October 2, 2022
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
My weekly Canadian baseball news and notes:
– The Cleveland Guardians added catcher Bo Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) to their roster on Saturday and he made his major league debut when he replaced catcher Luke Maile in the sixth inning in the Guardians’ 7-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field. Naylor had been on the Guardians’ taxi squad (as the club’s 26th man) since Thursday. Naylor joined brother Josh on the Guardians’ roster, and it marked the first time since 1891 that two Canadian brothers have played on the same team at the same time, according to Scott Crawford at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1891, John and Arthur Irwin played on the American Association’s Cincinnati Reds together. Like Josh, Bo is an Ontario Blue Jays and Junior National Team alum and a former first-round pick. He was recently named the Guardians’ Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America. In 118 games between double-A and triple-A this season, the 22-year-old catcher batted .263 with a .392 on-base percentage. He belted 21 home runs and stole 20 bases.
-Also according to Scott Crawford at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Montreal, Que.) has quietly broken New Westminster, B.C., native Justin Morneau‘s record for most at bats in a season by a player born in Canada. Morneau had 623 at bats for the Minnesota Twins in 2008. With his fifth at bat in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 9-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre on Friday, Guerrero Jr. broke Morneau’s single-season mark.
-Speaking of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, they recently received the hat (photo above) that Miami Marlins infielder Charles Leblanc (Laval, Que.) wore in his first major league game on July 30. They also received the Marlins’ official scorecard (signed by manager Don Mattingly) from that contest. Leblanc doubled in the eighth inning off New York Mets starter Carlos Carrasco in that game for his first big league hit. Leblanc has now played 45 games for the Marlins and is hitting .270 with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
-Cleveland Guardians right-hander Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) picked up his 14th win of the season on September 24. That total not only gives him the most wins on the Guardians this season, but it’s also the most in a big league season by a Canadian since Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, B.C.) collected 15 wins for the Chicago Cubs in 2010. The Ontario Terriers and Junior National Team alum has been one of the best pitchers in the majors since the All-Star break, going 8-0 with a 3.01 ERA in 14 starts. The Guardians clinched the American League Central division title last Sunday and Quantrill should be one of the club’s starting pitchers in their first postseason series.
-Blue Jays infielder Otto Lopez, who spent part of his youth in Montreal and has played for the Canadian national team, got his first major league hit on Saturday on his 24th birthday. It was a single up the middle in bottom of the seventh inning off Red Sox right-hander Josh Winckowski. I love this footage of his family celebrating the hit.
-Somehow I missed reporting that left-hander Rob Zastryzny (Edmonton, Alta.) had been called up by Los Angeles Angels on September 20. After making one relief appearance for the New York Mets on August 20, the Canuck lefty was designated for assignment and claimed by the Angels. He proceeded to post a 2.25 ERA in eight relief appearances for the Angels’ triple-A Salt Lake Bees to earn his promotion. He has since made two relief appearances for the Angels. This is Zastryzny’s fourth major league season. He spent parts of three previous campaigns with the Cubs from 2016 to 2018, recording a 4.41 ERA in 18 relief outings.
-It was 50 years ago today that Bill Stoneman tossed his second no-hitter with the Montreal Expos when he led the Expos to a 7-0 win over the New York Mets in the first game of a doubleheader at Jarry Park. This marked the first time that a major league no-hitter had been thrown on Canadian soil. Stoneman walked seven and struck out nine in the contest. Previously, he had thrown a no-hitter in just the ninth game in Expos’ history when he scattered five walks and struck out eight batters in his club’s 7-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium on April 17, 1969.
-On this date 31 years ago, the Blue Jays clinched their third American League East title when Joe Carter blooped a single through a drawn-in California Angels infield in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Roberto Alomar to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 win. Mike Timlin got the win for the Blue Jays. You can watch Carter’s division-clinching hit in the video below.
-It was 18 years ago today that the Montreal Expos beat the New York Mets 6-3 at Shea Stadium for their final win. It was the second last game of the season. Brad Wilkerson hit the final home run in Expos’ history when he clubbed a three-run shot off right-hander Braden Looper in the ninth. Expos reliever Chad Cordero got the win and Gary Majewski was awarded the save.
-Forty-eight years ago today, Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.) set a career-high when he notched his 25th win of the season for the Texas Rangers. He started and allowed just one run in seven innings and went 1-for-2 with a run at the plate in the Rangers’ 2-1 win over the Twins. With that, Jenkins finished the season with a 25-12 record and a 2.82 ERA, while tossing an American League-leading 29 complete games. He also pitched a career-high 328 1/3 innings. For his efforts, he finished second to Oakland A’s right-hander Catfish Hunter in the American League Cy Young Award voting.
-This week’s trivia question: Who was the first Canadian to hit a home run in their first World Series at bat? Please provide your answer in the Comments section below.
– The answer to last week’s trivia question (Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.) threw 267 complete games during his major league career. That is by far the most by a Canadian. But three other Canadian pitchers threw over 80 complete games in their major league careers. Name one of them.) was any one of Russ Ford (Brandon, Man.), Bob Emslie (St. Thomas, Ont.) or Phil Marchildon (Penetanguishene, Ont.).