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Getting off to a Good Start in Second Half

After getting over the disappointment of just missing out on the first half flag, the Vancouver Canadians couldn’t have asked for a tougher schedule to begin the second half. With eight straight road games in Spokane and Eugene, a decent effort by the C’s, could go a long way towards setting them up to make a run at the second guaranteed playoff spot. After returning home from this trip, the Canadians will play nineteen of their final twenty-nine at the Nat. If they can just hold serve through the end of July, August should allow them to break a few hearts.

Last night’s loss to the Emeralds dropped Vancouver to three and two so far this half, good for first in the North division and allowing them to equal Everett for the best overall record in the division, three games up on Spokane.

After jumping out to an early two run lead, the C’s were undone by two in the sixth to tie it and a three run eighth. The sixth inning must have killed C’s manager Clayton McCullough as starter Kyle Anderson had struck out the first two hitters of the inning before hitting Henry Charles. The wheels fell off from there, as relievers Tim Brechbuehler and Alonzo Gonzalez couldn’t get the job done, giving up a single and double respectively, plating two.

In the eighth, another hbp set the table for Padres first rounder Hunter Renfroe, who cashed two with a double to left. The thirteenth overall pick in this year’s draft, Renfroe signed late due to his college’s, Mississippi State, participation in the world series.

He hasn’t disappointed in his sixteen Northwest League games, putting up a .932 OPS with nine of his twenty-two hits going for extra bases. Chatting with Eugene’s radio man, Alex Stimson, when they were in Vancouver, he reckoned the right handed hitting outfielder wouldn’t be long for this level:

His promotion to the Tincaps won’t come soon enough for the C’s but shouldn’t be too far off. The Padres are likely waiting for an improvement on a pedestrian 0.24 BB/K ratio before sending him up.

Speaking of the Midwest League, the two recently promoted C’s have gotten off to mixed starts. Jordan Leyland only has one hit in sixteen plate appearances. I’ve spoken (twittered??) with two who have seen most of his Lansing at bats and neither are particularly worried, saying that despite the lack of production, Leyland is putting together some good at bats.

Catcher Dan Klein had a dream debut in his one appearance with the Lugs, going two for four with a double and home run for a sick 1.500 slugging percentage. The twenty-two year old catcher won’t get a ton of at bats with prospect Santiago Nessy seeing the bulk of time behind the plate, but after his struggles in Vancouver, it’d be nice to see Klein successful when given an opportunity.

Tonight sees Jeremy Gabryszwski, coming off a six inning one hitter against Spokane, square off against Dominican native Erik Cabrera. Looking at Cabrera’s starts this year, inconsistent is a word that comes to mind. The 6’1″ righty has been knocked around quite a but, in his one start versus the C’s, he threw five and two thirds, giving up two hits while striking out eight. Maybe not a huge accomplishment given how much Vancouver strikes out (they lead the league by over twenty K’s), but easily his best start of the season.

We could be in for a tight one.

Go get 'em Gaby (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

Go get ’em Gaby (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

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