C’s Alumni Update – Case and Encina Pitch Final Spring Innings for Blue Jays in 2017

cs_alumni_updateDespite the efforts of two former Vancouver Canadians pitchers, the Toronto Blue Jays could not mount a comeback in their spring finale in Dunedin as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the New York Yankees. However, Andrew Case and Geno Encina did their jobs by holding the Bronx Bombers at bay and giving the bats a chance to wake up. Though the Jays did outhit the Yankees 10-9, it only led to one measly run.

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Andrew Case threw a scoreless frame against the New York Yankees in Dunedin Wednesday.

Case – a native of Saint John, New Brunswick  struck out the first man he faced in the eighth and allowed just one hit in his one-inning stint. The 2014-15 C’s righthander was 2-for-2 in scoreless appearances this spring with a shutout inning against the Philadelphia Phillies two days ago.

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Geno Encina shut down the Yankees in his one-inning spring debut Wednesday.

Encina – a member of the 2016 C’s – was summoned for the ninth and whiffed the first batter of the frame in his spring debut. The San Antonio native then induced a ground ball to first in which he covered the bag to complete the 3-1 putout. Ground ball singles to left and third put Encina in a jam but he induced a flyout to left into the glove of 2015 C’s outfielder Andrew Guillotte to end the threat.

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Andrew Guillotte saw some late action against the New York Yankees Wednesday.

Guillotte  – also making his spring debut – would fly out in the ninth in his lone plate appearance. He was one of five former C’s batters who got in the boxscore Wednesday. Peterborough, Ontario’s Mike Reeves got in his first Grapefruit League at-bat but the catcher struck out in the eighth after replacing Jarrod Saltalamacchia the inning before. Outfielder Jonathan Davis flied out in his lone plate appearance but second baseman Christian Lopes lined a single to left in the eighth.  The final at-bat of the spring went to Shane Opitz but he rapped into a game-ending double play.

In total, the Blue Jays used 26 former Vancouver Canadians position players this spring. The year(s) each player saw action with Vancouver are in parentheses.

  • Christian Lopes (2012) – 5/9, .556 BA, 2B, HR, RBI, SB
  • Kevin Pillar (2011) – 18/53, .340 BA, 7 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, SB
  • Richard Urena (2014) – 8/25, .320 BA, 2B, 3 BB
  • Jon Berti (2011) – 12/39, , 308 BA,  3 2B, 5 BB, 5 RBI, 2 SB
  • Ryan McBroom (2014) – 4/13, .308 BA, 3 HR, 4 RBI
  • Rowdy Tellez (2014) – 8/30, .267 BA, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, SB
  • D.J. Davis (2012)  – 1/4, .250 BA, 2 RBI
  • Jonathan Davis (2014) – 2/8, .250 BA, SB
  • Dalton Pompey (2012) – 2/9, .222, HR, RBI, 2 BB
  • Dwight Smith Jr. (2014) – 4/20, .200, 2B, 6 RBI, BB, SB
  • J.B. Woodman (2016) – 3/16, .188 BA, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 BB
  • Gunnar Heidt (2014-2015) – 1/7, .143 BA, R
  • Josh Palacios (2016) – 1/8, .125, HR, 2 RBI
  • Shane Opitz (2011) – 1/12, .083 BA, HR, 3 RBI, BB
  • Cavan Biggio (2016) – 0/4, .000 BA
  • J.C. Cardenas (2015) – 0/1, .000 BA
  • Roemon Fields (2014) – 0/7, .000 BA, RBI, SB
  • Yeltsin Gudino (2016) – 0/3, .000 BA
  • Andrew Guillotte (2015) – 0/1, .000 BA
  • Jason Leblebijian (2012-2013) – 0/7, 000 BA, RBI, 2 BB, 3 R
  • Ian Parmley (2012-2013) – 0/4, .000 BA
  • Mike Reeves (2013-2014) – 0/1, .000 BA
  • Mattingly Romanin (2016) – 0/1, .000 BA
  • Lane Thomas (2015) – 0/5, .000 BA, R
  • Christian Williams (2016) – 0/1, .000 BA
  • Carl Wise (2015) – 0/2, .000 BA

There were also 11 former Vancouver pitchers who were on the mound for the Jays this spring.

  • Andrew Case (2014-2015) – 2.0 IP, 1-0 K/BB, 0.00 ERA
  • Geno Encina (2016) – 1.0 IP, 1-0 K/BB, 0.00 ERA
  • Jose Fernandez (2014) – 1.0 IP, 2-1 K/BB, 0.00 ERA
  • Roberto Osuna (2012) – 5.0 IP, 7-1 K/BB, 0.00 ERA (2 unearned runs)
  • Justin Shafer (2014) – 1.0 IP, 1-1 K/BB, 0.00 ERA (0-1)
  • Wil Browning (2012) – 4.2 IP, 5-2 K/BB, 1.93 ERA
  • Marcus Stroman (2012) – 4.2 IP, 6-0 K/BB, 1.93 ERA
  • Ryan Borucki (2014-2015) – 4.0 IP, 3-2 K/BB, 2.25 ERA
  • Tim Mayza (2014) – 8.1 IP, 8-1 K/BB, 4.32 ERA (0-1)
  • Matt Dermody (2013) – 6.0 IP, 4-1 K/BB, 4.50 ERA
  • Aaron Sanchez (2011) – 10.2 IP, 8-9 K/BB, 8.44 ERA (1-1)

Reliever Bo Schultz, a member of the 2009 Vancouver Canadians during their affiliation with the Oakland A’s, went 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA over 5-1/3 innings for the Blue Jays this spring. However, the 31 year-old Dallas native is going to miss all of 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

That concludes the Florida portion of spring training for the Blue Jays and a number of former C’s acquitted themselves quite well in the Sunshine State. Highlights that come to mind were walk-off homers by Opitz and Ryan McBroom and the early dominance of lefty Tim Mayza and his 98-MPH fastball out of the bullpen. Richard Urena and Rowdy Tellez had their moments with the bat along with Lopes and Jon Berti. Of course, the biggest highlight was Marcus Stroman‘s MVP performance for the USA in the World Baseball Classic. Those are the kinds of highlights the Blue Jays will be hoping for in 2017 as Opening Day approaches.

About Niall O'Donohoe

My name is Niall O’Donohoe and I am an avid follower of baseball, specifically Canada’s Teams – the Toronto Blue Jays and their affiliate, the Vancouver Canadians. My blog beginnings began in 2007 with Batter’s Box, where I’m still allowed to write stories, summaries and photos about the Blue Jays minor league system under the alias #2JBrumfield.

The blog formerly known as Niall On Baseball, C’s Plus Baseball follows the C’s from behind the lens at Nat Bailey Stadium. The reason for the name change was to reflect the main purpose of this blog, which is to deliver plus coverage of the C’s through photos and observations of the players striving to make it to the major leagues, be it with Toronto or one of the other 29 MLB teams. From time to time, I do make it to other baseball games outside of The Nat and will post about them here as well.

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