Blue Jays Minor League Report: Garrett Spain hits another heroic home run, L.J. Talley has his second best game of the season, and more!
5 months ago
For once, we’ll have a rather short Minor League report because a game was postponed.
There were only three games in the system on Wednesday, with one walk-off homer, a come from behind win, and a loss. Let’s look at how the Buffalo Bisons, Vancouver Canadians, and Dunedin Blue Jays faired.
The Triple-A Buffalo Bisons took on the Syracuse Mets, and lost 5-3. This brings their record to 29-36 for the season.
The Blue Jays Nation Player of the Game: L.J. Talley
The 26-year-old utility player had a fantastic game on Wednesday, hitting a little league homer (triple+error), while also hitting a double for his only RBI of the game. He also added two walks.
For the season, he’s now slashing .241/.368/.366 with two homers and nine extra base hits. He has a 16.9 BB% and a 19.9 K%.
He’s one of several hitters with the Bisons that can play around the field, with a great hit tool.
Players worth mentioning:
Otto López is continuing to heat up, as he had two singles in his five plate appearances on Wednesday. For the season, he’s slashing .246/.311/.286, pretty impressive considering his tough start. The only concerning aspect of his game is the lack of extra base hits, as he only has four doubles and two triples.
Trent Thornton is still on the 40-man roster, believe it or not. He finished with a line of 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. He generated nine whiffs (tied with Paxton Schultz for a Buffalo-high), and touched 95.7 mph on his fastball. He may eventually get recalled to the Blue Jays.
What. A. Game. Down 4-3 and with only one out remaining, Alan Roden reached base before our Player of the Game hit his seventh home run of the season.
The Canadians won 5-4, bringing their record to 33-25. More importantly, they have sole possession of first place in the first half title race, as Spokane dropped their game to Eugene.
The Blue Jays Nation Player of the Game: Garrett Spain
Let me take you back a week to June 7th. The Canadians are down 5-4 after scoring a run in the top of the ninth. They are down to their final out, but have the bases loaded. Garrett Spain steps up to the plate and sends one deep, giving the Canadians an 8-5 lead that they would not relinquish.
Fast forward to Wednesday, June 14th, and the Canadians are once again down a run and have one out remaining. Could you take a guess who stepped up to the plate and hit the home run? Garrett Spain.
Statistically, he didn’t have the best game for a Canadian hitter as he only went 1-5 with two strikeouts. However, when a player hits a home run that significant, they’ll always get the Player of the Game award.
The 22-year-old outfielder is now slashing .330/.364/.650 with seven homers in 110 plate appearances. The seven homers is a career high already.
Players worth mentioning:
Alex De Jesus once again had a strong game, hitting his ninth double of the season and drawing a walk. He only struck out once, and is slashing .237/.318/.463 for the season. While there were players with more hits (Michael Turconi and Estiven Machado had two hits each), De Jesus’ double was the start of the comeback.
Josh Kasevich hit his first professional homer on Tuesday, and followed it up with a 2-4 day with his fourth double of the season. He’s now slashing .303/.381/.348 on the season in 181 plate appearances.
Conor Larkin had a strong game in relief on Wednesday, finishing with a line of 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. His ERA of 8.78 is on the high side, but he’s only given up one earned run in his last six innings to go along with eight strikeouts.
The Dunedin Blue Jays started the game off strong, leading 2-0 until the top of the sixth inning. After a rough five-run half inning in the sixth where they went down 5-2, Dunedin stormed back with a run in the seventh and three in the eighth to win the game 6-5.
With the win, they now have a record of 30-29.
The Blue Jays Nation Player of the Game: Alex Amalfi
Rafael Ohashi started the game and finished with a line of 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, but Alex Amalfi closed out the game with a line of 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K.
The 22-year-old righty, who went undrafted, had a game-high nine whiffs and touched 94.8 mph on his fastball. He also throws a curveball, changeup, and a slider.
His season ERA now sits at 0.90 with a 32.1 K% and a 14.3 BB%. If he can drop his walk rate down, Vancouver is all but a given in 2023.
Players worth mentioning:
Glenn Santiago continues to heat up, as he went 2-4 with two singles on Wednesday evening. He’s now slashing .229/.33/.329 with three homers. I don’t think it’ll be too long before he joins Vancouver again.
Jeffrey Wehler appeared in his second affiliate game of his career, going 1-2 with a single and two walks. With the Staten Island Ferry Hawks in the Atlantic League, he slashed .282/.318/.427 with three homers in 132 plate appearances and stole 12 bases in 12 attempts.
Victor Mesia made his Single-A debut in 2023, going 1-3 with a single and a hit by pitch. Last season in Single-A, he slashed .152/.221/.196 with a homer in 123 plate appearances. Although, he’s had some 120+ wRC+ seasons in the Florida Complex League, so hopefully this is the season he figures out Single-A.
Setting up for Friday’s Minor League Report:
Buffalo takes on Syracuse at 7:05 PM EST, and it’s a scheduled bullpen day.
New Hampshire has a double header, with game one starting at 5:05 PM EST. It’s expected that Chad Dallas and Trenton Wallace will start the two games. They still remain 5.5 games behind the Portland Sea Dogs, as they were also rained out on Wednesday.
Vancouver’s game starts at 10:05 PM EST with Rafael Sánchez toeing the rubber. The Canadians sit alone in first place with a 33-25 record and seven games remaining. They also have the tiebreaker against Spokane.
Dunedin doesn’t have an expected starter listed on MiLB.com, but if they stick to their rotation, 2022 draftee Pat Gallagher will likely get the start at 6:30 PM EST. At this point, playing for an above .500 record would be great for the Baby Jays.
I have absolutely no idea who’ll start for the two rookie league teams on Thursday. The DSL Jays start at 11:00 AM EST, while the FCL Jays start at 12:00 PM EST.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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