Blue Jays’ moves will impact Fisher Cats
The Toronto Blue Jays look to be retooling for the future, and recent moves toward that rebuilding process could play a significant role in the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ prospect for an Eastern League pennant this fall.
New pitchers come to town
If there is one universal truth about minor league rosters, it’s that they are constantly in flux. But that truth is particularly evident recently as major league clubs throw in prospects as bargaining chips in the last-minute deals before the trade deadline.
The Blue Jays were sellers at the deadline and perhaps their biggest move sent Roberto Osuna to Houston for righthanders David Paulino, Ken Giles and Hector Perez.
Paulino and Giles are unlikely to see action in Manchester, but the 22-year-old Perez has joined the club and is likely to be part of the rotation for the foreseeable future.
During his four games this season at Double-A Corpus Christi, Perez held batters to just a .197 batting average, giving up six earned runs in 16-2/3 innings on the mound.
The other new pitcher moving onto the Fisher Cats’ roster is Corey Copping, coming as part of a deal that sent reliever John Axford to the Dodgers.
Like Perez, Copping arrives from the Texas League, having spent the majority of this year and last year with the Tulsa Drillers, making 79 appearances with Tulsa over the past two
Both new pitchers made their Fisher Cat debuts on opposite ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against Erie.
Copping struck out two and retired the other batter he faced in the early win of that doubleheader and Perez was the loser in the latter game, striking out seven in five innings of work.
Who’s batting first?
The other major addition to the Fisher Cats’ roster coming from the recent trading frenzy has been Forest Wall, a byproduct of the deal that sent Seunghwan Oh to Colorado.
Wall’s been with the club for a little over a week now, and he’s become a versatile tool for Fisher Cats Manager John Schneider, bouncing from the top of the lineup into the power slots as needed.
With the promotion of Jonathan Davis, Schneider expects to platoon the leadoff role. Bo Bichette and Jon Berti are likely to see significant time at the top of the lineup, but Wall’s also a part of that mix, shifting as needed depending on the situation.
“(Wall) can really run, and with the lineup the way it is now, we can play matchups, righty/lefty, a little bit,” said Schneider. “More times than not, he’ll be toward the top of the order, but when you have so many guys swinging, it’s nice to be able to move guys around a little bit.”
Your pitching results may vary…
Outside of the new faces, the biggest recent topic has been New Hampshire’s pitching, which continues to undulate between superlative and atrocious.
A perfect example comes from Dusty Issacs. On Aug. 2, Issacs gave up more runs in the ninth against Richmond (than the Fisher Cats gave up during the entirety of their four-game series against Hartford last week.
It stands to note, that performance probably isn’t indicative of Issacs’ ability either. He hadn’t given up an earned run in his prior eight relief appearances.
But even though that talent may occasionally not shine through, Schneider is pleased overall with the recent work from his staff.
“I probably jinxed them the other day (before Richmond). I told the guys before the guys before the game how proud I was of them, with the starters doing their thing and the relievers keeping us in games,” he said.