Friday, June 22, 2012

Game 4: Johnson City Cardinals at Bluefield Blue Jays - Home Opener

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1 C.J. McElroy CF
2 Ildemaro Vargas 2B
3 Lance Jeffries RF
4 Jeremy Schaffer 1B
5 Ronald Castillo LF
6 Carson Kelly 3B
7 Trevor Martin DH
8 Steve Bean C
9 Cesar Valera SS

LHP Stalyn Lopez


1 Alex Azor CF
2 Dickie Joe Thon SS
3 Santiago Nessy C
4 Art Charles 1B
5 Jacob Anderson RF
6 Eric Arce DH
7 Matt Dean 3B
8 Nico Taylor LF
9 Christian Lopes 2B

RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski


BROADCAST INFO: We're not on the air tonight, but you can listen live right here and on WHIS 1440 AM and 1470 AM for tomorrow night's game. Pregame is at 6:45.

WEATHER: The skies look menacing and we might get some rain, but the radar says anything that comes through should roll out before game time.


ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: The Jays were swept in a doubleheader on Thursday in Bristol by the White Sox 8-6 and 5-0. A problem with the irrigation system under the playing surface at Boyce Cox Field caused the game to be pushed back a day and set up the pair of seven-inning games. Keon Barnum knocked a home run in each game to provide the power for Bristol, who recovered from Bluefield’s Opening Night win to take two out of three in the Jays’ only visit of the regular season. Bluefield nearly came back from deficits of 5-0 and 8-4 in the early game, but their comeback bid came up short. Art Charles homered in the seventh to make it 8-6 and put the tying runs aboard with two outs, but a driving rainstorm caused a delay. After 88 minutes, play resumed when Eric Arce walked to fill the bases against Mitch Mustain. The Arkansas and USC quarterback-turned-pitcher nailed down the save when Nico Taylor flew out to right field to end the first game. Four Bristol pitchers teamed up for a two-hit shutout in the finale. Jose Bautista, Evandert Diaz, Salvador Sanchez and Jose Brito held the bats at bay. Alex Azor had the lone base hits for the visitors, both singles. Barnum’s three-run homer off Tom Robson in the fourth broke the game open for good.

VS. THE CARDINALS: This Bowen Field-opening set is a rematch of last year’s Appalachian League Championship Series. The Cards were defending champions and they swept the Baby Birds two games to none. Bluefield led the opener 3-0 the whole way until the Cards rallied with two runs in the seventh and two in the ninth. to walk off with a 4-3 victory. Nicholas Gillung and Logan Billbrough combined to one-hit Bluefield in the clincher in a 4-1 win. The two clubs split six head-to-head meetings during the 2011 regular season, with the home team winning two out of three twice. Bluefield won a home series from July 5-7, the middle game won on Daniel Arcila’s walk-off two-run homer in the 11th inning. Johnson City answered with a series win from August 6-8.

BROOMS OF DOOM: The Jays were swept by Bristol in Thursday’s doubleheader as they lost two of three to begin the 2012 season. It was the first time that Bluefield lost both ends of a doubleheader since August 31, 2010. They dropped their final two games as an Orioles affiliate, going down 10-4 and 5-0 at home against Princeton. Bluefield’s doubleheader record dating back to the start of MiLB’s digital recordkeeping in 2005 is 6-8-16 in 30 twinbills. Yesterday marked thei first time Bluefield had been swept in a double-dip at DeVault Memorial Stadium since July 20, 2007.

TOP PROSPECTS: There are an astounding nine Bluefield Blue Jays listed on Baseball America’s Top 30 Blue Jays rankings. The complete list of Bluefielders is as follows: LHP Daniel Norris (4th), 3B Matt Dean (11th), OF Dwight Smith Jr. (16th), RHP Kevin Comer (17th), RHP Joe Musgrove (20th), OF Jacob Anderson (21st), SS Dickie Joe Thon (27th), 2B Christian Lopes (29th) and RHP Roberto Osuna (30th).

ALL IN THE FAMILY: There are four Blue Jays with family ties to the major leagues. SS Dickie Joe Thon’s father Dickie played 15 years at short, mostly for the Astros. OF Dwight Smith Jr. is the son of the former Cubs outfielder, who finished second to teammate Jerome Walton in the 1989 NL Rookie of the Year voting and later won a championship with the Braves in 1995. RHP Brandon Dorsett’s father Brian spent parts of eight seasons catching in the bigs for six teams. RHP Roberto Osuna’s uncle Antonio relieved for 11 years in the majors, mostly with the Dodgers.

RHP JEREMY GABRYSZWSKI: Jeremy draws the starting honors for the home opener. The 19-year-old righty out of Crosby, TX was taken in the second round of last year’s draft, splitting time between the Gulf Coast League and Bluefield. After four and one-third scoreless innings in three GCL games, Gabryszwski moved up to the Appy League on August 29, turning in a shutout inning of relief at Danville. He relieved twice in the postseason for the Jays, allowing two runs in four and two-thirds innings. A graduate of Crosby High School, he had committed to play college ball at Lamar before signing with Toronto.

RHP ROBERTO OSUNA: Coming into the season ranked 30th on Baseball America’s list of the top Toronto prospects, Osuna makes his U.S. debut in relief of Gabryszwski. Only 17 years old, this right-hander was signed out of the Mexican League, which is considered to be similar to a AA or AAA level of play. Although he put up a 5.49 ERA in 19.2 innings for the Diablos Rojos, it’s impressive that he even pitched in that league. Roberto’s uncle Antonio was a reliever for 11 major league seasons, mostly spent with the Dodgers.

LHP STALYN LOPEZ: This five-foot-nine lefty makes his Appy League debut tonight. Hailing from Bonao in the Dominican Republic, Stalyn went 1-3 with a 3.40 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) in the Gulf Coast League last season. The 20-year-old was signed in 2009 and spent his first two professional seasons in the Dominican Summer League. Lopez appeared in a total of 29 games in the DSL and posted a 5.45 ERA.

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 6-22

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