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Photo Credit: © Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Berrios’ strong start caps off a homecoming sweep for the Blue Jays (plus minor-league notes)

Jose Berrios is a Jay and oh my lord what a solid outing he had.

As I’m writing this, I currently have the Jays game going on the Xbox, the Fishercats game on my gaming laptop, the Dunedin Blue Jays game on my monitor and the Buffalo Bisons game on my school laptop.

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Things worth mentioning:

Jose Berrios:

Obviously, I’m starting with the trade deadline acquisition, Jose Berrios.

I won’t lie, I thought I would have to be writing about how you should not judge a trade based on one performance. Berrios obviously changed that right quick as he finished with a line of 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 7 K 1 BB, 3 HBP; however, four of those hits came in the first two innings. After that, Berrios got into a groove and dominated the Royals with his curveball.

He ran into some issues in the top of the 6th as he allowed a double and plunked two runners. There is no quicker way to my heart than hitting batters, just ask Alek Manoah. Berrios got out of it by throwing five straight curveballs. You could just feel that he’d retire him and get a nice standing ovation.

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Santiago Espinal:

My article about why Santiago Espinal should be the starting third baseman was released today. It proved timely, as Santiagoat hit his second career dinger to extend the lead by four. He then walked the next inning with the bases loaded for his second RBI of the game.

My thoughts remain the same. He should be the starter until Kevin Smith is called up.

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The Bullpen:

Trevor Richards:

Trevor Richards went 1-2-3 with a strikeout and got the first batter of the 8th with a strikeout. As @GuzmansJhercurl points out, the trade that brought Richards in was a great deal for both teams. Tellez has been raking in Milwaukee, but he needed a change of scenery. Richards however, has been a great pen reliever for the Jays who is controlled for the next few seasons. However, they also picked up Bowden Francis (their #29 prospect) who has had a good stretch of games in Triple A. Savvy. 

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Tim Mayza:

I was at a Boston Pizza drinking a fishbowl after a soccer game when Tim Mayza blew out his UCL. I won’t lie, in 2019 I didn’t think he’d ever return to the Jays. Boy, am I ever glad to be wrong. Except for a stretch of a few games in early May, Tim Mayza has been lights out throughout the season. Even though he gave up a solo shot on the Royal’s last out, he looked dominant today pitching 1.2 innings with three strikeouts.

He has been their best left-hander out of the pen and I expect him to get more high-leverage situations.

Things worth mentioning, Minor League addition:

Since there are not a lot of talking points with the big league club, we look to the affiliate clubs to fill out the rest of this article. This will likely be up before the Vancouver Canadians game starts so they won’t be included, but I’m going to write an article regarding Nick Fraze, so stay tuned.

Buffalo Bisons:

While the Bisons’ had another rough game (6-1 as I write this), there are three players I’d like to highlight.

Zach Logue:

Coming into this game, Logue had a 4.01 ERA with a 3.26 FIP and a 4.45 xFIP in his 33.2 IP in Triple A. Furthermore, his K/9 was a crisp 9.62. While he only pitched 4 innings allowing 5 runs, only 2 were earned. He had one walk and one strikeout. Not the greatest of games for Logue.

Kevin Smith:

Smith had another good game, what else is new. He finished the day 2-5 with a double and a single. That double should have scored a run, but insanity happened. View the video below.

 

Corey Dickerson:

Dickerson is currently rehabbing in Buffalo, he went 1-5 and hasn’t played particularly well, but it’s rehabbing, so no worries.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats:

The first four batters (Taylor, Young, Lopez, Groshans) are four players in the top 30 prospects on Pipeline, however, it was the bottom of the lineup that did that damage in today’s game.

Top of the lineup:

Taylor’s 39 game streak of getting on base ended yesterday in the second game of the double header. While he went 0-4 today, he started a new on base streak as he drew a walk in his second plate appearances.

Young went 1-4, drew a walk, stole a base and drove in a run. While he isn’t rated highly on the Jays top 30, he is a solid prospect who could impact a major league team.

Otto “double machine” Lopez went 0-3 today. While he didn’t hit a double today, he drew two walks. Lopez is likely a prospect that will rise whenever Pipeline and Baseball America release their updated rankings. Keep an eye on him (and a corresponding article written by me.)

Groshans went 1-5 with a double. He’s raised his batting average to .286 with an OPS of .802. When they traded Austin Martin, I was fairly shocked/angry. However, when cooler heads prevailed, I realized that they have the minor league depth to trade him. Taylor, Groshans, Smith and Martinez have played well, so losing Martin doesn’t hurt.

Bottom of the lineup:

Vicuna went 3-5, Podkul went 2-2 with two walks and Kirwer went 2-4. Coming into the minor league season, the Fisher Cats roster was stacked with the Jays top prospects. While some may think they’ve underachieved, the bottom of the lineup played well today which is nice to see.

Dunedin Baby Blue Jays:

Lastly, we come to the baby Jays.

Naswell Paulino:

Paulino went 5 IP, 4 ER, 6 K and 1 BB. Coming into this game, his BB/9 was over 6, so even though he allowed four runs, that is a promising sign. Even still, the first two runs that Bradenton scored were lucky. 

It started with a hit by pitch which likely bounced in the dirt before hitting the batter. The next batter hit a double moving the lead runner to third. The first run scored with an RBI groundout and lastly, there was an infield single that scored the second run.

Overall, I liked what I saw and his last three games have been pretty solid, so here are the videos of him striking out two batters on 7 pitches.

 

Miguel Hiraldo:

With all the hype around Orelvis Martinez, it’s easy to forget about Hirado. He’s having a decent season playing third base for the Baby Jays. In today’s game he went 1-3 with a walk. He’s brought his average to .255 with an OPS of .758. He’s a prospect to keep an eye on.

Orelvis Martinez:

Lastly we come to one of my untouchable prospects, Martinez.

While he didn’t hit a home run in this game, he had a productive game going 2-4 with two singles (one of which he tried to stretch into a double). He’s brought his batting average to .279 with an OPS of .942. It’s only a matter of time before he’s called up to High A or even Double-A.

He’s on his way to becoming a generational talent, so keep an eye on him.

As always, follow me on twitter @Brennan_L_D. I’m on the cusp of 200 followers so that’d be pretty cool.