Results tagged ‘ Chip Cannon ’

CHIEFS ROSTER BEGINS TO TAKE SHAPE

The Toronto Blue Jays have made a few roster cuts during the past week that allows us to take a closer look at the Chiefs potential roster for the start of the 2008 season.

Catchers Curtis Thigpen and Robinzon Diaz were optioned to Syracuse on Thursday and will share catching duties while also playing other positions when not behind the plate.

Infielders Joe Inglett, Pedro Lopez, Russ Adams will likely be joined by Hector Luna and Sergio Santos still in major league camp.  Chip Cannon and Josh Kreuzer have been battling for playing tim at first base.

Outfielders Adam Lind, Wayne Lydon, Buck Coats and Ryan Patterson also joined the Chiefs this week and will push Aaron Matthews and David Smith in a crowded group that will also see non roster outfielder Matt Watson at some point make the move to the Chiefs.

The Jays have only 14 more days in the Florida sun before going north and starting the 2008 season.  More moves are yet to come.

NON ROSTER INVITEES ANNOUNCED

The Toronto Blue Jays announced that they have invited 19 players to Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida that begins on February 16th.

Returning organizational players include Jesse Carlson (New Hampshire ’07), Jeremy Cummings (Syracuse ’07), Jamie Vermilyea (Syracuse ’07), Sal Fasano (Syracuse ’07), J.P. Arencibia (Auburn ’07), Brian Jeroloman (Lansing ’07), Chip Cannon (New Hampshire ’07), Hector Luna (Syracuse ’07), Wayne Lydon (Syracuse ’07), Ryan Patterson (New Hampshire ’07) and Travis Snider (Lansing ’07).

Players signed by the Blue Jays as minor league free agents include pitchers Shawn Camp, Lance Carter, Kane Davis, Mike Gosling, Ryan Ketchner, John Parrish, infielder Pedro Lopez and outfielder Matt Watson,

In addtion three Chiefs from last years squad have also been invited to big league camps. John-Ford Griffin (Dodgers), Ryan Roberts (Rangers), and Howie Clark (Twins).

Other former Chiefs in camps include Chad Hermansen (Angels), Tomas Perez and Jose Cruz (Astros), Scott Cassidy (Brewers), Josh Phelps, John Wasdin, and Hugo Castellanos (Cardinals), Mike Smith and Luis Figueroa (Cubs), Adam Melhuse (Rangers), Kevin Cash (Red Sox), Ken Huckaby (Royals) and Aquillino Lopez (Tigers).

AROUND THE FARM: YATES

Yates In this week’s look “Around the Farm” we take a look at Kyle Yates, pitcher for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Much like teammate Chip Cannon, Yates for the most part has failed to build upon an impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League.    Entering action today the 5’10” right-hander has a record of 6-5 with a 4.38 ERA in 18 starts for New Hampshire.

Yates has showed signs of putting a slow start behind him.  Over his last two starts he has not allowed a run in 12.1 innings pitched and has struck out 14 opponents while walking just four.  With Ismael Ramirez and David Purcey currently on the New Hampshire DL Yates would seem to be the likely candidate should a spot in the Syracuse rotation open.

The Blue Jays 13th round pick out of Texas at Austin in the 2004 draft, Yates began last season in the Florida State League before being quickly promoted to Double-A New Hampshire.  Combined during the regular season he was 8-9 with a 3.44 ERA in 32 appearances including 20 starts and struck-out 115 batters in 141.1 innings pitched.

The Jays sent the Kerrville, Texas native to the Arizona Fall League after the ’06 season where he made a name for himself going 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in six appearances including 4 starts and struck out 25 opponents while walking just six in 24 innings.  For his efforts he was named to the Arizona Fall League All-Prospect Team.

Yates played two seasons at Midland College (2002-2003) before moving on to the University of Texas.  In his junior season at Texas he was 1-1 with a 3.05 ERA over 28 appearances during which he struck out 45 opponents in 41 innings. The Longhorns behind current Major Leaguer’s Huston Street, JP Howell and Curtis Thigpen made it to College World Series Championship before being defeated by Cal-State Fullerton and Yates current Fisher Cat teammate Ricky Romero.

AROUND THE FARM: SNIDER

In this week’s look “Around the Farm” we take a look at Travis Snider of the Lansing Lugnuts.

Snider The 5’11” outfielder has spent all of the season with the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwest League.  Entering play today he is hitting .305 with 23 doubles, 7 HR and 56 RBI in 75 games.  He is tied for 3rd in the  Midwest League with 35 extra-base hits and ranks 5th in the league with a .495 Slugging Percentage.

A left-handed batter, Snider is hitting an impressive .337 with 4 HR and 23 RBI against south-paws.  On July 7th he went 5-5 with 3 RBI and became the first Lugnut since Chip Cannon in 2005 to hit for the cycle.

Snider was the Blue Jays first round pick in last  year’s draft, selected with the 14th overall pick.  He was the first high school player drafted in the first round by the Blue Jays under J.P Riccardi’s tenure, in fact the previously highest selected high school player by J.P. was Brain Grant with the 206th overall pick in 2002. 

The 5’11” outfielder hit .325 with 11 HR and 41 RBI over 54 games in his first professional season for Pulaski.  He was named the Appalachian League Player of the Year, a Baseball America Rookie All-Star and Topps Short-Season Rookie All-Star.

The Mill Creek, Washington resident led Jackson High School to a 27-0 record his senior year and were ranked the #2 team in the country by Baseball America.  Snider was named the Class 4A player of the year by the Washington State Coaches Association and Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year   

He is known throughout the State of Washington for a HR he hit his Junior year in the District Playoffs known as the “Broadway Shot”, where he launched a 500 feet HR out of Everett Memorial Stadium.

If Travis continues to progress as he has in his first two professional seasons his legacy is certain to grow far beyond the State of Washington.

AROUND THE FARM: MATHEWS

Inside the Chiefs’ “Around the Farm” takes a look this week at Outfielder Aaron Mathews who is in his first season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Mathews_1 Mathews saw a 16-game hit streak come to an end on Sunday going 0-4 vs. Portland.  The 16-game streak tied Mathews with Adam Lind and Maikel Jova for the longest streak in franchise history.  During the streak the 5’10” right-handed hitter hit .403 (27-67) and overall for the month of June he is hitting .355 (22-62) with 2 HR and 9 RBI.

Mathews’ hot June has vaulted him into the top of the Eastern League batting race where he currently finds himself second with a .335 overall average on the season trailing just Jesus Merchan of Reading.  The 25-year old Oregon resident also ranks 5th in the Eastern League with a .522 Slugging Percentage.

After a rough Sunday at the plate Mathews must have enjoyed seeing his Alma-matter, the Oregon State Beavers, capture their second straight NCAA Baseball Championship.

Mathews was drafted by the Jays in the 19th round of the 2004 draft.  While other members of the ’04 draft class Curtis Thigpen, Adam Lind, Jesse Litsch and Casey Janssen have sky-rocketed their way through the system to Toronto, Mathews is among a group of a solid class (David Purcey, Ryan Klosterman, Kyle Yates, Patton, Chip Cannon, Mike MacDonald) who are working their way through the system with hopes of finding a spot with the Jays in the future.

Entering 2007 Mathews’ home run numbers weren’t eye popping, just one HR for every 73 at-bats , but he has improved his power stroke this year hitting 5 HR in his first 203 at-bats (one HR per 41 at-bats).  And despite lacking the long ball  he lead his team in triples in each of his first three professional seasons (2004-06) and had career 23 doubles in 2006. 

The Blue Jays went the free agent route to fill the outfield in Syracuse for 2007(Mottola, Vento, Duncan, Lydon) but you can be sure that Toronto is taking notice of Mathews solid performance in Double-A so far this season and a trip to Syracuse is in Mathews’ future.

FISHER CATS UPDATE

Kevin Gray, who covers the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats for The New Hampshire Union Leader had a nice article Friday summarizing the Fisher Cats recent homestand.

During a eight game homestand New Hampshire won six games including four comeback wins.  Including games this weekend the Fisher Cats are 12-7 and in second place in the Northern Division of the Eastern League, five games behind Trenton.

Santos_1 After a slow start Sergio Santos has heated things up.  Over his last 10 games Santos is hitting .316 with 7 doubles, 5 HR and 10 RBI and now leads the Eastern League with 6 HR on the season.  Santos has committed 5 errors in 17 games at shortstop.  Arizona Fall League MVP Chip Cannon is hitting just .194 with 3 HR and 8 RBI.

Purcey David Purcey is off to a strong start on the mound with a 3-1 record a 2.81 ERA.  Purcey ranks second in the Eastern League with 28 strikeouts and has show increased control this season, walking just four batters.  Two other Fisher Cat hurlers also have 3 wins, Mike MacDonald (3-0, 2.19) and Jesse Litsch (3-1, 1.19).

In the bullpen 36 year old Rookie Jo Matumoto, a side-arming lefty, started the season with nine plus scoreless innings and currently boasts a 1-0 record and a 2.53 ERA while allowing just five hits in  10-plus innings.  Jordan De Jong has allowed just six hits and one earned run in over 14 innings while striking out 18 opponents.  Former Chiefs closer Lee Gronkiewicz (1-0, 2.25)has 3 saves in 9 appearances.

THOMSON GIVES UP SIX RUNS IN CHIEFS DEFEAT

The Toronto Blue Jays had two pitchers battling for a starting rotation spot pitching on Monday against the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguers. Righthander Tomo Ohka was solid as he shut down the Yankees over five innings allowing only 1-run in a 9-1 victory. Fellow righty John Thomson was not as sharp as he gave up 6-runs, in 5-innings of work against the Phillies AAA-Ottawa team that defeated the Syracuse Chiefs 7-2.

The Chiefs lineup today included: Ryan Klosterman 2B, Sal Fasano C, Adam Lind LF, John Hattig 3B, Chip Cannon DH, David Smith RF, Dustin Majewski CF, Erik Kratz 1B, Manny Mayorson SS.

The Chiefs scored single runs in the 4th on a RBI single by Chip Cannon and one-run in the 6th on a RBI single by Adam Lind. The Chiefs banged out 8-hits off of five Scranton pitchers. Sal Fasano and Adam Lind each had two hits, while Erik Kratz had a two-out double in the ninth.

After Thompson departed in the fifth, Dustin McGowan pitched three innings giving up 1-run (solo home run) in the sixth and righthander Beau Kempwho pitched for Rochester last season tossed one scoreless inning, striking out one.

The Chiefs are off to Tampa to face Scranton on Tuesday with Ty Taubenheim expected to pitch for the Chiefs.

Don’t forget to listen to “Inside Pitch” on 1260 AM ESPN Radio on Tuesday live from Dunedin, Florida as Chiefs radio announcer Bob McElligott moves over to the Blue Jays minor league complex and talks with Chiefs skipper Doug Davis and Director of Player Development **** Scott. Today Bob took in the Jays vs Yankees game at Knology Park and talked with Jays catcher Greg Zaun, Second Baseman Aaron Hill and pitcher Josh Towers and Brandon League.

CHIEFS AND LYNX TIE

The Syracuse Chiefs and Ottawa Lynx played to a 4-4 tie on Sunday in Dunedin, Florida.  The Chiefs lineup included many players just sent down by the parent Toronto Blue Jays.  They included:  Russ Adams 2B, Sergio Santos SS, Adam Lind LF, John Hattig 3B, David Smith RF, Rob Cosby 1B, Chip Cannon DH, John Schneider C, Justin Singleton CF.

The Chiefs scored three runs in the first inning and one more in the sixth.  Rob Cosby went 2 for 4 with an RBI and David Smith went 1 for 3 with an RBI double in the first inning.  Manny Mayorson replaced Sergio Santos in the 6th inning and picked up two singles in his only two at bats.

Ismael Ramirez went three innings allowing only 1-run, while Josh Banks gave up three runs in 3-innings of work.  Jason Scobie pitched two scoreless innings and struckout 3.  Ryan Houston finished in the ninth with one scoreless inning.

Chiefs are off to Tampa today to take on Scranton at 1:00 PM.

Don’t forget to listen to “Inside Pitch” in drive time on 1260 AM ESPN Radio today and all week from Dunedin, FL.  Bob McElligott will be at Knology Field today covering the Yankees vs Jays game and will have his report.

CHIEFS GET FIRST WIN

The Syracuse Chiefs picked up their first spring training victory on Saturday 4-1,  with the help of former Cy Young pitcher Roy Halladay.  The Chiefs took on the Ottawa Lynx (Phillies farm team) and with the Jays major league club playing the Tigers, the Jays brass thought it would be better if Halladay got his work in a AAA-game instead.  The Phillies countered with big league righty Jon Lieber who pitched against the Chiefs.

The lineup for the Chiefs included:

Jason Phillips C, Russ Adams 2B, Sergio Santos SS, Chip Cannon 1B, Ryan Klosterman DH, Dustin Majewski RF, Justin Singleton CF, Luke Hetherington LF and Brad Hassey 3B.

The Chiefs scored two runs off Lieber in the 4th on solo home runs by Jason Phillips and Sergio Santos.  They scored two additional runs in the 10th-inning (the teams agreed to play 10) on a fielders choice and error.

Halladay went 5-innings allowing only 3-hits and struckout 7 batters and threw only 56 pitches.  Mike MacDonald followed that up with 2-shutout innings with relievers Jamie Vermilyea and Lee Gronkiewicz tossing one shut out inning each.  Jean Machi also pitched one-inning and allowed one un-earned run.

The Chiefs did committ 4-errors in the field, two by shortstop Sergio Santos. The Chiefs take on the Phillies (Ottawa) again today in Dunedin.

WHAT DID YOU SAY BUD!

Our good friend Bud Poliquin wrote today that he wondered why County Executive Nick Pirro did not chastise the Syracuse Chiefs for a poor record like he did the Syracuse Crunch on Wednesday.  First of all, the question should be why would any governmental official question the player development agreement that any professional team has.  Columbus with the Crunch or the Blue Jays with the Chiefs. In baseball, it works like this – the Chiefs provide a facility for the major league club (Toronto) to send their players to play for the season.  The Chiefs take care of travel, equipment, umpires, etc..  The Blue Jays provide 30 players, coaches and pay for their salaries that in 2006 totaled over 2.5 million dollars.  The Chiefs can ask their parent team to bring back players they believe are good for the team and community, ie Chad Mottola, Kevin Barker, etc..but can’t insist that they play here.  Example #1 top Blue Jays prospect Chip Cannon plays first base so does veteran Kevin Barker.   Cannon will play in Syracuse at some point in 2007 with Barker moving to DH or the outfield.  I believe in Hockey certain players need to play in Syracuse to find out if they can reach the next level – the NHL.  I can excuse Nick for not understanding the process, but Bud!! No major league organization can promise you a 80-60 season, just as I’m sure no hockey team can promise you a Calder Cup Championship team.  And by the way the 2005-2006 Crunch totaled over 100 points and had a pretty darn good club.  And the 2005 Chiefs finished 71-73 and were in the playoff race until the final two weeks of the season (only 4-games back on August 24th ).

The real issue, the one that Bud missed is that facilities like the War Memorial and Alliance Bank Stadium need to be taken care of by our community leaders.  That’s their job.  Not to be player development people.   Our job as operators of franchises are to make sure that the Toronto’s and Columbus’s want to stay here and send their players to our city.  We as operators must also contribute to the leagues we play in and not force those league’s to question our community’s commitment to our sports. 

Although only 10-years old Alliance Bank Stadium now needs new turf, the scoreboard is obsolete and seldom works properly, seats have begun to need major repair and the lighting failed major league baseballs latest testing.  The War Memorial  has seen it’s better day – like maybe when the Syracuse Nats played here.  Although the Veterans display is outstanding the remainder of the building is still stuck in the 60’s.  The players locker rooms are totally unacceptable for this level of Hockey and their playing surface (the ice) has been a problem since they returned in 1994.

Maybe it’s time that someone else was in charge of these decisions.  A group of  individuals who understand professional sports and facility management is needed.  Our County Executive, Deputy County Executive and Legislature are good people – but unfortunately in these two areas, they are either getting bad advise or they are in over their heads.

But that doesn’t excuse our good friend Bud Poliquin who shouldn’t be questioning why our County Executive said what he said and excused the Chiefs on field performance –  but rather why did he say it at all.  Bud seldom misses the point but today he wasn’t even close.

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