April 5, 2013
With three of the four affiliates in action yesterday winning their season openers, Lansing looks to get their first win of the season tonight against Lake County. Here’s the Blue Jays minor league schedule for April 5:
Triple-A: Buffalo (1-0) vs. Rochester (0-0) at 1:05 p.m. ET
Probable starter: Ramon Ortiz
Ortiz might be the oldest player on the Bisons’ 2013 roster at 40 years of age, but he’ll eat innings and bring a wealth of experience to the club after 11 years and 1423 innings in the big leagues. The right-hander spent the 2012 season with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees and went 13-6 with a 3.45 ERA in 27 starts. He managed only 5.5 strikeouts per nine innings last year, which was well below his career norm of eight and his lowest mark in a season since 2008, so it will be interesting to see if he can bring that back up with Buffalo this year.
Double-A: New Hampshire (1-0) vs. Reading (0-0) at 6:35 p.m. ET
Probable Starter: Marcus Walden
A ninth-round pick by the Blue Jays in 2007, Walden had his 2009 season cut quite short and was forced to miss the entire 2010 campaign as well. After returning to baseball and logging innings as both a starter and reliever with Lansing in 2011, Walden quietly produced results for the Lugnuts in 2012 as well. He was rewarded with promotions a promotion to Dunedin where he fared even better, managing a 2.85 ERA in 72 2/3 innings with only 18 walks and without surrendering a home run. Walden doesn’t have overpowering stuff by any means, but as 24-year-old now at Double-A, he could continue to produce and get himself noticed further.
High-A: Dunedin (1-0) vs. Clearwater (0-0) at 6:30 p.m. ET
Probable Starter: Scott Copeland
After posting an ugly 6.88 ERA and .330 opponent batting average in the first half of 2012 for High-A Frederick, Copeland was released by the Orioles and picked up by the Blue Jays shortly after on a minor league deal at the end of July. He made seven appearances (six starts) for Dunedin last year with decent results (2.70 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings), so the Jays rewarded him by bringing him back on another minor league deal in January. The 25-year-old attended the University of Southern Mississippi.
Low-A: Lansing (0-1) vs. Lake County (0-0) at 6:30 p.m. ET
Probable Starter: Taylor Cole
After stepping away from baseball in 2008 to fulfill a two-year Mormon mission, Cole finally made his pro debut with Vancouver in 2011. After logging 93 1/3 innings for BYU, Cole tossed 33 2/3 frames for the Canadians, giving up 35 hits and issuing 17 walks en route to a 5.88 ERA/4.74 FIP; fatigue was likely the culprit. Last season he turned to Vancouver and limited opposing hitters to a mere .161 clip in 66 1/3 frames en route to a 0.81 ERA. Now in full-season ball with Lansing, Cole could really make up for lost time with a strong showing.