April in Review: Lansing Lugnuts
By: Jay Blue
Canadian Baseball Network
We continue our monthly review of the Blue Jays’ minor leagues with the Jays’ Class-A club in the Midwest League, the Lansing Lugnuts, taking a look at how the club is doing, where they stand and who’s hot and who’s not.
The Lugnuts finished April with a 12-8 record and (after one game in May) were sitting in second place in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League, 2.5 games behind the Lake County Captains. The Lugnuts are outperforming their Pythagorean record (11-10 after 21 games) thanks to scoring an unimpressive 89 runs which is good for ninth in the league but they’ve played the fewest games. They’ve allowed 86 runs over that span, good for seventh in the league but keep in mind that they’ve played the fewest games.
In an April when there’s a ton of offense in the Midwest League, first baseman Juan Kelly‘s batting average of .311 ranks well out of the top 10 but his .514 slugging percentage ranks seventh and he’s tied for the league lead in doubles with eight.Gunnar Heidt is second in the league with nine stolen bases.
Francisco Rios ranks eighth in ERA and second in strikeouts while Colton Turner is tied for the league lead with four saves and Dusty Isaacs is right behind him with three. Angel Perdomo ranks seventh in the league in WHIP at 0.85.
The rotation has been outstanding with Francisco Rios, Sean Reid-Foley and Angel Perdomo all with ERAs just around or below 2.00. The club is taking things easy with all three of them, making sure they don’t throw too many pitches.
Colton Turner still hasn’t allowed a run with nine innings under his belt and neither has Dusty Isaacs, with 8 2/3 innings. The two relievers have combined for two walks and 13 strikeouts thus far.
Josh DeGraaf has also been excellent, logging more innings (14 1/3) than either Turner and Isaacs and has given up just eight base runners and two runs with 12 strikeouts.
Starlyn Suriel has also been great, with a 1.84 ERA and just seven base runners in 14 2/3 innings and 17 strikeouts.
Juan Kelly has been outstanding, returning to Lansing after a stint there last year. Kelly’s got a .311/.366/.514 line.
Andrew Guillotte has been one of the most consistent contributors over the month with a .316/.409/.434 line, walking more than he’s struck out.
Gunnar Heidt’s .383 OBP is far above his .254 batting average and his nine steals has helped the club.
Ryan Cook has an ERA of almost 5.00 in five outings (including four starts) but his peripherals (six walks and 20 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings) are still quite good.
Tayler Saucedo has a rough, 5.57 ERA but it’s not completely indicative of everything he’s been able to do. Still, he’s walked as many as he’s struck out so far and he’s coming off six scoreless innings in relief.
Carl Wise‘s .441 OPS is disappointing so far for a fairly high draft pick while outfieldersJosh Almonte and Jacob Anderson have struggled. Justin Atkinson‘s .486 OPS is also a rough start for the 22 year old.