* C Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ont.) an Ontario Blue Jays grad is back at Vancouver for one reason -- to help the Canadians win again. This year's No. 1 pick Max Pentecost was injured requiring help behind the plate. .... 2014 Canadians in the Minors … Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent
By Alexis Brudnicki
VANCOUVER _ The Vancouver Canadians are looking to continue their winning ways and Mike Reeves is the right man to help them get it done.
The 24-year-old catcher was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays Northwest League affiliate last season when the Canadians won their third consecutive championship, but Reeves moved within the organization to play for the Dunedin Blue Jays and Lansing Lugnuts this season.
When first-round draft pick Max Pentecost went down with an injury in August, Vancouver needed someone to come in and provide support behind the plate and hopefully assist in helping the short-season team to a fourth straight league victory.
“They told me they sent me here because they want to win here,” the native of Peterborough, Ont., said. “So I’m not looking at it as a demotion ... it’s good. They’re out of it in Lansing and it feels good that they think highly enough of me to think I’m a winner.”
Joining the team late in the season, Reeves had some catching up to do with the pitching staff, meeting some new faces added to the organization since the draft, and figuring out what works best for every hurler.
“There are a bunch of guys I hadn’t caught here,” he said. “It doesn’t take that long, it takes a week or so, so I’m starting to get to know the staff a little better. This staff competes a lot. They’re going to give everything they’ve got every night.”
As far as other adjustments go, Reeves is at ease with the team, not finding much of a difference between the pitching he faced in Lansing and what he got used to during his time with the Canadians last year.
“Between this league and the Midwest League, there’s not a huge difference,” the backstop said. “There are a few more strikes being thrown [at the higher level], but other than that there’s not a crazy difference. The bigger step is to the Florida State League.
“But a lot of these guys are college guys and they’re coming from that environment so they always have that winning attitude.”
Last season was the first as a professional for Reeves, selected out of Florida Gulf Coast University in the 21st round of the 2013 draft, so he knows nothing but winning throughout his time in the Blue Jays organization.
“The whole year was pretty even keel [last year],” he said. “With Clayton [McCullough], our manager, you wouldn’t be able to tell if we lost 18-0 or won 18-0 because he was always the exact same person.
“The atmosphere here in Vancouver is unbelievable. It’s crazy. The [awning over the stands] amplifies the sound on the field and it’s tough for opposing teams to come in here and try to beat us.”
Reeves was at the plate when Jon Davis stole home in the bottom of the sixth inning, snapping a 3-3 tie. Reeves then singled to left giving Vancouver to a 5-3 victory Sunday night that sends the C’s to the post-season for an unprecedented fifth consecutive season. Andrew Case (Saint John, NB) worked two scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 2.45.
The victory gives Vancouver captures the Northwest League North Division title and sets up a best-of-three series against the Spokane Indians that starts on Tuesday night at Nat Bailey Stadium.