Jay Blue: Hoffman hits 99 MPH in debut

* As we near next week's anniversary of Jeff Hoffman being selected in the first round (ninth over-all) the former East Carolina starter made his pro debut with class-A Dunedin. He was tagged for four runs but his fastball was clocked at 99 MPH in his first start after Tommy John surgery last spring. .... 

By Jay Blue
Blue Jays From Away

The Blue Jays top draft pick from the 2014 draft finally made his professional debut after his long recovery from Tommy John surgery. You’ll have to read on to see how he did!

Buffalo Bisons 5, Columbus Clippers 2
The Buffalo Bisons got a late jolt from the arrival of Kevin Nolan who was just activated before Wednesday’s game against the Columbus Clippers. Nolan entered the game in the top of the eighth, pinch running for Luke Scott and remained in the game, coming to the plate in the top of the ninth with Chris Dickerson and Brad Glenn on base and hit his first Triple-A home run of his career, a three-run blast that put the Bisons on top for good. Dickerson was 2/5 on the game while Melky Mesa was 2/4 with a walk. Matt Hague had three hits, including a double while Brad Glenn was 1/3 with two walks.

On the mound, Randy Wolf continues to be outstanding, going seven scoreless innings with seven hits and three walks allowed while striking out seven. Chad Jenkins blew the save, allowing two runs to the Clippers in the eighth inning but also picked up the win after the ninth-inning home run. Colt Hynes saved his first game with the Bisons with a scoreless ninth.

Roster Notes: Jose Reyes joined the Bisons on a rehab assignment while Kevin Nolan and Austin Bibens-Dirkx were sent up to Buffalo. Munenori Kawasaki was activated off the DL while Caleb Gindl was DLed to make room. LHP Luis Perez was placed on the temporarily inactive list and Jeff Francis was activated after clearing waivers and being sent outright to Buffalo.

Player of the Game: Wolf

New Hampshire Fisher Cats 0, Reading Fightin Phils 4
The Fisher Cats couldn’t muster any offense at all against the Aaron Nola and Reading. Nola, a 2011 Blue Jays draft pick out of high school (he didn’t sign and was taken seventh overall by the Phillies in 2014), went seven innings and was dominant against the Fisher Cats, allowing four hits and one walk. The team had five hits total on the game including two each from Jorge Flores and Ian Parmley. Starter Joel Pineiro went seven innings and allowed all four runs on six hits (including one home run) without any walks and with four strikeouts. Dustin Antolin finished off the game with a scoreless eighth, striking out one.

Roster Notes: Kevin Nolan was promoted back up to Buffalo along with pitcher Austin Bibens-Dirkx.

Player of the Game: None

Dunedin Blue Jays 6, Tampa Yankees 5
While Twitter was abuzz with the Mike Babcock signing by the Maple Leafs, the Blue Jays had their first round draft pick of 2014 finally take the mound after his lengthy recovery from Tommy John with Alex Anthopoulos in attendance. According to Chris King (@StatsKing), Hoffman was sitting 95-98 mph, touching 99 throwing his full complement of pitches but left too many pitches over the middle of plate in the second inning and was hit hard to the tune of four runs. He recovered in the third through fifth inning, mixing in his changeup, which King reported as improving throughout the game. In the end, Hoffman finished with five innings in the books and four runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out three. Jeremy Gabryszwski followed with four innings and picked up the win as the Blue Jays rallied to take the lead back in the late going. While Hoffman’s stuff was impressive, Gabryszwski’s results were even more so, throwing four innings and allowing just one run (from a solo home run) on two hits and no walks with seven strikeouts, showing that even a guy with a high-80s fastball can get results with location, movement and changing speed.

The Blue Jays featured Maicer Izturis in another rehab start and he went 1/3 with a run scored, playing much of the game at second base. Roemon Fields was 3/5 with a double and two runs scored while Matt Dean (2/4, 2B, RBI, BB), Dawel Lugo (2/5, 2B, RBI) and Jorge Saez (2/3, RBI, BB) all had two hits.

Roster Notes: Jonathon Wandling was assigned back to extended spring training to make room for Jeff Hoffman’s assignment to the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Player of the Game: Gabryszwski and Fields

Lansing Lugnuts 8, South Bend Cubs 1
Jeff Hoffman wasn’t the only highly-drafted prospect taking the mound for the Blue Jays’ minor league teams on Wednesday; 2014 second-rounder, Sean Reid-Foley made another start for the Lugnuts and showed some improvement, throwing three innings with three hits and three walks but no runs with seven strikeouts. Chase Mallard followed with five strong innings, allowing one run on five hits and one walk with three strikeouts before Michael Kraft finished with a 1-2-3 ninth.

D.J. Davis had another strong game, going 3/4 with a double, two RBI, two runs and a stolen base (and was caught stealing once). No other Lugnut had more than one hit but Richard Urena drove in two despite being held hitless. Anthony Alford was 1/4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored while Chris Carlson was 1/2 with a run, an RBI and two walks.

Player of the Game: Davis and Mallard

 

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Jay Blue

A lifelong Toronto Blue Jays fan, Jay Blue started blogging about the Jays when he was living in Berlin, Germany. He founded his own blog, Blue Jays from Away, to write about developments with his home town team, focusing on the Jays' minor league system. When he's not watching baseball, he is usually on the diamond umpiring or he's pursuing his research interests in the field of ethnomusicology.