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Finally, a Bit of C’larity

Sunday saw the Everett Aquasox do the C’s a huge favour by beating the Spokane Indians 3-2 and ensure themselves the second half flag to go with their first half crown. The result means that the second playoff spot will come down to the best overall record. By holding the tiebreaker, the Canadians were, once again, in control of their own destiny, and they made it count, rallying for two runs in the eighth inning Sunday night, beating the Dust Devils on the back of a fantastic pitching performance from Alonzo Gonzalez and three different relievers.

The Canadians have been living on pitching alone as of late. And, leaving last night’s performance aside, with their bullpen, that’s not an ideal formula. Help may be on the way though:

DeJong didn’t see any action in Bluefield’s two playoff games. He’s a starter by trade, but would have guessed that he’ll bolster the bullpen for the series with Everett. I did a brief scouting report on him earlier in the season, as expected him to be promoted already. It’s always tough to read too much into rookie league stats, but with a 10.61 K/9 rate and 6.60 K/BB ratio, he obviously has a good feel for the strike zone. He only gave up two home runs all season ensuring an excellent 1.90 FIP. At only nineteen, I think a Lansing assignment in 2014 may be a bit of a stretch, so let’s hope this is just a taster before we see Chase for a full (short) season next summer.

There is a chance that Shane Dawson comes off the disabled list as well, beefing up the ‘pen a bit more.

For whatever reason, injuries, fatigue, etc., the offense has gone dormant. Hopefully, like the bullpen, they have help on the way. With the Bluefield Blue Jays eliminated from their Appalachian League playoffs against the Pulaski Mariners (ironically, like Everett, a Seattle farm team). Depending on roster space, and the C’s can get creative here, there should be a few places open for more late season promotions.

The two names that stand out offensively are Mitch Nay and Matthew Dean. In fact, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that we’ll be seeing these two guys at the Nat on Tuesday. The Blue Jays mantra for their prospects has always been to get them as much playoff experience as possible as they move through the levels and get them a taste of Canada.

Both these guys have probably played themselves (depending on a good spring as well) into a full season assignment for 2014, so, like Kevin Pillar in 2011, the only way to get them to experience Canada, however briefly, is to send them up for the playoffs.

Looking at Dean’s stats, there is no denying that the 2011 13th rounder had a good season. He led the Apply league in batting average, OPS, wOBA, and wRC+. However, as is often the case, there is a drawback. This season was Dean’s repeat year at the level. Add in the fact that he was moved from third to first to make room for Nay and there are a few question marks as to how big of a prospect is he.

Still, putting up a .403/.439/.636 slash line, good for a 1.075 OPS, over the last month of the season is nothing to sneeze at and definitely merits a look.

I’ve been meaning to do a scouting report on Mitch Nay for awhile. With Jeremy Atkinson struggling at third, and not a ton of replacements in house, I really thought Nay would have found himself in Vancouver far sooner. I suppose the Jays decided early that they wanted to keep the young Bluefield roster together through to the playoffs at least.

Now that they are done, and with Atkinson out injured for the forseeable, Nay, a supplemental round draft pick in 2012 is a better option, both now, and for the future, than anything the C’s have in-house.

Injured during his draft year, the nineteen year old Arizona native was tabbed as a big time power prospect, only making his pro debut this year. Often you see guys who have had take time off and who are known for power, struggle to acclimatize to pro pitching. Nay went in the opposite direction. He showed excellent plate discipline with a 0.71 K/BB ratio, but the power numbers were slow to develop. He did hit six home runs, good for tenth in the league, and added a three run shot in game one of the playoffs, but the projections called for much more.

Again, he’s young, it was his first season in pro ball, so it’s hard to get too worked up about a kid that ‘only’ hit seven home runs. Especially considering the C’s hit twenty-three total. With the paucity of third base prospects in the Jays system, a Lugo/Nay left side of the infield may be a combination Jays fans see advance through the levels quite quickly.

Bring on the playoffs!

Update: Sometimes all you have to do is ask. I got the below tweet in response to asking Mitch Nay if he may be on the way to Vancouver:

All the more reason to get to the yard early tomorrow, batting practice could be interesting.

Nay takes a rip (image courtesy of Mike Anklewicz)

Nay takes a rip (image courtesy of Mike Anklewicz)

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