Game One Lineup:
BLUE JAYS (9-14)
1 Dwight Smith Jr. CF
2 Jorge Vega-Rosado DH
3 Santiago Nessy C
4 Art Charles 1B
5 Christian Lopes 2B
6 Dickie Joe Thon SS
7 Matt Dean 3B
8 Alex Azor LF
9 Jacob Anderson RF
RHP Tucker Jensen (1-0, 1.72)
1 Candido Pimentel 2B
2 Niko Goodrum SS
3 Max Kepler DH
4 Rory Rhodes 1B
5 Adam Walker RF
6 Travis Harrison 3B
7 Kelvin Mention LF
7 Kelvin Mention LF
8 Michael Quesada C
9 Romy Jimenez CF
RHP Hudson Boyd (2-3, 1.44)
BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays pregame at 6:50. The games are also carried on local radio on WKEZ 1240 AM The Rooster Classic Country
WEATHER: 75 degrees...we had an apocalyptic storm come through briefly this afternoon. But they got the field covered this time and did a great job getting the field ready for 6.
UMPIRES: PLATE Nick Garvey FIELD Troy Hodack
ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: The Blue Jays and Twins were rained out Sunday night at Joe O’Brien Field, setting up tonight’s doubleheader.
VS. THE TWINS: The Blue Jays beat the Twins two games to one to win the first round of last year’s postseason and advance to the League Championship Series. In the regular season, they won the first two meetings in 2011, but the Twins won four straight to finish the regular season. The Jays won at Elizabethton on Opening Night in 13 innings on Art Charles’ game-winning double. Bluefield missed a chance at a road sweep when the Twins rallied for three runs in the ninth to win 6-5. They didn’t meet again until the final week of the season when the Twins swept three games at Bowen Field to almost ruin the Jays’ division-title hopes. Charles hit .360 with six RBIs in six games against the Twins in 2011.
- TONIGHT’S PITCHING PROBABLES -
RHP TUCKER JENSEN: Right-hander Tucker Jensen makes his fourth start of the season tonight.Last Sunday in Burlington, he allowed three unearned runs in three innings of a no decision. The Ormond Beach, FL native has a 1.72 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, both are ninth among Appy League pitchers with at least 15 IP. Last year, he allowed 14 earned runs in 11.1 innings in four starts for Bluefield. He excelled in eight Gulf Coast League starts to begin his career, pitching to a 1.77 ERA with an 8.9 K/9 rate to earn a one-game call-up to low-A Lansing. Between three levels he struck out 56 batters in 57 innings of work. A decorated hurler at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, Tucker was named Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2011, also earning NAIA Second-Team All-America honors. The 22-year-old is the grandson of 1958 American League MVP Jackie Jensen.
RHP HUDSON BOYD: 2011 first-round pick Hudson Boyd starts for the Twins against his fellow right-hander and Floridian. The Twins chose the 19-year-old 55th overall in the supplemental round, two picks after the Blue Jays took Bluefield CF Dwight Smith Jr. and two picks before the Jays Bluefield RHP Kevin Comer. Minnesota had the pick as compensation for Jesse Crain signing with the White Sox. Hailing from Fort Myers, Boyd won a Florida state high school championship as a senior at Bishop Verot High School and had committed to the University of Florida before turning pro. He signed for $1 million, well over slot ($653,400) and is armed with a mid-90s fastball and a power curve that Baseball America tabbed as the best in the Twins system. With his 6-2, 264-pound frame, he has been compared to Jonathan Broxton. In a win at Johnson City on Monday, he shut out the Cards for six innings, allowing only two hits. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 16.2 innings.
LHP DEIVY ESTRADA: A native of Valencia, Venezuela, lefty Deivy Estrada is coming off a wonderful outing at Pulaski on Wednesday. He took a perfect game into the fifth inning and shut out the Mariners for six frames, allowing only two hits and facing one over the minimum. Estrada potsed a 2.25 ERA in the GCL in 2011, but he had an ERA of 6.94 in Bluefield upon his promotion. He did contribute the clinching victory in the Mercer Cup last year, turning in five shutout innings on August 10. He allowed only four hits, striking out six without walking a man. He took a tough loss in the final game of the Appy League Championship Series when he gave up one earned run in five innings, but was charged with the defeat. He spent the 2010 season in the GCL and was in the DSL in 2009 when he K’d more than one batter per inning (48 in 44 IP).
RHP RICARDO AREVALO: Right-hander Ricardo Arevalo, also a native of Venezuela (Guacara), opposes Estrada in the nightcap. He was roughed up for six runs on five hits in four innings in his last outing on Wednesday, a loss at Greenville. Signed by the Twins in 2009, Arevalo spent the last two seasons in the Gulf Coast League, posting a 4.37 ERA and 0-11 record combined in 2010 and 2011. In his first pro action in 2009, he put up a 2.48 ERA in the Dominican Summer League.
GIFT OF GAB: Right-hander Jeremy Gabryszwski had another terrific outing on Saturday night. With five shutout innings, he lowered his ERA to 1.89 (seventh-lowest in the Appy League) and his WHIP sank to 0.89 (fifth-best in the circuit). The Crosby, Texas native has achieved this success despite a strikeout rate of 4.26 per nine innings, the second-lowest among league qualifiers.
MOUNDS OF SUCCESS: Expect two more low-scoring games tonight after the 4-0 Twins victory in the series opener on Saturday. Elizabethton and Bluefield have the two lowest team ERA’s in the league. The Blue Jays are third in the loop at 3.32, but they are more than a full run behind the league-leading Twins, who are at 2.29. Bluefield ranked second last night, but Greeneville lowered its ERA to 3.25 after holding the White Sox to one run in a doubleheader sweep last night.
STRUGGLING IN THE FIELD...: Through the first ten games of the season, the Blue Jays were the best defensive team in the league and were the last to reach double-digits in errors. Over the last 13 games, however, they have made 28 errors to sink to ninth in the ten-team league. The 35 unearned runs scored against Bluefield are the most against any Appy League club.
...AND AT THE PLATE: The Blue Jays have the second-lowest team batting average in the league. Their .230 mark as a team is two points higher than Pulaski’s. Second baseman Christian Lopes is the Jays’ leading hitter at .253 which is exactly the league average. There are 71 qualified hitters in the circuit, Bluefield has four of the nine lowest batting averages. On the bright side for the Jays, they have outperformed their batting average, ranking sixth in both on base percentage (.330) and slugging percentage (.373).
Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 7-16
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