At the close of week 3 of the Minor League season, the Baby Jays are in the exact same spot as the big league club. As an organization, the entire organization is sitting .500 heading into this weeks minor league games.
Buffalo (11-7) - T-2nd in AAA East - Northeast Division (2 GB). +25 Run Differential
Stat to Know: Buffalo has allowed 59 runs through 3 weeks which puts them #1 in AAA. There are three other teams close by, but each has played at least 1 fewer game
New Hampshire (7-11) - 3rd in AA North East - Northeast Division +4 Run Differential
Stat to Know: 15 - Otto Lopez is currently on a 15-game hitting streak for New Hampshire, and has hits in 16 of the 17 games he has played. In fact, every day that Lopez has played this year he has a hit, since his hitless game was game 1 of a double header, which saw his hit streak begin in game 2.
Vancouver (12-6) - T-1st in High-A Northwest. +18 Run Differential
Stat to Know: 22 - The number of walks Spencer Horwitz has for Vancouver so far this year, averaging over 1 a games. Horwitz is off to a strong start to the year with the bat, as he’s hitting .340/.542/.440, but those 22 walks have helped Horwitz get on base over 54% of the time he comes to the plate. The downside to being on base so often is that Horwitz is 2 of 6 in stealing bases so far this year, so he needs to work on getting caught less.
Dunedin (6-12) - 6th in Low-A Southeast West Division. -39 Run Differential
Stat to Know: 1.86 Strikeouts per Walk- Dunedin’s pitchers have had a rough go in the early going for 2021, but walks seem to be one of the biggest issues. The pitching staff has struck out 203 batters through 156.1 innings, which is 11.7 K/9, but the 109 walks they have allowed are handcuffing the club. Only 3 pitchers with multiple outings (18 total) have walk rates below 4.5 / 9
Buffalo took 1 of 3 from Worcester on the weekend
Friday - W 6-4
Saturday - L 7-4
Sunday - L 4-0
Friday saw Buffalo battle back late and take a win with a 3-run 9th inning off old friend and former Red Sox reliever Marcus Walden. 5 Buffalo hitters had multi-hit games, including Kevin Smith (4) & Riley Adams (3) who both homered late. Adams homer tied the game, Logan Warmoth drove in the go-ahead run and Smith added an insurance run with a single.
Tanner Nate Pearson started and went 3 innings, allowing a run on 2 hits and a walk, while striking out 4 over 58 pitches. It would be good for Pearson to get a couple of more starts to build up some innings and find a rhythm.
In Saturday’s game, Nick Allgeyer struggled at the outset, giving up 6 earned on 8 hits and 4 walks in 4 innings. That included 3 HR’s allowed in, including 2 in the first as Jeter Downs & Yairo Munoz went back-to-back. At the plate, Christian Colon was the only Herd hitter to get on base more than once, as he went 3-4 with a HR and 2 runs scored. Forrest Wall walked for the second straight game after not walking all season before that.
Sunday’s finale saw very little offense from Buffalo, as they combined for 6 hits and 2 walks. Breyvic Valera and Richard Urena both had a single & a double, while Riley Adams had a single and a walk. TJ Zeuch started for Buffalo and allowed 3 runs in 4.1 innings on 6 hits and 2 walks. It took Zeuch 102 pitches to get that far
New Hampshire was 1-2 against Portland over the weekend as the bullpen imploded in the two losses (seems par for the course this weekend)
Friday - W 12-4
Saturday - L 7-6
Sunday - L 7-2
Friday saw the FisherCats offense explode for 16 hits and 5 walks. Austin Martin & Gabe Moreno each had 2 singles and a double, plus a walk in the game. LJ Talley, Samad Taylor & Reggie Pruitt each added 2 hits. Talley had 2 doubles, while Pruitt hit his 1st HR of the year. Zach Logue had a good start, as he went 6 innings, allowing 1 earned on 3 hits and a walk. Logue struck out 6. Willy Gaston made his AA debut in this one, jumping from Dunedin to New Hampshire for the weekend. Gaston allowed 1 solo HR in his inning of work.
Saturday saw New Hampshire give up 4 runs in the top of 9 to hand a game away, one they probably shouldn’t have had a chance to win, as the offense only mustered 3 hits and 4 walks. Simeon Woods Richardson started this one, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk over 5 innings. SWR had 8 strikeouts in the game, but did give up 2 doubles and a triple. Brody Rodning pitched a quick 8th inning, but allowed 4 runs on 4 hits in the 9th inning. At the plate, New Hampshire was plucky, as they picked up 2 2-run HR’s, 1 from Chavez Young (1) and 1 from Samad Taylor (3). Otto Lopez had the Cats 3rd hit in this one.
The final game of the series was a pitchers duel through 7, as New Hampshire held a 2-1 lead, but 3 runs allowed in the 8th and 3 more in the 9th opened this one up. Elvis Luciano started, got a ground out and gave up a double, and was done for the game. The only report I had seen said he was in discomfort. Andrew McInvale followed and had 4 solid innings of relief, allowing a run on 2 hits and 2 walks. Willy Gaston gave up 3 in the 8th, including 1 unearned run, while Fitz Stadler did the same in the 9th. Both gave up 3-run HR’s. At hte plate, Vinny Capra had 3 singles, Samad Taylor had 2 singles and a stolen base, while Gabe Moreno hit his 3rd HR of the year. Austin Martin had a rough game at the plate, going 0-4 with 3 K’s, but did pick up 2 outfield assists, both at 1st base.
Vancouver was able to win Sunday to help the organization avoid getting swept on the day, as they took 1 of 3 from Hillsboro over the weekend
Friday - 4-3 Loss
Saturday - 8-3 Loss
Sunday - 5-4 Win
Nick Fraze started Friday and had a solid outing, going 6 innings while allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits and 2 walks. The run came in the first on a solo HR to Canadian Andy Yerzy. Fraze struck out 6 and hit a batter. Cobi Johnson had a rough outing, as he allowed 3 earned runs in 0.2 innings. Johnson allowed 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. At the plate, the C’s got solid games from Ryan Gold, who had a double, his 1st HR of the year and a walk, and Tanner Morris, who had a single and a 2-run HR in the 9th to close the gap. Cameron Eden added a single, while Tanner Kirwer & Sebastian Espino walked.
Saturday’s game saw Adam Kloffenstein start and get beat up. Kloff went 3 innings, allowing 7 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks. Kloff gave up a HR to Andy Yerzy, but struggled to find the strike zone, as he threw less than 50% of his pitches for strikes and had 3 wild pitches. Lazaro Estrada had 2 shutout innings of relief, while Hagen Danner allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and a walk in 3 innings. Danner struck out 6 in his outing. On offense, DJ Neal & Cameron Eden each had 2 singles. Davis Schneider had a 2-run HR, his 1st of the year. Spencer Horwitz doubled and walked, while Tanner Kirwer also doubled.
Sunday saw Vancouver take a big lead into the bottom of the 9th and almost give the game away. Recently acquired Paxton Schultz started and went 6 solid innings, allowing no runs on 2 hits and striking out 5. Will McAffer gave up 3 walks and hit a batter to start the 9th, 3 of which came around to score, while recording a fly out. Parker Caracci came in and was able to get the last 2 outs and save the ball game. Spencer Horwitz had 2 hits and a walk, while scoring 3 runs. Luis De Los Santos had 2 singles and drove in a run. Sebastian Espino and Cameron Eden both doubled.
Dunedin was able to make sure things were equal, as they also went 1-2 over the weekend
Friday - Win 1-0
Saturday - Loss 5-3
Sunday - Loss 8-6 in 10 innings
Friday saw Dunedin get a solid pitching performance from the 3 guys who toed the rubber. Winder Garcia started and threw 4 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and 3 walks. Garcia struck out 4 and allowed a wild pitch. Jiogeny Casimiri followed with 3 no-hit innings of relief, striking out 4. Adrian Hernandez pitched the final 2 frames, allowing a walk and striking out 2. Hernandez has been pretty good at missing bats so far in 2021, as he has 23 strikeouts in 11.2 innings. Dunedin scored their only run on a forceout, a sac bunt and two errors, as Justin Ammons scored the run. Ryan Sloniger had 2 hits, including a double. Orelvis Martinez and Leo Jimenez each had a single, while Zach Britton added a walk.
Sem Robberse started on Saturday and struggled, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks over 2 innings. Robberse did strike out 4 batters, but took the loss. Julian Valdez allowed 2 earned on 2 hits and 3 walks in 3 innings. At the plate, Dunedin spread 5 hits and 3 walks amongst the club, with no one reaching base twice. Orelvis Martinez & PK Morris each doubled. Addison Barger, Miguel Hiraldo & Steward Berroa each had a hit. Zach Britton, MacKenzie Mueller & Jhon Solarte each walked.
Dunedin allowed Clearwater to tie the ball game in the 8th and then gave up a walk off 2-run HR in the 10th to lose the final game of the series. Rafael Ohashi started and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 wild pitches over 3 innings. Ohashi did strike out 6 batters. Patrick Murphy made his 2021 debut as he pitched 1.1 innings of relief in his rehab appearance. Murphy allowed 2 runs, 1 earned on 3 hits, while striking out 2. Roither Hernandez allowed a solo HR in 2.1 innings, while striking out 4. SS Jose Rivas took the loss, as he pitched the 10th, allowing the walk off after getting a ground out. The D-Jays got 3 hits from Orelvis Martinez, including his 5th double and his 3rd HR of the season. Jhon Solarte hit his 1st HR of the year, a 2-run shot, and added a walk. Steward Berroa & Addison Barger both had a single and a walk.
This week will see the Jays take on the Yankees organization at all but 1 level, which should help increase any rivalries.
Buffalo - The Herd travel to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take on the RailRiders, the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees, who currently lead the division by 2 games. This will be a big series for Buffalo as the RailRiders have scored 27 more runs so far in 2021, so Buffalo’s pitching staff needs to be ready to go
Conner Overton gets the start in game 1 of the series tonight at 6:35 since Alek Manoah has moved up to take on the big league Yankees tomorrow night. Overton has looked pretty solid so far in 2021, with only 8 hits and 2 walks allowed in 15 innings, while striking out 15.
New Hampshire - The FisherCats travel to Somerset to take on the league leading Patriots, the AA affiliate of the Yankees, who took 4 of 6 from NH in New Hampshire in week 2. Somerset brings the second best runs allowed number in the AA Northeast league, and a +43 run differential, so New Hampshire will need to continue to hit the ball to challenge the division leader
Tonight’s starter is listed as a TBD for New Hampshire, as first pitch goes at 7:05
Vancouver - Vancouver welcomes the Everett AquaSox to Hillsboro for their week 4 series. Everett is the high-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, and are one of the 2 teams tied with Vancouver for top spot in the league. Everett did take 4 or 6 in Hillsboro earlier in the year, but that wasn’t against Vancouver.
Sean Wymer gets the ball in game 1 at 10:05 for his 4th start of the year. Wymer’s first outing was not pretty, but he has pitched 4 decent innings the last two times out, though he has been getting hit often, as opponents are hitting .409 against Wymer so far this year.
Dunedin - The D-Jays welcome the league leading Tampa Tarpons to Tampa’s home stadium, where Dunedin is playing their home games currently. Tampa is the low-A affiliate of the Yankees and has a 13-5 record so far in 2021, including a league leading +63 run differential. Tampa met Dunedin in week 1, and it was a bit of a bloodbath, where Dunedin went 1-5, while allowing 78 runs. Dunedin’s pitching has been better since week 1, but this will still be a stiff challenge for the club.
Naswell Paulino will start tonight for Dunedin, and will look to continue his improvements. Last time out, Paulino went 4.1 innings, his longest of the year, allowing 2 runs. The big issue for Paulino to date has been control, as he has walked 11 in 11 innings. That goes with 13 strikeouts, but walking that many isn’t going to lead to a lot of positive outings.