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Vancouver Canadians Countdown

I was recently mulling over the idea of trying to code a countdown clock on to my site so that any visitors (hi mom) were reminded of how close we are to the opening of the Threepeat in Thirteen season. When looking at the C’s official site to confirm the start date though, I noticed they already have a clock, so I’ll defer to them and save myself a few headaches.

Thirty five days (the C’s clock is for the home opener). If the weather stays like this, that time will fly by. And to whet our appetite the Canadians are staging their annual Super Saturday tomorrow. An excellent opportunity to get a sneak preview of the Nat. The day provides an opportunity for all junior Canadians to run the bases, auditions for those looking to sing the national anthems this season, and the official opening of the team store. Speaking of which, for the past two seasons I have visited the official shop, I’ve been disappointed by the lack of C’s sweatbands. Surely they’d be a must have for all the Main Street hipsters? And those kids running the bases would love ’em.

I may use this forum to start a Canadians sweatband campaign.

The sweatband campaign would replace my extended spring training informational campaign. As it has failed miserably. Writing the Jays has proven to be a waste of time. In truth, with my recent travels, I had forgotten about my recent pledge. After running across the below tweet though, my interest was once again piqued.

Alberto Tirado is, along with Matt Smoral, one of the young pitchers I am desperate to see at the Nat this season. As they are young, eighteen and nineteen respectively, I can see a situation similar to Daniel Norris last year, where they begin the season in Bluefield before getting a mid to late season promotion to help the Canadians win their third straight Northwest League title. Frustrating for those of us that want to see these kids develop, but both will provide a boost whenever they arrive.

I digress. Back to the campaign. Mailing the Blue Jays wasn’t my only port of call. I had mailed a few other prospecters I am on mailing terms with to see if they had any hints on how to get extended spring training info. After few responses I went back to Gerry McDonald who was obviously in Florida:

Game, set, match.

A few other roster notes. Two fan favourites from the C’s 2012 season are struggling in Lansing. Balbino Fuenmayor and the Single Digit Assassin Jorge Flores are both at risk of receiving a plane ticket to Vancouver once the short seasons begin. Balbino, in particular, is stinking it up for the Lugs. In sixty-two at bats, he has ten hits! Adding in his seven walks gives us a rather poor .257 OBP. His K percentage sits at 34.3% which is 0.2% better than his career worst which he racked up as a seventeen year old rookie in the Gulf Coast League. I’ve said this numerous times, I’m no scout. But, it’s not hard to read into such obvious numbers. If a twenty-three year old, in his seventh season of pro ball, is still striking out over a third of the time, his pitch recognitions is poor, and he probably isn’t worth developing any further. That being said, the dearth of first basemen in the Jays system may, not only, save Fuenmayor’s job, but possibly even keep him in Lansing.

The same can be said for Jorge. With his shortstop competition, Emilio Guerrero, currently on the DL, Jorge will get the bulk of the reps at short, where, over the last seventeen games, he’s been better. He’s been getting on base at a much higher clip and eight of his thirteen hits have been doubles which actually puts him into the team league for two base hits. His fate will still rest on Guerrero’s status and what happens in the draft.

Another ex-C who may, in fact, be a future C, is Kellen Sweeney. I can’t say I had high hopes for Sweeney in Lansing, but after seeing him live at the Nat last season, I felt he was better than his numbers suggested. That may be the case again this year, but his numbers are bad. The Jays have struggled with drafting third basemen of late so Kellen’s problems must be particularly galling. Whether they let him ride it out in the Midwest League or send him back to Vancouver will be interesting.

There is another high draft pick (hint, he was mentioned above) who is struggling in his first season in Lansing. There may be mitigating factors however and I am trying to to get a bit more information from those that have seen him live before making any judgements. Hopefully a post will follow.

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