Canadian baseball notes: Brash, Clarke, Dempster, Jenkins, Machibroda

May 3, 2023

By Kevin Glew

Cooperstowners in Canada

Seattle Mariners right-hander Matt Brash (Kingston, Ont.) recorded his first major league save on Sunday.

Fittingly, it came against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in front of friends and family. Employing his trademark nasty slider, Bratt struck out two in the 10th inning and held the Blue Jays off the scoreboard in a Mariners’ 10-8 come-from-behind victory.

Brash earned his first save with more than two dozen family members and friends cheering him on at the game.

Kingston, Ont., native Matt Brash with his family and friends that were on hand for his first major league save against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Sunday. Photo: Matt Brash, Instagram

Brash currently leads American League pitchers with 16 appearances and has a whopping 26 strikeouts in 13 innings

Canadian ball hall set to open for season today

Speaking of Brash, a pair of his spikes from his rookie season will be on display at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as it opens for the season today. This represents the Canuck ball shrine’s 26th season in St. Marys, Ont. To read more about the Hall’s opening and its new displays, please click here.

A pair of Matt Brash’s spikes that will be on display at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Photo: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Clarke named Texas League Player of the Week

Toronto Mets and Junior National Team alum Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) has been named Texas League Player of the Week after he batted .500 and belted four home runs in four games for the Oakland A’s double-A Midland RockHounds last week. The 6-foot-5 outfielder went 8-for-16 and scored nine runs and also drove in nine. On April 25, he socked two homers and knocked in five in the RockHounds’ 15-14 win over the Corpus Christi Hooks. He continued his torrid hitting with another two-hit game for the RockHounds’ last night against the Frisco RoughRiders. He is now batting .526 for the season.

Selected by the A’s in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB draft from the Cal State Northridge Matadors, Clarke recorded a .365 on-base percentage (OBP) and hit 15 home runs and had 30 stolen bases in 93 games between class-A Stockton and Lansing last season. He also became the first player in pro baseball history to hit inside-the-park homers in back-to-back games when he did so for Lansing on August 2 and August 3. Clarke also played three games for Canada at the World Baseball Classic in March.

Machibroda signs with Trois-Rivieres Aigles

Saskatoon Diamondbacks and Team Saskatchewan alum Nolan Machibroda (Saskatoon, Sask.) has signed with Trois-Rivieres Aigles of the independent Frontier League. This comes after he was released by the Minnesota Twins in March after they had signed him to a minor league contract in December. The 23-year-old first basemen enjoyed a monster 2022 season with the NAIA’s Cumberland Phoenix, hitting .460, while clubbing 17 home runs and driving in 83, in just 47 games. The 6-foot-4 prospect also won the Western Canadian Baseball League All-Star Game Home Run Derby at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks, Alta., in July. Last summer, Machibroda starred with the WCBL’s Weyburn Beavers, hitting .287 with seven home runs and 44 RBIs in 55 games and was named team MVP for his efforts.

Happy Birthday to Ryan Dempster!

Happy 46th Birthday to longtime big league pitcher Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, B.C.)! Dempster honed his skills in the North Shore Twins program before pitching for the Junior National Team. His strong arm convinced the Texas Rangers to select him in the third round of the 1995 MLB draft, but after just over 14 months in the Rangers organization, he was dealt to the Florida Marlins in June 1996. Following parts of two seasons in the Marlins’ minor league system, he made his major league debut on May 23, 1998 and proceeded to toe the rubber for parts of five seasons with the Marlins. In 2000, he posted a 14-10 record and a 3.66 ERA in 226 1/3 innings in 33 starts and was selected to the National League All-Star team and named the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill Award winner.

He collected 15 more wins the ensuing campaign before he was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds on July 11, 2002. He’d spend parts of two seasons with the Reds before he was signed by the Cubs in January 2004. In his first four seasons at Wrigley, Dempster was employed as a reliever and from 2005 to 2007 he registered 33, 24 and 28 saves respectively. The Cubs converted him into a starter in 2008 and he rewarded them by delivering his best major league season, going 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA in 206 2/3 innings in 33 starts. For his efforts, he was named to his second National League All-Star team. He followed that up with three more campaigns in which he logged at least 200 innings for the Cubs before he was dealt back to the Rangers at the 2012 trade deadline.

He capped off his major league career by winning a World Series ring with the Boston Red Sox in 2013. Dempster finished his 16-year major league career near the top of most all-time Canadian pitching categories, including second in wins (132) and strikeouts (2,075). He was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.

Fergie Jenkins presents Ryan Dempster with his honorary Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame jacket at Dempster’s induction into the St. Marys, Ont.-based shrine in 2019. Photo: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

43 years ago Fergie Jenkins made history

It was 43 years ago today that Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.) won his 100th game as an American League pitcher when he hurled a complete game for the Texas Rangers in their 3-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Arlington Stadium. With that, Jenkins became just the fourth major league pitcher to earn 100 wins in both the American and National Leagues, joining Gaylord Perry, Jim Bunning and Cy Young. Other pitchers that have since joined that exclusive group include Dennis Martinez, Nolan Ryan, Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.

6 thoughts on “Canadian baseball notes: Brash, Clarke, Dempster, Jenkins, Machibroda

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  1. great rundown Kevin. so great to see Brash’s family there supporting him. Denzel seems like a real up and comer so that’s great.

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