Summer has truly returned now that Around The Nest, our podcast about the Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league system, is back with its very first episode of 2022.
Hosted by the voice of the high-A Vancouver Canadians Tyler Zickel, we will be podcasting every other week this year visiting the single-A Dunedin Blue Jays, double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and the triple-A Buffalo Bisons. This week, we welcome back the Bisons’ Pat Malacaro and the D-Jays’ Andrew Thriffiley and are thrilled to introduce Around The Nest rookie David Korzeniowski, the new broadcaster in New Hampshire.
In this episode
Pat Malacaro, Buffalo Bisons
- The Bisons have been in the top three of the International League East Division standings all season.
- Samad Taylor leads the team in home runs, RBIs, and stolen bases so he is not the prototypical cleanup hitter.
- Triple-A rosters have not seen the usual six-year free agents as many veterans have looked to play overseas with the uncertainties around the lockout.
- Gabriel Moreno has been great offensively and has impressed Pat a lot throwing runners out on the bases, especially to third base.
- Casey Lawrence worked with David Howell (now Blue Jays major league pitching strategist) in Buffalo last year and has re-built his career.
- It took until the 11th appearances for Adrián Hernández to give up an earned run this season. Throws a screwball that no one has been able figure out yet.
David Korzeniowski, New Hampshire Fisher Cats
- Introduction to the newest Nester, Notre Dame and Northwestern alumnus David Korzeniowski (the first “i” is silent).
- Fisher Cats started 7-3 but has struggled since. Pitching has not been great overall.
- Orelvis Martinez has been scorching the ball when he makes contact.
- Tanner Morris has been among the leaders in on-base percentage in the league, and has been the Fisher Cats’ best and most consistent hitter.
- Spencer Horwitz has been surehanded at first base and although his batting average has gone down, he is still finding his way on base.
- Double-A pitching has been challenging for this young team’s offence in general. New Hampshire has been living and dying with the home run.
- Zac Cook has become a full-time outfielder and has looked good out there, but has been slow at the plate.
- Adam Kloffenstein’s development has been slower than expected, with him and Trent Palmer making their debuts in double-A this month. Kloff was perfect first time through the roster but ran into trouble his second time through the lineup. Palmer gave up one run, on a wild pitch, and was a cool customer on the mound.
Tyler Zickel, Vancouver Canadians
- At a couple of games below .500, Canadians have yet to figure out identity as a hitting-first team or a pitching-strong team.
- Sem Robberse has been Vancouver’s (and the Northwest League’s) most consistent pitcher.
- Canadians have an embarrassment of riches in their six-man starting rotation.
- Yosver Zulueta hit 102 mph once, according to the Nat Bailey radar gun.
- Hunter Gregory had nine strikeouts in a three-inning relief outing earlier this week.
- Fun Facts: Two C’s (PK Morris, Zach Britton) have hit two homers in a game and both of them had a walkoff for their second. Also, the C’s three grand slams (PK Morris, Trevor Schwecke, Addison Barger) have all come in the second game of a doubleheader
Andrew Thriffiley, Dunedin Blue Jays
- The Dunedin Blue Jays have the second most strikeouts in the affiliated minor leagues, bumped by a 24-strikeout game against the Tampa Tarpons.
- Rainer Nunez is in the top three of almost all offensive categories in the Florida State League. The start of the year he had struggles with sliders away, but he has been showing off his power lately.
- In the clubhouse, veteran rehabbers Teoscar Hernández, Danny Jansen, and Chavez Young have helped to impart wisdom on this young team.
- Chavez Young has talked a lot to Gabby Martinez to discuss his approach at the plate.
- Injuries have stopped some breakout candidates: Rikelbin De Castro (mono), Dasan Brown (oblique).
- Florida State League was just too easy for 19-year-old Ricky Tiedemann.
- Fun Fact: Danny Jansen and Jordan Groshans have been the only position players from the United States.