My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories:
· Wednesday might have been the greatest day ever for Canadian pitchers in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system. Shane Dawson (Drayton Valley, Alta.) and Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) started and picked up the wins for double-A New Hampshire and class-A Advanced Dunedin respectively, meanwhile Andrew Case (Saint John, N.B.) was promoted to triple-A Buffalo and Tom Robson (Ladner, B.C.) was elevated to double-A New Hampshire.
· After a rough June that saw him post a 7.20 ERA in five starts, Ladner, B.C., native James Paxton has put himself in the running for American League Pitcher of the Month honors for July. On Wednesday, he allowed just one run in seven innings to propel the Seattle Mariners to a 4-1 win over the American League-leading Houston Astros. In four starts this month, the Canadian lefty is 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA and has allowed just 15 hits in 26-1/3 innings. For the season, he now owns a 9-3 record with a 3.05 ERA and has 107 strikeouts in 94-1/3 innings in 16 starts.
· Want to feel old? Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer and Toronto Blue Jays pitching great Dave Stieb turned 60 yesterday. When Blue Jays fans debate who the best pitcher in franchise history is, it always comes down to two names: Stieb and 2017 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Roy Halladay. I give a slight edge to Stieb.
· The Detroit Tigers recalled Burnaby, B.C., native Jim Adduci from triple-A on Tuesday after they dealt slugger J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three infield prospects. Earlier this season, Adduci had been enjoying his finest stretch as a big leaguer, batting .318 with a .388 on-base percentage (OBP) and a .500 slugging percentage in 13 games with the Tigers before he strained his right oblique during batting practice prior to a game on May 10. After being sidelined for a month-and-a-half, he began a rehab assignment with the Toledo Mud Hens on June 27 and after that was complete, he was assigned to triple-A. Since his call-up on Tuesday Adduci has gone 0-for-3 with a walk.
· If you’re a Canadian baseball history buff (like me), mark November 18th and 19th on your calendar. Crackerjack Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame volunteer and longtime SABR member Andrew North has announced that the second annual Canadian Baseball History Symposium will take place at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club in St. Marys, Ont., on those dates. This year’s event, which will again be organized by North, will include presentations about 19th-century player Bob Addy and manager William Watkins, baseball and Canadian soldiers in World War I and the Chatham Coloured All-Stars. There will also be a pictorial history quiz based on images and a panel discussion of what defines being Canadian, and the consequences of that definition for baseball research. The registration fee is $60. To register, please email Andrew North at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· The Toronto Blue Jays have placed Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) on the 60-day disabled list due to a nagging knee injury. Pompey has not played since appearing in a game for the triple-A Buffalo Bisons on July 8. As part of his latest rehab assignment, after three games with the class-A Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays, Pompey was promoted to the Bisons on July 4. The speedy outfielder had gone 1-for-15 in four games with the Bisons. The knee injury comes after Pompey was sidelined for nearly two months with a concussion after taking a knee to his head when sliding into second base in Canada’s second game in the World Baseball Classic.
· Please take a moment to remember Hall of Fame right-hander Don Drysdale who would’ve turned 81 today. Prior to becoming a superstar with the Dodgers, the hard-throwing right-hander was 11-11 with a 3.33 ERA in 28 games for the triple-A Montreal Royals in 1955. Sadly, Drysdale also died of a heart attack while in Montreal as part of the Dodgers broadcast team on July 3, 1993.
· Now in his 12th major league season, it looks as though former Blue Jay Adam Lind might finally get to play in the postseason. Now with the National League East-leading Washington Nationals, Lind boasts an impressive .323/.380/.564 slash line and has eight home runs and 32 RBI in just 133 at bats. He has also played five games in left field, his first action in the outfield since 2010.
· This week’s trivia question: Left-hander James Paxton has nine wins for the Seattle Mariners this season. What two pitchers are tied for the record for most wins in a major league season by a Canadian left-hander? The first person to provide the correct answer will win a 2011 Topps Marquee Frank Robinson card (serial numbered #157/199).
· The answer to last week’s trivia question (Joey Votto is on pace to challenge Larry Walker’s record for most home runs in a season by a Canadian (49). Aside from Votto and Walker, there have been two other Canadians that have clubbed 35 or more home runs in a major league season. Can you name them?) was Matt Stairs and Jason Bay.