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C’s v Aquasox – A Nooner at the Nat

Before I get into the baseball guts of this post, let me preface it by saying the weather in Vancouver has finally turned.  So, I’ll be honest, today’s charting was marred somewhat by a few Asahi Super Pops (make sure I tell you some time about the Asahi commercial I was in, that was fun) and some time in the sun.  Nevertheless, I’ll try to recollect what I can.

I hate to say it, as I would like to be as positive as I can be in regards to the C’s playing staff, but Ben White did nothing to change my mind from what I wrote in yesterday’s post.  He looked eminently hittable, sitting in the upper 80’s.  His curve ball was reasonably sharp, but was fooling no one the 2nd time through the order.  He gave up 2 ding dongs, one of them a monster shot to dead center by Patrick Kivlehan, hit two, and walked one.  All in all, not a good outing.  I’m guessing Ben will get a few more starts, but when some of the younger guys start getting moved up, he’ll either be out of a job, or be relegated to the pen.

Speaking of which, Matt Johnson threw another perfect inning.  I’ve gone over his story here, so won’t rehash it now.  What I can say after seeing him in person, was that I’m impressed.  He worked quickly and went right after the hitters, which were the middle of the Aquasox’ order.  Working down in the zone, he consistently touched 94 on the stadium gun, and mixed in the odd upper 70’s breaking ball.  He struck out 2, with the  most impressive being an eight pitch AB vs Everett 3B Klivlehan.  Klivlehan fouled off some tough pitches, but Johnson kept going to the well, eventually overpowering him with a 95mph heater.  A few more outings like this (considering his age as well) and the Jays may be interested in seeing him move up a level.

On the hitting side, the C’s really had nothing to offer.  At one point, they were actually out-hitting the A-Sox despite being down 10-4, but Everett made their hits count.  Kellen Sweeney had a decent day with an opposite field double, bases loaded walk, and quality ground-out.  He also made a few nice plays in the field.  I’m really only mentioning Kellen, as he could be considered a prospect.  When I saw him last, he was inside outing fast balls for pop ups on the left side.  Today, the same swing produced a double that short hopped the wall.  Seems progress is being made.  His wOBA is at .322 and he has a very average wRC+ of 100.  He is also suffering from a low BABIP, so this may even out over time.

As mentioned above, however, it was Sweeney’s counterpart at 3B who stole the show.  Patrick Kivlehan is an interesting prospect.  He obviously has power, hitting a moonshot to dead center at the Nat, which is not a small yard.  But what makes him interesting is the fact he focused on football when in college.  It was only last winter when he decided to pick up a bat again after 4 years of being a back-up db.  All he accomplished was to lead Rutgers in every offensive stat and win the Big East triple crown.  The Mariners liked what they saw and took him in the 4th round of this years draft.  So far, his K% is too high and BABIP is ridiculously high, so his numbers will even out and fall back to earth .  Still, his wRC+ is a healthy 139 and with his pop, he may get a look in at a higher level this season.

A couple of shots from the Nat:

Matt Johnson heater


Kivlehan celebrating his 2nd home run


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