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Hey, it’s a Reunion in Lansing!

Back in December I wrote a piece trying to predict who would be the pitchers piggy-backing in Lansing to start this season. At the end of the article, I flippantly wrote that whatever the outcome, a ‘small town in Central Michigan is, once again, going to be privy to some exciting pitching prospects.’ Turns out this was a mistake. Not the assertion that they would see solid prospects, but fact I called it a small town. It is in western Michigan, so I did go two for three, but I was lacking in my research and I got called on it. I won’t do that again. And in the process of furthering my study, I learned that Lansing is actually the capital of Michigan! So there you go.

On another note, I’m not going to write an article for every appearance by an ex-C with the Lugnuts. Boring and impractical. After an off-season of reviews, recaps, and predictions, the start of the minor league season is like a child being born after nine months of preparation. Exciting. And you feel like you need to record every moment. Also, speaking of children, mine are out of the country at the moment, so have time to write, and is there anything better to write about than prospects? (especially when the big club is getting hammered 13-0 by the hated Red Sox).

that's some good stretching

that’s some good stretching

As a disclaimer, I know we’re only four games into the season, so I’m not getting overly excited, but Lansing’s starters have been nothing short of brilliant so far, and three of the four were C’s last year. I discussed Javier Avendano’s outing on Friday, so will leave that one. Saturday saw his 2012 running mate Taylor Cole take the bump, and, if possible, he was even better. Striking out seven over six innings pitched, allowing only two base runners on a walk and a hit. To complete the C’s reunion, Matt Johnson and Tucker Donahue followed Cole, giving up a run a piece, with Johnson’s unearned.

Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, the radio voice of the Lugs had this to say about Cole’s start. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?

Yesterday saw Vancouver skipp-er Alonzo Gonzalez take the hill, and wouldn’t you know it, he was pretty dominant as well. A-Go allowed a few more base runners with three hits and two walks, but similar to Avendano and Cole in that there were zero earned runs and at least a strike out an inning. Once again, we defer to Lugs expert Jesse G-S:

So, what could be better than three excellent starts in a row? Easy, Roberto Osuna getting his first outing of the season. And, you guessed it, there are not enough superlatives. Five innings pitched, eight strikeouts, zero walks. He did break the trend as far as earned runs, but apparently the one allowed was down to a fluke inside the park home run where the ball got stuck in the fence.

From what I can gather, Osuna was only working off his fastball. It was just that overpowering that Captains hitters couldn’t touch it. Take into account that Roberto’s best pitch is probably his change up and things are looking good.

I have to admit, I’m quite surprised by the Jays not going with the piggy backing system with these young pitchers in Lansing. I like it, just surprised. Not sure what it will mean as they approach their innings limits for the season.

Daniel Norris is going tonight. The left-hander is probably the pitcher I most want to see succeed, considering the money the Jays sunk into him, but the one I am the least confident in. After the first four starts, there is a certain standard to uphold. Let’s hope Daniel can get the job done.

The hitters have gotten off to a good start as well. Will give it a few more days to increase the sample size before extolling their virtues in this forum.

(as an aside, my agreement with the Vancouver Sun allows for exclusivity of content for twenty-four hours. Hence the fact the time line for some of the posts on this site is out of whack.  Instead of going through and re-editing each post I’m going to publish and hope readers understand.  Any questions, misunderstandings, etc can be clarified on twitter @charliecaskey)

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