound. Ryan Borucki lines up, could be promoted back up after dominating the Midwest League?
- Lansing 69-71. Were in the driver's seat for the last playoff spot with three weeks to go.
- Bluefield 37-31. Were in the driver's seat for the last playoff spot but lost three of four to bitter rival Princeton to get edged out for the playoffs.
- Vancouver 29-45 (worst record in NWL). Started 7-4; putrid thereafter. Trend as a Blue Jays affiliate: champ, champ, champ, runner-up, miss playoffs, league cellar.
One final note is that while Lansing's regular season is done, they do have the Crosstown Showdown exhibition tonight against Michigan State tonight, postponed from its usual sit at the beginning of the season. As usual, the Jays are sending in some special reinforcements for the game. It will start at 5:30 with a home run derby featuring three from each side, with 2016 Lugnut Connor Panas supplemented by (2017 Lugnuts?) Vladimir Guerrero and Bo Bichette. For the actual game, new pitchers include Zach Jackson, Andy Ravel, and Mike Ellenbest among others up from Vancouver.
- Jeremy Gabryszwski ends his season on a relative high note, not technically a quality start but he finished the outing strong with a lot of weak contact and didn't allow any free passes.
- Shane Dawson did the same, though in reverse. He was very strong early, yielding just an infield single through 4, a ground ball single in the 5th, a leadoff double and run in the 6th, and then a home run leading off the 7th followed by a hard double which was stranded.
- Taylor Cole came back off the DL to bookend the last series with a couple of of multi-inning relief outings. Nothing remarkable, but good to see he wasn't seriously injured after losing 2 months at the beginning of the year.
- Jon Harris's line looks pretty mediocre at first glance. But he was perfect over the first three innings, got hit around in a tough 4th (three doubles), then closed with another two perfect innings. He was 94-95 in the early going with his four seam fastball, switching more to two seamers later on in the 89-91 range with effective breaking balls.
- Conor Fisk put up another strong start, with four perfect innings bookended by innings of three baserunners.
- Chris Rowley added two strong innings to close out the playoff clinching game, fastball in the high 80s while leaning on his offspeed.
- Justin Maese finished strong for Lansing, once again piling up the ground balls and strikeouts, this time without a bunch of doubles and runs. He did fade a bit at the end with the two walks in his last inning, but a great season overall, and very possibly his last start in Lansing since he has little left to prove in low-A.
- T.J. Zeuch made his second MWL start, with positives and negatives. In terms of the former, he piled up swinging strikes, on his fastball and curveball mostly. However, he battled some wildness with two walks and two HBP, and thought he limited the hits they were all hard contact (HR, double, hard single).
- Jordan Romano followed with a relief outing, which is mostly notable in that it's just good news he didn't suffer an injury when he was removed from his last start. A really pleasant surprise in 2016.
- Angel Perdomo finished 2016 with a third straight strong outing, and to put a cherry on top finishes as the Midwest League strikeout king at 156.
- Patrick Murphy won the ERA title in the Northwest League (along qualifiers), but anoher whose outing is not well described by the overall line. His first three innings were great, with just a couple of hits, no free passes, and a pile of weak ground balls. Then he lost the zone, and left with the bases loaded. Fastball was 92-93
- Zach Jackson followed with a dominant inning, touching 94 in striking out the side with a swing and miss curve. This is the guy the Jays thought they were drafting.
- Dalton Rodriguez finished a tough 2016 on a high note, working the high 80s on his fastball.
- Denis Diaz finished a year in which he struggled to throw strikes with an outing in which he struggled mightily to find the zone and walked the first three. Surprise!