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Drayton Valley’s Dawson Hits D.L.

After Saturday night’s disaster against Spokane, you’d be hard pressed to come up with a scenario how things could get any worse. Well, how’s this for a start? Drayton Valley’s own Shane Dawson has been placed on the disabled list and will be shut down for the rest of the season. That stinks.

The Alberta native is having trouble with his scapula bone in his shoulder, which, in turn, is causing soreness in his elbow when he throws. Discussing the problem with both pitching coach ‘Big’ Jim Czajkowski and Shane himself, the problem is minor. In fact, the left-hander is already playing catch. The injury just needs some rest and as Dawson rightly says, ‘as much as I’d love to win a championship with Vancouver, my long term career is more important.’

The irony of that statement, of course, being that without Shane taking his regular start, the C’s chances of making the playoffs have taken a big hit. In his first three starts for the C’s, Dawson only allowed a solitary earned run in fourteen innings. Even the uglier stat line of his last start is a bit deceiving as he didn’t get hit particularly hard. Importantly, every one of his starts has given his team a chance to win, which is not something you can say for whomever slots in to replace him.

This past Wednesday it was Justin James who stepped up on short notice. I’m not going to beat a dead horse on that one. Today will see Alonzo Gonzalez get the start. Gonzalez has had mixed results in the Northwest League since his demotion from Lansing. He did make a couple of starts at the end of July, early August which was meant to be the plan for the rest of the season. The results didn’t match the expectations though, and a return to the ‘pen was on the cards.

The 6’5″ 200 pound left-hander is still struggling with some mechanical issues. He’s not driving straight home, leaving his left side open. Consequently, he loses his change up to the arm side and over compensates on his fastball with an exaggerated cross fire delivery.

Big Jim is pretty happy with the progress made on the issue. Now they are focusing on his tempo. Gonzalez has a tendency to slow things down on the mound a bit too much, throwing everybody out of their rhythm. I really hope they have fixed the issue. A four hour game is getting past my bedtime.

Alonzo will have two starts to get things right and show the organization what he is capable of. With the C’s leveling the three game set (and overall record) with Spokane after their 6-2 win on Sunday afternoon, today’s game could go a long way towards deciding who plays Everett for the North division flag.

Yesterday’s win was due in large part to an excellent start from Kyle Anderson. The Washington native went seven strong innings, giving up zero earned on four hits. He doesn’t have plus velocity, throwing his fastball in the mid 80’s, but he can spot it well and basically uses it as a show me pitch for his changeup. And when his change is on, as it was Sunday, he is very effective in keeping hitters off balance.

Notes from the Pressbox:

With the C’s finally putting together a complete game (bar Ian Parmley dropping a can of corn in right, and Lugo’s 9th inning circus act at short) the only real disappointment of the day was when I left it too late to head down for my one and only $1 A&W root beer float of the season. There were about fifty odd bottles of root beer but no ice cream. Mismanagement of resources.

Vancouver cracked out the bigger bats Sunday (well, not really I suppose) totting up three doubles on the day. Mike Reeves and LB Dantzler had the standard issue two baggers while Dawel Lugo got an odd one when his ground ball up the middle hit the pitcher on the leg and bounced through the vacated hole at short. With the shortstop preoccupied with the runner going first to third, Lugo snuck into second.

Bob ‘the Moj’ Marjanovich made a guest appearance in the pressbox Sunday. His voice is really quite distinctive.

Dawson warms up in the bouncy castle (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

Dawson warms up in the bouncy castle (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

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