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C’s do Two Steps Forward, One Back Routine

After showing signs of life by winning the last two games against Salem-Keizer to take the five game series, Vancouver headed out for their penultimate road trip of the season and laid a frog’s egg. A 10-2 soaking by the Everett Aqua-Sox saw the C’s fall back out of the North division lead after only being there for one day. Still, provided I’m reading the Northwest League’s convoluted playoff procedures correctly, they still occupy the second playoff position. Regardless, the way they are playing, could all be moot anyway.

The C’s rode two excellent starts from Tom Robson and Kyle Anderson in wrapping up the final two games versus the Volcanoes. I charted Robson’s start and hope to do a post on what I saw soon. Will save my observations for that. If you add in Shane Dawson‘s decent, though definitely not his best, start Friday and Jeremy Gabyrszwski’s fantastic outing on Saturday, you had four pretty good showings from the starters.

Scott Silverstein and Matt Dermody both put in decent shifts in relief over the final two games. Both relievers took the win on their respective nights, although Scott’s is slightly tainted as he also blew the lead for Robson. These two, along with Alonzo Gonzalez will be just as important as the starters in the run in. With the younger guys pitch count at eighty, you’re looking at five maybe six innings max per outing from three of your starters. That leaves quite a bit of work for those that provide multiple innings out of the ‘pen.

Unfortunately the bullpen was stretched a bit further than expected last night when Shane Dawson was a late scratch due to elbow stiffness. Anytime you here here that phrase, especially as a Blue Jays fan (think Drabek, Hutchison, Osuna, et al), the worst is immediately feared. However, I’ve been told that Dawson is fine and should be good to go when his turn comes up again.

Right-hander Justin James was pressed into his first, and probably only, start of the the season. Needless to say, as is often the case in these situations, it didn’t go well. That being said, it didn’t go all that well for Gonzalez or Joe Spano in relief either as no one could hold the WaterSox off the board. A bad night all around, and hopefully already forgotten.

The milb website has the ubiquitous ‘TBD’ as tonight’s Vancouver starter. Looking at the rotation, it should be Gabyrszwski. I spoke to pitching coach ‘Big’ Jim Czajkowski about his most recent start and he was very happy with how Gaby had taken the mechanical changes they had been working on board and applied them to the game situation. Once again, he was working down and corner to corner.

When he began to struggle, he was leaving himself open through his delivery, meaning he had to come across his body to compensate. Saturday saw him driving straight towards his catcher, giving him both greater fastball command and a tighter, more top to bottom curveball.

Hopefully things go just as smoothly tonight.

Notes From My Couch:

The news is not good for 2012 draft pick and uber-athlete Anthony Alford. I covered Alford’s situation earlier in the year, but to recap, after transferring schools, the two-sport star applied to the NCAA to forego his mandatory redshirt season due to perceived unsafe conditions at his previous institution of higher learning.

Well, the NCAA took their sweet time in reviewing the case and have ultimately decided to deny the appeal. That means Alford will need to sit out the the 2013 football season.

This is bad news for Jays fans for two reasons:

1) The timing – with classes already starting, there is no chance that the outfielder comes back to an affiliate to get a few more at bats.

2) With the quarterback cum defensive back saying he is going to play three years of college football before deciding on his ultimate sport, this delays the decision another year. If he had won his appeal and not had a particularly great couple of football seasons, prospect watchers theoretically would have gotten to see a full 2015 season from an athlete that many thought was the best in the 2012 draft. Now we are delayed another full season. Making him twenty-one when he finally, potentially, plays a full season of baseball.

As raw as he is, he will have probably missed the boat by then.

rest that elbow Shane (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

rest that elbow Shane (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

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