By George Farelli
Canadian Baseball Network
A US team staging Canada Day celebrations isn’t new.
They have been held at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, a Jose Bautista bomb from Fort Erie. And of course at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium which is for now the spring home of the Toronto Blue Jays and the summer home of the class-A Dunedin Blue Jays.
The Grand Rapids, Mich. based Western Michigan Whitecaps plan on celebrating Canada Day this season as well. So, what if it is two hours and 39 minutes from the Windsor tunnel to the Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids.
The Whitecaps tweeted the announcement over fuzzy beaver wearing a Canada toque and holding a Canada flag with news that Labatt and Molson beer will be sold in the Canadian Pub, while a Zamboni will be placed on the outfield warning track for the pre-game mascot introductions. More details to follow.
Maybe the Whitecaps are in the Canadiana mood due to it is our country’s 150th birthday or the fact that the new two-tiered hospitality area located down the left field line, next to the visitor’s bullpen, is named Canadian Lakes Landing.
Or maybe it is because three Whitecaps are Canucks. Besides OF Cole Bauml (Meunster, Sask.) and INF Daniel Pinero (Toronto, Ont.), OF Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.) are all with class-A West Michigan, a Detroit Tiger affiliate, often hitting third, fifth and seventh in the order.
And after hitting .400 (10-for-25) with four RBIs, Robson earned Canadian Baseball Network minor league Canadian of the week for Week V. The former Ontario Blue Jays and Windsor Selects speedster is the best of the 45 Canadians in the minors.
How the week that was went for the Whitecaps and Robson as he:
_ Hitting third and playing centre, he was hitless in a 3-2 win over the Clinton Lumberkings before 1,307 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark. Pinero tripled, his second of the year, on a line drive to right fielder Gareth Morgan (North York, Ont.) to knock in Bauml, who was hitless. Morgan was hitless as well.
_ Hitting third and playing right he went 4-for-5 in a 9-3 win against Clinton in front of 2,231 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark. He singled to centre in the third, singled in the sixth, then doubled in another run in the eight-run sixth and singled to centre in the eighth giving him 10 RBIs. Bauml had two singles and knocked in a run with two out, giving him 11 RBIs on the spring Pinero, the former Ontario Blue Jay and Virginia Cavileers was hitless.
_ Hitting third and playing right field, Robson was 1-for-2 and knocked in a run, his 11th RBI in a 7-5 loss to the Kane County Cougars before 4,152 at Fifth Third Ballpark. Bauml and Pinero were hitless.
_ Playing right and batting third Robson singled in a 1-0 win over Kane County in front of 5,837 at Fifth Third Ballpark. Robson was caught stealing. DHing and hitting fifth, Bauml singled. Batting seventh, Pinero was hitless.
_ Playing right and batting third, Robson singled in a 2-0 win against Kane County in front of 4,341 fans at Fifth Third Ballpark in what was a Canadian win. Besides Robson, Bauml, hitting second and playing left, was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, his 12th, while Pinero, playing short and hitting sixth was hitless, but knocked in a run, his seventh RBI. Bauml led off the fourth Bauml with a line-drive doubles to right his fifth, Robson reached on a bunt single and with one out Pinero bounced to short scoring Bauml for the game’s first run. In the next inning Bauml singled with one out for a 2-0 decision.
_ Playing right and hitting third, he went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI in a 7-2 win over the Peoria Chiefs before 800 fans at Dozer Park. DHing and hitting fifth, Bauml had a pair of hits, including a double and drove in a run. Batting seventh Pinero was hitless but knocked in a run. Robson singled to centre in the second to put West Michigan 2-0 and then stole second, singled to left in the sixth and stole second and doubled in the eighth and scored to make it 7-1. After three straight strikeouts Bauml did not mail in the rest of the night as he singled leading off the seventh and scored to make it 6-1 and doubled to centre in the eighth scoring Robson. Pinero drew a walk in the first with the bases loaded knocking in Robson.
_ Was hitless in a a3-1 loss to Peoria in front of 1,389 fans at Dozer Park. Bauml was also hitless, while Pinero did not play.
On the season ... Robson is batting .350, with a homer and 12 RBIs, Bauml is hitting .265, with one homer and 13 RBIs and Pinero is batting .215, with eight RBIs.
Robson is fourth in the Midwest batting race behind Lansing Lugnuts Bo Bichette, who is hitting .385, Kane County’s Marcus Wilson, .361 and Cedar Rapids Colonels’ Jermaine Palacios .356. .
OF Jamie Romak (London, Ont.) - Active with El Paso Chihuahuas, named Player of the Month for April in the Triple A Pacific Coast League.
1B Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) - Active with Lake Elsinore Storm, named Player of the Month for April in the class-A California League.
BEST OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
Player / Class / Team AB R H HR RBI AVG
Jacob Robson - A West Michigan 25 5 10 - 4 .400
Eric Wood - AAA Indianapolis 16 2 6 1 6 .375
Vladimir Guerrero - A Lansing 23 6 8 1 6 .348
Cole Bauml - A West Michigan 26 5 8 - 3 .308
Tyler O’Neill - AAA Tacoma 24 3 7 - 2 .292
Gareth Morgan - A Clinton 22 4 6 1 4 .273
(Minimum 10 AB’s required.)
BEST PITCHING PERFORMANCES
CAL QUANTRILL RHP - A LAKE ELSINORE STORM
APP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
1 6.0 4 - - 2 5 - - 1.00 0.00
To confirm how well Cal Quantrill has pitched for Lake Elsinore so far this season, this is his fourth appearance on our weekly list of the Best Pitching Performances. On May 9th in a 5-0 victory over Stockton Ports he pitched six scoreless innings, allowing four hits, while striking out five Stockton hitters. He was not involved in the decision. This outing improved his record in six starts with the Storm to 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA.
JESEN THERRIEN RHP - AA READING FIGHTIN’ PHILS
APP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
3 5.0 - - - 1 7 - 3 0.20 0.00
For the second week in a row, Jesen Therrien has been dominant, pitching out of the bullpen for Reading Fightin’ Phils. In week five he made three relief appearances, all in save situations, and he was successful every time. On May 3rd in a 3-2 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats he threw two scoreless innings, allowing zero hits while striking out three batters to gain the save. On May 6th in a 2-0 victory over Portland Sea Dogs he pitched two scoreless, didn’t allow a hit while striking out three Portland hitters to secure his second save of the week. On May 8th in a 2-1 win over Bowie Baysox Jesen tossed a scoreless inning, again without allowing a hit and striking out one Bowie hitter to nail down another save. These three outings improved his record in 13 appearances with the Fightin’ Phils in Double A Eastern League to 0-1, with six saves with a 1.53 ERA.
ANDREW CASE LHP - A DUNEDIN BLUE JAYS
APP IP H R ER BB K W-L SV WHIP WK ERA
2 4.0 2 - - 1 - 1-0 - 0.75 0.00
Andrew Case is developing into an excellent bullpen prospect in the Blue Jays organization, and this week the 24 year old native of St. John, NB made two very good relief appearances.
On May 4th in a 10 inning 3-2 win over Tampa Yankees he threw one scoreless inning, gave up no hits while striking out two Tampa batters, to record the save. On May 8th in a 13-inning win over Tampa he pitched three scoreless innings, surrendering two base hits, but was not involved in the decision. These two outings improved his record in 12 appearances with Dunedin in the Single A Florida State League, to 3-1, with 3 Saves and a 5.06 ERA.
PLAYER MOVES AND TRANSACTIONS
OF Jamie Romak (London, Ont.) - Contract sold by the San Diego Padres to SK Wyverns, Hangul, South Korea in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).
LHP Rob Zastryzny (Edmonton, Alta.) - Called up to Major League roster by Chicago Cubs from Triple A Iowa Cubs. Appeared in one game with the Cubs and was optioned back to Triple A Iowa.
KHP Kevin Chapman (Toronto, Ont.) - Traded by the Atlanta Braves from Triple A Gwinnett Braves to the Minnesota Twins, who assigned him to Triple A Rochester Red Wings.
C Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ont.) - Moved by the Toronto Blue Jays to Double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats from Single A Dunedin Blue Jays.
RHP Curtis Taylor (Port Coquitlam, BC) - Activated by Arizona Diamondbacks at Single A Kane County Cougars.
C Owen Spiwak (Mississauga, Ont.) - Activated by the Toronto Blue Jays at Single A Dunedin Blue Jays. Appeared in one game with Dunedin and moved to the Blue Jays Extended Spring Training facility.
RHP Alex Webb (Surrey, BC) - Placed on the Disabled List by Cincinnati Reds at Single A Dayton Dragons.
RHP Eric Gagne (Mascouche, Que.) - Free Agent signs with Long Island Ducks IND Atlantic League.
LHP Ethan Elias (Entwhistle, Alta.) - Free Agent signs with Rockland Boulders IND Can Am League.
3B Lachlan Fontaine (North Vancouver, BC) - Released by Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League.
INF Jonathan Malo (Laval, Que.) - Released by Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League.
OF Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ont.) - Released by the Quebec Capitales IND Can Am League.
2017 Canadian Baseball Network Players of the Week
Week I _ INF Jamie Romak (London, Ont.) El Paso (Padres).
Week II _ RHP Nick Pivetta (Victoria, BC) Lehigh Valley (Phillies).
Week III _ INF Jamie Romak (London, Ont.) El Paso (Padres).
Week IV _ 1B Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) and RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) Lake Elisnore (Padres).
Week V _ OF Jacob Robson (Windsor, Ont.) West Michigan (Tigers).