Winter Baseball: Jays Pitchers Struggling

David Purcey

Seven games have been played by the Scottsdale Scorpions (0-7) in the AFL and three out of four Blue Jays pitchers have an ERA over six, although the innings pitched totals are still low.

LHP, David Purcey

In his second start for the Scorpions, Purcey could not complete his second inning of work, allowing two hits (including a triple in the first frame), two earned runs, four walks and punching out four batters in 1 1/3 IP. His ERA now stands at 6.23.

After striking out the first batter of the game on three pitches (that he located at the heart of the plate), the southpaw walked three before the inning was over and 2 runs had scored. When all was said and done, he had thrown 32 pitches for strikes out of 57.

The good news was that, once again, he felt comfortable attacking hitters inside, but had trouble locating offerings down in the zone.

LHP, Ricky Romero

For the second outing in a row, the first rounder allowed two earned runs in less than two innings of work (he came in relief of Greg Smith with only one out in the first inning), but looking on the bright side of things, he has yet to allow a base on balls while he has struck out one batter.

His pitching line stands at a 12.00 ERA, three innings pitched and he has allowed four hits and earned runs.

The Los Angeles native threw only seventeen of thirty-two pitches for strikes, including a wild pitch and a batter hit by a pitch. He was also stolen against, the third time it's happened in three outings.

RHP, Justin James

Justin James was going on the mound for the second time this Fall in Arizona and he threw two innings of two hits, one earned run and two strike outs baseball. His ERA is at 3.00 with three innings pitched so far. He registered two fly outs and two ground outs.

While his pitching line is acceptable, he was pitching high in the zone, but getting away with it.

The 6'3'', 215 pounds pitcher had a good year in Double-A and Triple-A with this combined pitching line: 3.89, 88 IP, 86 H, 38 ER, 26 BB, 58 K, 1.26 Go/Ao and a .251 avg. against.

RHP, Jamie Vermilyea

The ground ball pitcher is struggling so far with a 27.00 ERA in two innings pitched in which he allowed seven hits, six earned runs, three walks and struck out two.

Vermilyea threw eighteen of his twenty-seven pitches for strikes, with a fly out and no ground out in his outing Monday afternoon.

OF, Travis Snider

The 2006-2007 R. Howard Webster award winner (given to the top player at each level of the Jays organization) remains hot in his first trip to winter ball, ranking in the top five for OBP in the league.

Monday saw the hitter being pitched almost exclusively on the outside part of the plate, a pattern the pitchers have adopted for the past few games. He recorded one hit, one run scored and one strike out in four at-bats.

Yesterday, against Surprise, Snider played in right field, had only one hit in four plate appearances and struck out twice. He has four walks and six punch outs so far in 17 AB.

Even though he faced throws outside, he has been consistent at hitting the ball in the middle of the field, an approach that worked well in Lansing last season where he split almost evenly the batted balls between left field (122) and right field (120).

OF, Ryan Patterson

Patrolling center field once again for Scottsdale on Tuesday, Patterson hit the ball in the air four times, but never in safe territory. He's hitting .133 in the AFL with two hits, none for extra bases.

INF, Sergio Santos

Designated hitter for Tuesday's game, the 24-year-old went 0-4 with a strike out.

Santos has been handling the shortstop and third baseman duties in the AFL. Offensively, he is pulling the ball a lot, an approach he will have to change if he is to make strides in the Jays organization and remain a threat at the plate.

While he hasn't been playing regularly so far, he has only one hit and a walk, but has struck out three times.

HAWAII WINTER BASEBALL LEAGUE

The West Oahu CaneFires have now won two in a row to improve their record to 4-10.

INF, Anthony Hatch

Still trusted with the third spot of the lineup, Monday saw Hatch playing shortstop where he committed an error for the third game in a row, for total of seven in Hawaii Winter Baseball.

At the plate, he had his first hit in three games and he also struck out.

Tuesday was kinder to the 6'4'', 195 pounds infielder. He finished the night 2-4 with a home run (first in winter baseball), a single, one run scored, 2 RBI and a strike out. He was acting as the designated hitter.

Hatch is another Blue Jays player that has been successful aiming for the middle, with success, when given a chance to hit. His batting line: .370/.426/.522/.948. Five of his fourteen hits have been for extra bases, compared to forty-five out of 120 in the regular season (481 AB).

C, Brian Jeroloman

The catcher did not hit safely in three presences at the plate Tuesday, but was able to catch a runner (Emmanuel Garcia) stealing third base after that same runner stole second.

Jeroloman has only two hits in his last three games, but still presents an .811 OPS in Hawaii.

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