When it rains it pours. Quite literally. Friday’s nooner at the Nat saw puddles on the field for the first time since media day back in mid-June. Unfortunately, the C’s play of late has mirrored the weather. After kicking it around on Wednesday, Thursday saw the C’s make three more errors while going one for fourteen with runners in scoring position. Not exactly a recipe for success.
To make matters worse, all three games of the Hillsboro series thus far have seen a Canadian go down with injury. First L.B. Dantzler limped off with a Lower Body injury, after being hit in the foot with a pitch. Thursday saw Ian Parmley pull up after falling awkwardly, and on Friday it was Dickie Thon Jr’s turn to come up lame after an odd play at the plate. Vancouver’s lineup is constructed as such that these holes can be covered in the short term, so I don’t foresee any emergency call-ups. But both L.B. and Dickie have been hot as of late, putting up OPS of 1.336 and 1.008 respectively over the past week. That sort of production will be tougher to replace.
Friday, at least, they got off to a good start, with six extra base hits. The C’s scored early and often versus the Diamondbacks 2013 first rounder and fifteenth overall pick Braden Shipley. David Harris was the star of the show, going four for five with two runs scored, including the game winner.
The game also marked the first start at home for recently arrived catcher Seth Conner. Similar to how his season has gone as a whole, he had a tough day, with two strike outs and two weak grounders. The two strike outs were on breaking balls that had Conner completely fooled. Although he doesn’t take a huge stride in his load, it seems a bit late, which gives him less time to recognize and adapt to the spinners. On both the ground balls, the Missouri native got his hands out in front of his bat and got jammed.
If I were to guess, hitting coach Dave Pano will have the 6’2″ 205 pound right-hander working on getting started earlier, with his hand staying behind his hips.
Speaking to Seth, I was strong, in that I was able to ask three questions before finally breaking down and inquiring about former C and current Lansing Lugnut Roberto Osuna. As a quick recap, Osuna is an eighteen year old right-hander out of Mexico, and is generally regarded as the second best pitching prospect in the Jays system.
After a decent first month in the Midwest League, Osuna was shut down for all of May with elbow issues. Most pundits presumed Tommy John, but a month of rehab in Dunedin had him back in Michigan in early June. After two good starts, the rest looked to be a good decision. The three appearances after, however, were not so good. After getting lit up over one and two thirds on the third of July, Osuna was shut down and hasn’t been heard from since.
Well, not entirely:
@dylan_farwell no man, i’m at the toronto complex im not pitching anymore this year!
— Roberto Osuna (@RobertoOsuna1) July 31, 2013
Seth confirmed to me that Alex Anthopolous had made the trip to Lake County for that July start, and with Osuna’s velocity way down, had a hand in shutting him down. He’d heard that TJ surgery a given.
So why hasn’t he had it yet? Tommy John is by no means a 100% certainty, with the success rate currently at about 85%, but if rest didn’t work previously, all you’re doing is cutting into the rehab time by not getting the procedure done now. By waiting this time, the Jays have given Osuna no chance of coming back in 2014, which may have been their strategy all along.
That would have him either repeating a season in the Midwest League or in the Florida State League as a twenty year old. Not the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination, just frustrating. Not only for Roberto, and his development, but the lack of information made available by the Blue Jays.
(editor’s note 04/08, the Tommy John surgery was confirmed today as per the below tweet)
#BlueJays prospect Roberto Osuna underwent Tommy John surgery last week. Could be pitching again by next July, AFL afterwards
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) August 4, 2013
Notes from the Pressbox:
Sorry, I got a bit off-track with the Osuna bit. All three of the C’s injuries are deemed minor. I saw Dickie walking around the clubhouse after the game, ankle was wrapped but no limp to speak of.
That was an odd game, five unearned runs in the 9th from Hillsboro to tie it. Thank goodness for player of the game David Harris.
Speaking to pitching coach Big Jim after the game, overall, he was happy with Jeremy Gabryszwski‘s effort. He was complimentary about the Hops hitters though, saying they ‘weren’t being fooled’ as this was their third time seeing Gaby. I hear alarm bells. I had the Texan sitting at about 86 today. He wasn’t getting much change from the umpire low in the zone so started elevating his pitches, which were getting hit pretty hard. If a rookie ball team is figuring you out after three games, what are full-season hitters going to be able to do?