2017 C’s hurler Nate Pearson was bringing the heat in Dunedin this spring.


The Toronto Blue Jays employed 27 former Vancouver Canadians players for Grapefruit League Action over the truncated 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The breakdown saw 20 position players from Monty’s Mounties make an appearance in the batter’s box or on the field while seven former C’s pitchers made their way to the mound.

Among the spring standouts were right-handers Nate Pearson and Sean Reid-Foley along with infielder Andy Burns and catcher Riley Adams. Pearson and Adams were teammates on the 2017 Northwest League champion Canadians and they could very well form a battery in Toronto sooner than later.

Pearson’s timeline to the majors may have been moved up if and when baseball resumes. The consensus was he would have to begin the 2020 regular season where he ended 2019 – Buffalo, New York. His spring performance only gave further credence to the thought that it is a matter of when, not if, Pearson will don the Blue Jay blue during the regular season.

The Odessa, Florida native struck out side in his spring debut against the New York Yankees February 25, reaching 97 and 99 miles per hour with his fastball and 90 MPH with his slider. The 6-foot-6 right-hander continued his domination against the Pittsburgh Pirates with three strikeouts over two frames March 2 and hit triple digits on the radar gun.

Vancouver Canadians Sean Reid-Foley
Sean Reid-Foley may find himself in Toronto’s bullpen mix in the near future.

Fellow righty Sean Reid-Foley also made a good impression in his six innings of work. The 2014 Canadian—who never appeared on the mound for the C’s after being added to the playoff roster—walked just one batter and struck out four as a reliever. It is a small sample size and the level of competition Reid-Foley faced was 7.3 according to Baseball Reference which means he was facing the equivalent of Double-A competition but keeping the walk rate in check was a nice early development for the 24 year-old from Guam. He has walked nearly six batters per nine innings during his two years with Toronto and nearly four-and-a-half per nine over his time in the minors.

Reid-Foley was one appearance shy this spring of matching the total number of relief appearances in his pro career as he has been summoned just seven times over his 142 games, including the majors. It has been long thought that Blue Jays’ second round pick from 2014 would be better suited for relief work and his spring performance would back that up.

On the hitting side, Andy Burns is hoping a strong spring could land him more major league time with Toronto. He returned to the Blue Jays organization in 2019 after two years in the Korean Baseball Organization with Lotte Giants. Burns set a career high for home runs with 19 for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons in 2019 and his .833 on-base-plus-slugging percentage landed him a spot as the utility man on MiLB.com’s Organizational All-Star Team in the Blue Jays system.

Originally drafted in the 25th round by the hometown Colorado Rockies in 2008 from Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Burns was taken by Toronto in round 11 of the 2011 draft out of Arizona. The Greenville, South Carolina native eventually made his major league debut in 2016 with the Blue Jays.

Burns’ first game was in San Francisco May 9 in a pinch-hitting appearance where he struck out against Hunter Strickland. The 2011 Canadian would reach base for the first time two days later when he was hit by a pitch from Madison Bumgarner. The right-handed hitting Burns was called up two more times in 2016 but is still looking for his first major league hit. Even though he went 0-for-6, he did score two runs as a pinch-runner in his final two games in July. Of his 10 games in the majors, only one of them was played in Toronto.

Vancouver Canadians Riley Adams
Riley Adams homered 14 times in 2019 and belted one more this spring for Toronto.

Riley Adams could very well see time with the Blue Jays in the near future. He showed some extra-base pop with two doubles and a home run. He began 2019 with Dunedin, the same place where he ended 2018, but he earned a promotion to Double-A New Hampshire after an impressive .434 OBP and .462 slugging percentage in 19 games. With the Fisher Cats, the 2017 third-rounder from San Diego State clubbed 11 home runs and slashed .258/.349/.439. He also threw out 16 of 36 runners trying to steal which translates to a 31 percent clip. You can check out Adams’ self-scouting report right here.

Each player is listed with the year they played for Vancouver in parentheses along with key statistics and notes staring with the position players.

Position Players

PlayerBatting LineNotes
Brock Lundqust (2017).571/.625/.7148 PA, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 SO – 2 G in LF, 1 in RF
Andy Burns (2011)333/.407/.62527 PA, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 7 SO, 2 HBP – 7 games at 3B, 6 at 1B, 2 in LF, 1 in 2B
Reggie Pruitt (2017).333/.333/1.1676 PA, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SO – 2 G in CF, 2 in LF – made diving catch March 9
Otto Lopez (2018).333/.333/.6676 PA, 2 2B – 3 games at 2B, 1 at SS
Riley Adams (2017).273/.273/.72711 PA, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 SO – HR vs. TB March 9
Rowdy Tellez (2014) .238/.360/.47625 PA, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 11 SO
Jonathan Davis (2014).231/.412/.61517 PA, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 2 HBP
Cavan Biggio (2016).192/.344/.23132 PA, 2B, 2 SB, 6 BB, 5 SO – Played 9 G at 2B, 2 in CF
Griffin Conine (2017).167/.167/.1676 PA, 3 SO – 2 games in RF, 2 in LF
Logan Warmoth (2017).100/.217/.20023 PA, 1 3B, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1 HBP – 10 games at 2B, 2 in CF
Chavez Young (2017).100/.182/.10011 PA, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 8 SO – 7 games in CF, 1 in LF, 1 in RF
Josh Palacios (2016).095/.136/.14322 PA, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 7 SO, 1 SB – 11 games in RF, 2 in LF, 1 in CF
Kevin Vicuna (2017).000/.500/.0002 PA, 1 HBP, 2 games at SS
Vinny Capra (2018).000/.333/.0003 PA. 1 BB – 1 game at 2B, 1 at 3B
Luis De Los Santos (2019).000/.250/.0004PA, 1 BB, 2 SO – 1 game at 3B, 1 at SS
Nash Knight (2016).000/.000/.0006 PA, 4 SO – 3 games at 3B, 1 at 2B, 1 at 1B
Ronny Brito (2019).000/.000/.0001 PA, 1 SO
Christian Williams (2016).000/.000/.0002 PA, 2 SO – 2 games at 1B
Norberto Obeso (2017) Did not batPlayed 1 game in LF
Will Robertson (2019)Did not batPlayed 1 game in RF
2017 Vancouver Canadians outfielder and playoff hero Brock Lundquist made the most of his eight at-bats by hitting .571 for the Toronto Blue Jays this spring.

Pitchers

PitcherRecordNotes
Sean Reid-Foley (2014)0-0, 0.00 ERA6.0 IP, 1 BB, 4 K, 1.00 WHIP
Travis Bergen (2015-2017),0-0, 0.00 ERA3.2 IP, 2 BB, 5 K, 1.36 WHIP
Jackson McClelland (2015-2016)0-0, 0.00 ERA1.0 IP, 0 BB, 2 K, 1.00 WHIP
Colton Turner, ARI (2012-2013)0-0, 0.00 ERA0.2 IP, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 WHIP
Conor Fisk (2015)0-0, 0.00 ERA0.1 IP, 0 BB, 1 K, 0.00 WHIP
Nate Pearson (2017)1-0, 1.29 ERA7.0 IP, 3 BB, 11 K, 0.71 WHIP – Struck out side vs. New York Yankees February 25
Patrick Murphy (2016)0-0, 11.57 ERA2.1 IP, 1 BB, 5 K, 2.14 WHIP
T.J. Zeuch (2016)0-1, 14.54 ERA4.1 IP, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP, 2.53 WHIP
Vancouver Canadians Christlian Lopes
2012 Vancouver Canadians second baseman Christian Lopes hit .400 with two home runs and two doubles for the Arizona Diamondbacks this spring.

Other C’s Around the Majors

There were 21 other Vancouver Canadians to see Grapefruit League and Arizona League action in 2020 with 12 position players and nine pitchers.

A trio of second basemen from the C’s 2012, 2014 and 2015 squads did pretty well with the lumber this spring. Christian Lopes is with the Miami Marlins organization after stints in the Toronto and Texas systems. The brother of Seattle Mariners infielder Tim Lopes picked up four extra-base hits, including a home run against Houston March 4. The 27-year-old right-handed hitter was Toronto’s seventh-round selection in the 2011 draft out of Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California.

Franklin Barreto is hoping 2020 will be his breakthrough season with Oakland. The 24 year-old from Caracas, Venezuela is a career .289 hitters in the minors but is hitting exactly 100 points less over three years with the Athletics. After collecting six extra-base knocks, it appeared the right-handed hitting Barreto was going to platoon with Tony Kemp at second base with Oakland before the coronavirus delayed the start of the regular season. The 2014 Northwest League MVP was traded to Oakland in the Josh Donaldson deal after signing for $1.45 million as a free-agent with Toronto in 2012.

Vancouver Canadians Lane Thomas
2015 Vancouver Canadians second baseman Lane Thomas belted three home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in the spring.

Also tearing it up at the plate was Lane Thomas as he looks to build on a solid rookie season in 2019 with St. Louis that saw him homer in his first major league at-bat against the New York Mets April 19. Traded to the Cardinals by the Blue Jays for international bonus pool money in 2017, he batted .316 in 34 games with St. Louis last season which was cut short by a wrist injury. Thomas appears to be well over his setback with his wrist after going deep three times this spring and should be in line for additional playing time as National League teams expected to adopt the desiginated hitter rule if and when baseball returns.

The 2014 fifth round pick was primarily a second baseman with the C’s in 2015 after playing third base and the outfield in his early days in the Jays minor league system. His infield days were over after coming over to the Cardinals nest and he began to find his power stroke in 2018 with 21 home runs at Double-A Springfield and six more with Triple-A Memphis, slashing a composite .264/.333/.489. The 24 year-old Thomas from Knoxville, Tennessee was named a mid-season and post-season Texas League All-Star.

PlayerBatting LineNotes
Christian Lopes, MIA (2012).400/.429/.80021 PA, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 SO – 8 games at 2B, 6 at 3B
Kevin Pillar, BOS (2011).355/.394/.4844 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO – 11 games in RF, 1 in CF
Ryan McBroom, KC (2014).314/.368/.6573 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 5 SO – 9 games at 1B, 2 in RF, 1 in LF
Franklin Barreto, OAK (2014).306/.359/.52839 PA, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 8 SO – 11 games at 2B, 1 in CF
Dwight Smith Jr., BAL (2012).267/.333/.33333 PA, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1 HBP – 9 games in LF
Lane Thomas, STL (2015).250/.400/.56340 PA, 1 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 8 BB, 8 SO – 10 game in CF, 3 in RF, 1 in LF
Tim Locastro, ARI (2014).250/.323/.35731 PA, 3 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 1 BB, 6 SO, 2 HBP – 8 games in CF, 2 in LF
Dawel Lugo, DET (2013).238/.238/.28621 PA, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 SO – 9 games at 3B
Richard Urena, BAL (2014) .143/.143/.35714 PA, 1 HR, 5 SO – 6 games at SS, 3 at 3B, 2 at 2B
Jon Berti, MIA (2011).138/.167/.24131 PA – 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 10 SO – 5 games at 2B, 4 at 3B, 2 at CF, 2 at SS
Mitch Nay, SEA (2013).000/.000/.0003 PA, 1 R, 1 SO – 4 games at 1B
Dalton Pompey, ARI (2012).000/.000/.0003 PA, 2 SO – 2 games in RF
Vancouver Canadians Angel Perdomo
2015 Vancouver Canadians lefty Angel Perdomo dominated out of the bullpen for the Milwaukee Brewers by striking out 10 batters over four innings.

On the mound, 2015 Canadians southpaw Angel Perdomo gave the Milwaukee Brewers brass something to think about by striking two-thirds of the hitters he faced during Cactus League action. Among the K victims were Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Jason Castro in an outing against the Los Angeles Angels March 8. A free-agent signing by Toronto out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, the 6-foot-8 Perdomo was snapped up by the Brewers in free agency in November of 2018. He may get to face his former C’s teammate Lane Thomas this year in a battle of National League Central foes.

PitcherRecordNotes
Angel Perdomo, MIL (2015)0-0, 0.00 ERA4.0 IP, 2 BB, 10 K, 0.75 WHIP
Miguel Castro, BAL (2014)0-0, 0.00 ERA3.0 IP, 3 BB, 4 K, 1.00 WHIP
Justin Shafer, CIN (2014)0-0, 0.00 ERA1.0 IP, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 WHIP
Colton Turner, ARI (2012-2013)0-0, 0.00 ERA0.2, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 WHIP
Marcus Stroman, NYM (2012)1-1. 2.70 ERA6.2 IP, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP, 1.20 WHIP
Noah Syndergaard, NYM (2011)0-1, 3.38 ERA8.0 IP, 0 BB, 11 K, 1 HBP, 0.63 WHIP
Francisco Rios, NYM (2015)0-0, 5.40 ERA3.1 IP, 1 BB, 3 K, 2.10 WHIP
Taylor Cole, LAA (2011-2012)0-1, 6.75 ERA4.0 IP, 5 BB, 8 K, 2.00 WHIP
Daniel Norris, DET (2012)0-0, 13.50 ERA5.1 IP, 0 BB, 4 K, 2.25 WHIP

C-Tweets

C-Tweets

Here is a collection of tweets that caught this blogger’s attention over the last little while, ranging from interviews of former C’s and other observations from players and media outlets.