Your weekly wrap of things going on in the Blue Jays system over the past seven (or so) days….
The sticks were cold this week……
LINES OF THE WEEK
Dunedin’s Matt Svanson turned in another sparkling effort, this time in relief, his fourth scoreless outing in five appearances for the D-Jays. Svanson recorded 8 GB outs:
Sem Robberse twirled five shutout innings for Vancouver:
A trio of Buffalo hurlers, including Adrian Hernàndez (more below) tossed a two-hit, seven inning gem of a shutout in the nightcap of Buffalo’s doubleheader:
New Hampshire’s Nick Fraze gave the Fisher Cats five and two-thirds of quality pitching before turning things over to the bullpen, who collectively shut the door on Somerset:
Ricky Tiedemann came back to earth a little bit, but his piggybacking partner Jimmy Robbins had another fine outing:
New Hampshire Zac Cook had to go a long way for this ball:
Vancouver, loser of six of their past seven, were down 6-0 heading into the bottom of the 6th in a Friday nooner against Everett. With a pair of runners on, 1B P.K. Morris launched his second HR of the season to cut the deficit in half. The C’s tied the game in the 8th, setting the stage for Morris in the last of the 9th:
Later that day, Gabriel Moreno capped off a four-hit night doing what he does so well – getting the bat on the ball:
No one tore through the system in 2021 like this undersized (5’8”/190) later 2017 IFA signing from Mexico. As we wrote last fall, Hernandez learned to trust his change up more (a plus pitch), and that combined with improved FB velocity and command has put him on the cusp of a big league job.
Hernàndez has great arm action on his change, it gets a ton of movement, and he’s not afraid to throw it in any count. It’s always there in hitters’ minds, living in the fraction of a second they have to make a swing decision. The change allows his low 90s fastball to play up, and he often induces whiffs by changing the eye angle of hitters at the top of the zone. This AB from his Wednesday outing in the second game of Buffalo’s doubleheader demonstrates how nasty he can be.
The first pitch to Durham’s David Rodriguez is a two seamer just off the plate, a pitch designed to mix things up, and to a spot where Rodriguez can’t do much damage if Hernàndez’ location was off:
The next is a change on the outside edge:
Hernàndez goes upstairs with a four seamer on a 1-1 pitch; the reaction from Rodriguez after he swings through it says it all:
Finally, ahead in the count as he often is, Hernàndez throws the change once again, and all Rodriguez can do is wave at it on his way back to the dugout:
We might be looking at the next arm in the Blue Jays bullpen.
THIS AND THAT
Just a few tidbits picked up along the way.
Former Jays farmhand Ryan Sloniger, like most catchers, is an astute observer of the game. He agreed with this former catcher in an assessment of Orelvis’ defence:
Speaking of Orelvis, he made an outstanding play on Wednesday that bears posting:
A closer look does reveal an incredible pair of hands and a great release by Orelvis, but…..he did get kind of lucky, as he wasn’t in position to field that hard smash. And kudos to Spencer Horwitz for that grab at 1st.
Dunedin pitching coach Drew Hayes had his work cut out for him last season. With the D-Jays in their maiden campaign as a Low A affiliate, there was a steady shuttle of pitchers back and forth from TD Bank Ballpark to the Minor League Complex – Dunedin used 37 pitchers in all last year. We asked Hayes what makes Ricky Tiedemann so good – beyond the elite FB he commands to both sides of the plate and a wipeout SL: