By George Farelli
Canadian Baseball Network
Opposing pitchers might think that Justin Atkinson has a home-court advantage.
And they would be right.
But instead of knowing the dead spots in the parquet floor of the Boston Garden or what time the ghosts come out late at night at Yankee Stadium like Derek Jeter and Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees did, Atkinson (Surrey, BC) knows where to hit them at Nat Bailey Stadium.
And like Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler, Atkinson looks out from the batter’s box gazes at opposing defenders and “hits ‘em where they ain’t.”
If the Langley Blaze grad keeps this up he won’t be with the Vancouver Canadians much longer. He hit .467 (14-for-30) for the week with two homers and nine RBIs to raise his average to .373. The league leader -- Spokane’s LeDarious Clark is hitting .377 -- but with 71 plate appearances Atkinson is far shy of the necessary at-bats to qualify. He hopes he doesn’t qualify and returns to class-A Lansing.
He also led all Canuck hitters in the minors and earned Canadian Baseball Network minor league player of the week honors for week XV.
How the week that was went for Atkinson as he
_ Went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, doubling in a run in the three-run first in a 5-4 win over the Everett AquaSox before 2,379 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium. RHP Andrew Case (St. John, NB) worked two innings allowing a run to pick up his fifth save.
_ Doubled and walked in four plate appearances playing first base in a 5-4 win at Everett in front of 2,499 fans. LF Connor Panas (Toronto, Ont.) tripled for the C’s.
_ Was 4-for-6 with a pair of homers and four RBIs in a 10-2 win at Everett in front of 4,119 fans. Atkinson hit a two-run homer to centre in the first, hit a lead-off single in the third, singled and scored in the fifth and hit a two-run homer to centre in the eighth. RHP Sean Ratcliffe (Ajax, Ont.) pitched 2 1/3 scoreless striking out one for the win.
_ Was hitless in a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Eugene Emeralds before 6,013 fans at Nat Bailey. Case took the loss, pitching two innings, allowing two hits and a run, while striking out three. Ryan Kellogg (Whitby, Ont.) started for the Cubs affiliate and worked two innings allowing one hit, a solo homer, while fanning three.
_ Was 4-for-4 with an RBI in a 16-5 romp over Eugene in front of 6,013 including an excited Rob Fai. Atkinson singled to right and again singled to left during Vancouver’s 10-run first, singled to centre in the third, reached on an infield single in the field. Panas singled in a run.
_ Was 2-for-4 with a double and drove in a run in an 8-0 win against Eugene. He doubled to right knocking in a run in the six-run third and singled to centre in the fourth. RHP Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) starter for Vancouver and worked three scoreless innings, striking out five. DH Justin Marra (Toronto, Ont.) doubled for Eugene.
_ Doubled and knocked in a run in four trips in a 3-1 win against Eugene before 5,493. Case worked the ninth for his sixth save allowing a solo homer while fanning a pair.
Phil Diedrick (Ajax, Ont.) had a good week for Rookie Class Gulf Coast Nationals.
What’s that he only had three hits? He was 3-for-16 (.188) week. Yep, it was a good week as all three hits were solo home runs.
BEST OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
Player / Class / Team AB R H HR RBI AVG
Justin Atkinson - A Vancouver 30 7 14 2 9 .467
Michael Foster - Rkie AZL Cubs 21 2 9 - 1 .429
Dalton Pompey - AAA Buffalo 25 7 10 - 3 .400
Dustin Houle - Rkie Helena 14 3 5 1 4 .357
Gareth Morgan - Rkie AZL Mariners 23 4 8 2 4 .348
Brett Siddall - Rkie AZL Athletics 27 5 9 1 6 .333
Demi Orimoloye - Rkie AZL Brewers 24 4 8 3 6 .333
Eric Wood - AA Altoona 18 3 6 - 1 .333
Taylor Green - AA Biloxi 15 1 5 - - .333
Jamie Romak - AAA Reno 19 2 6 1 6 .316
James Adduci - FGN Lotte (KBO) 20 7 10 4 7 .500
Sasha Lagarde - IND Trois Rivieres 12 6 5 - 1 .417
Josue Peley - IND Quebec 24 4 9 - 1 .375
Chris Robinson - IND Winnipeg 25 6 9 - 1 .360
Mike Blanke - IND Long Island 23 4 8 1 1 .348
(Minimum 10 AB’s required.)
(Stats for Dalton Pompey include one game with double-A New Hampshire and five games with triple-A Buffalo.)
(Stats for Dustin Houle include three games with Rookie-class AZL Brewers and four games with Rookie-class Helena.
BEST PITCHING PERFORMANCES - WEEK FIFTEEN
ADAM LOEWEN LHP - TRIPLE A LEHIGH VALLEY IRON PIGS
AP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
3 3.0 - - - - 4 - 2 0.00 0.00
Adam Loewen continues his fine performance in the closer’s role for Lehigh Valley, and this week made three excellent appearances. On July 17th in a 1-0 victory over Rochester Red Wings he pitched a scoreless, hitless inning, with one strikeout, to earn his sixth save of the season. On July 18th in a 4-2 win over Rochester, his pitching line was exactly the same as the previous game, zero hits, runs and one strikeout, resulting in his
seventh save. His final appearance of the week was on July 21st in a 5-1 win over Toledo Mud Hens, he tossed one scoreless inning, again giving up no hits while striking out two Toledo batters, but was not involved in the decision. His overall record with the Iron Pigs in Triple A International League now stands at 1-3 with seven saves and a 2.63 ERA.
ANDREW CASE RHP - SINGLE A VANCOUVER CANADIANS
AP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
3 5.0 4 3 3 1 8 0-1 2 1.00 5.40
A busy week for Andrew Case working out of the bullpen for the Vancouver Canadians, as he made three appearances, and in the process incurred a loss and earned two saves. On July 15th in a 5-4 win over Everett Aquasox he tossed two innings, gave up one base hit and one earned run while striking out three Everett batters to earn the save. On July 18th in an 11-inning loss to Everett he pitched two innings, surrendered two base hits and one earned run, but was the losing pitcher in this contest. He came back on July 21st in a 3-1 victory over Eugene Emeralds with one strong inning, gave up just one base hit and one earned run while striking out two Eugene hitters to secure his second save of the week. His overall Single A Northwest League record with Vancouver is now 0-1, with six saves and a 2.31 ERA.
MARC GELINAS RHP - IND QUEBEC CAPITALES
AP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
1 7.2 4 - - - 3 1-0 - 1.80 0.00
Karl Gelinas made another excellent start for the Capitales this week, continuing a very hot streak which has extended over his last three outings. On July 19th in 4-0 victory over Trois Rivieres Eagles he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, gave up only four base hits striking out three Trois Rivieres hitters, to earn his eighth win of the year. In his last 24 2/3 innings, he’s allowed only eight base hits and zero earned runs while striking
out 20 hitters. His Can Am League record with Quebec now stands at 8-2 with a 2.05 ERA.
PLAYER MOVES AND TRANSACTIONS
OF Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) - Moved by the Toronto Blue Jays to Triple A Buffalo Bisons from Double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
C Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ont.) - Moved by Toronto Blue Jays to Single A Dunedin Blue Jays from Single A Lansing Lugnuts.
C Dustin Houle (Langley, BC) - Milwaukee Brewers ended his Re hab assignment at Rookie Class AZL Brewers, and moved him to Rookie Class Helena Brewers.
INF Skyler Stromsmoe (Etzikom, Alta.) - Removed from the Temporary Inactive List by San Francisco Giants and moved to Double A San Jose Giants from Triple A Sacramento River Cats.
RHP Tom Robson (Ladner, BC) - Toronto Blue Jays ended his Re hab assignment at Rookie Class Gulf Coast Blue Jays, and moved him to Single A Vancouver Canadians.
C Luke Carlin (Aylmer, Que.) - Free Agent signs Minor League contract with Chicago Cubs, and is assigned to Triple A Iowa Cubs.
INF J.D. Salmon-Williams (Brampton, Ont.) - 2015 17th Round Draft Pick signed by Cincinnati Reds and activated at Rookie Class AZL Reds.
C Darren Shred (Brampton, Ont.) - 2015 22nd Round Draft Pick signed by Cincinnati Reds. Not assigned yet.
INF Marcel Champagnie (Bolton, Ont.) - Released by the Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League.
INF Cedrick Vallieres (Roxton Pond, Que.) - Released by the Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League.
INF Issael Gonzalez (Montreal, Que.) - Free Agent signed by Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League, appeared in two games and released.
INF Joel Sebastian (Gatineau, Que.) - Free Agent signed by Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League, appeared in one game and released.