Friday, May 24, 2013

Minor League Update: Buffalo Bisons (AAA) #2

How about that custom link up there?
Buffalo Bisons
26-19 (1st place International League North Division)

Not much has changed since I last wrote about the Bisons. Jim Negrych is still a non prospect who is having BABIP caused success, the offense as a whole is the best in the International league, and the pitching is still one of the worst in the league. That recipe has allowed the Bisons to maintain their division lead in the IL's North division, even though they have been slipping as late.

There are some new faces that I'll be looking at today because of various injuries, transactions, and performances, so it won't be repetitive like you might expect. Joining us is the awful Ricky Romero, the not so awful Jim Negrych, prospect John Stilson, and some other guys.

Before I start, I want to apologize for being late with this. I went through one of those stages this week where I was too lazy to write anything. I will have the Fisher Cats update posted on Monday like it is scheduled to be. As always, leave your comments about the article, my writing, or really anything in the section below. Enjoy!

Jeremy Jeffress-RP-Age 25
Jeffress made his AAA debut in 2013 a couple of weeks ago after appearing in 3 FSL games with Dunedin, and the flamethrower has had success as expected. Like Ricky Romero(who I'll be getting to soon), Jeffress' main issue is his control. Even if he can't get the control working, he will find success as he is doing now because of the stuff he does possess. Jeffress was put on the 7 day DL yesterday, so he will miss a week or two with an undisclosed injury. It's all about control for JJ, so until he works that out, he won't be doing drugs with Rob Ford up here in Toronto.

Dustin McGowan-RP-Age 31
The extremely small sample size the oft-injured McGowan makes it impossible to trust the stats for McGowan at this point. I watched his second rehab game in Buffalo, the one where he allowed 3 earned runs while only getting one out. I thought he looked pretty good until his 5th batter, where he started to lose control. The hits were soft ground balls, and he was keeping the ball down in the zone and on the outside corner. His velocity was also a little low, but that shouldn't be of concern. I don't want to go much farther into McGowan because I will be writing an article about him in the next few days.

Todd Redmond-SP-Age 28
Redmond has only started one game so far this season, so I'm not going to bother writing about him. The sample is way too small. Don't expect anything out of him, as he is just another card in AA's waiver game.

Ricky Romero-SP-Age 28

The Romero case is fascinating. He cannot keep the ball in the strike zone. He has walked 17 to 3 strikeouts this season while pitching for the Bisons, and has a FIP close to 7.00. He can't get major leaguers out, and he can't get AAA hitters out. I don't expect him to be in Buffalo for much longer, as it is getting to a point where it will be better for him to be back in Dunedin where he can work with various coaches at the Dunedin complex. The Jays(and AA) messed up big time when they ruined his development by calling him up early. This season is a write off for Romero in my opinion, and he should just try to focus on putting the ball in the zone, even if he gives up hits. Something has to change for this guy, or else he'd be fortunate to even spend the rest of his career in AAA.

Michael Schwimer-RP-Age 27
Schwimer's results look good so far, except for the walks of course, but it's obviously a really small sample for him as he was injured to begin the season, and only started playing games around 2 weeks ago. He doesn't figure to get any time with the Jays this season, and like Redmond, he's a candidate to be taken off the 40-man roster soon.

John Stilson-RP-Age 22
Injury is the cause for Stilson's lack of innings this year, but it does finally look like the Jays have converted the big righty to the bullpen, where scouts say his stuff plays better. With fellow top prospect Sean Nolin getting the call to pitch for Toronto today, Stilson isn't very far behind, and if another reliever is lost for a significant amount of time, look for Stilson to be a prime candidate to fill in. He is striking guys out so far in his limited work at a good rate, he is said to have looked good in his game for the Bisons. The walks are an issue, but once the sample is bigger than 2 tiny innings, that will come back down to normal for Stilson, around 4 per 9, which is probably the only thing keeping him from the Blue Jays.

Mickey Storey-RP-Age 27
This is the story about Storey(that might have been the worst pun ever, I'm sorry about that). He's a AAAA player, and just like so many names I've already mentioned, he's just a pawn in AA's waiver game.Since going back down to Buffalo after a brief stint up here in Toronto, he has continued to pitch well in 3 innings. Both his strikeout and walk rats are up this year, but I'd expect both to drop as he continues to pitch in AAA. He might be back up for the Jays a few more times this year, but if he is for an extended period of time, then you know something has gone wrong.

Thad Weber (A.K.A Thaddeus)-SP/RP-Age 28
We discussed Thaddeus on last week's episode of the BJP Podcast, and we came to the conclusion that he is a nice little piece to have. He doesn't walk batters, and although he isn't a strikeout machine, he is a good player to be able to shuffle between AAA and Toronto to either spot start or pitch at the back end of the bullpen. His control makes him very attractive, so if he is put on waivers at anytime to be taken off the 40-man, I can't imagine he wouldn't be picked up. I hope AA decides to keep him, as he is one of the few waiver claims AA has made that is actually interesting.

Ryan Goins-SS-Age 25
I've never been a huge fan of Goins, and it doesn't look like he is deserving of a call up anytime soon. The team obviously doesn't feel he is ready, and his stats prove it, as both his wOBA and wRC+ are both well below average. His defense isn't all that great as well, so with the Jays set at short for the next 5 years with Jose Reyes, and Goins not profiling as a second basemen, it looks like a career that involves flip flopping between the majors and the minors is in store for Goins, although so many things can change. He is going to need to pick up his offense if he wants to get back to a mid-level prospect status, and truthfully, I'd be surprised if he is called up this season before September. 

Mauro Gomez-DH- Age 28
Did somebody say AAAA player? Because that is exactly what Gomez is. He isn't "too good" for AAA, but he sure as hell is great there. After being the MVP of the IL last year, he is putting up good numbers once again in 2013. He has been a strong force in the Bisons line up, but he won't be playing on the Blue Jays this year. Like so many of the players in this article, he is just depth. 

Jim Negrych-2B-Age 28
Stop that. Jim Negrych is not good. He is not a major league player. There's a reason he is 28 and still in the minors. He isn't very good. His start is BABIP driven. His BABIP sits at .433 right now after 36 games, and it will only go down, taking his insane numbers with it. He won't be added to the 40-man, he won't be called up, and he won't continue hitting close to .400. It won't happen. He's getting luckier than the 2012 Orioles. OK? Good.

Moises Sierra-OF-Age 24
Sierra deserved the call up when Rajai Davis went down with injury last week, and when it went to Anthony Gose instead, he must have been wondering what he has to do to get the call. He has been playing very well, with the average over .300 all year, and his defense hasn't been to terrible, well, at least the games that I've watched. His arm is awesome, as always. His BABIP is a sky high .381 right now(Still not Negrych level, folks), so expect a regression soon for Sierra. The strikeouts and lack of walks are a concern, and if he does regress and those numbers stay the same, look for Kevin Pillar to skip him on the depth chart.

Josh Thole-C(well not really, but sure)-Age 26
Think JPA's defense is bad(Yes, I do actually)? Thole's is worse! Yup. hard to believe, but it's true. He's nothing more than a backup, and the entire #FreeThole thing really is a joke. JP is the best option we have right now(which obviously isn't so good), so we're stuck with the power hitting, strikeout king for now. Josh is proving that he can hit, although nobody ever really doubted his ability to get on base at a clip around .350 at the major league level. There is quite a lot of BABIP to his hot start, but I fully expect to see Thole hitting above .300 for most of the year, if not all of it. He won't be called up replace Blanco because Dickey likes Blanco, so his only way of getting to the bigs before September is a JP injury. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

DONE!!!!! 4 days late, but it's finally done! Next week, Fisher Cats. 

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