Thoughts on August 2nd: Starlyn Suriel and Dawel Lugo

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Pitcher Starlyn Suriel, photograph by Kyle Castle

Starlyn Suriel has not had a consistent season. In three of his starts, he has not made it through the fifth inning. In three other starts, he’s pitched seven innings. In the first game of this road trip, last Tuesday at Lake County, he walked six Captains. In the final game of the road trip, today, he gave up a run following back-to-back walks to open the game, and then didn’t give up any more walks or runs the rest of the day.

Perhaps you’d like to credit the Bowling Green Hot Rods for Starlyn’s success. He’s had a peculiar hold over their terrific lineup recently: six scoreless innings on June 16th; seven innings, two runs (one earned), on July 22nd; seven innings, one run, today, August 2nd.

Instead, I’d like to credit something more specific than the charm of a particular opposing uniform. On July 22nd, Starlyn Suriel had his swing-and-miss stuff working, whiffing six Hot Rods. He didn’t do that today; he struck out only one batter. He also coaxed 12 ground outs, highly unlike his usual self, entering the game generating far more fly balls than ground balls. If Suriel keeps getting grounders, he’ll keep meeting success — especially if he rediscovers that swing-and-miss stuff, too.


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Shortstop Dawel Lugo, courtesy of Kyle Castle

Dawel Lugo started this season in Dunedin. He batted .219 in 67 games while Richard Ureña was simultaneously scaring Midwest League pitchers with 12 home runs. Up went Ureña, down came Lugo. Everyone adjusted their prospect rankings accordingly.

Dawel got off to a fine start with Lansing: three hits in his first game, two hits in his second. But then he started slipping back down again, going hitless in three of his next four games. A 14-game hitting streak followed, but it was not the most inspiring stretch — exactly one hit in eight straight games during the streak, and only two extra-base hits.

Things have now changed, thanks to an adjustment in approach (changing Lugo’s stride and how he uses his lower body). The results:

  • 7/28 at Lake County: 5 at-bats, 2 singles, .292 batting average
  • 7/29 at Lake County: 5 at-bats, 1 double, .287 average
  • 7/30 at Lake County: 3 at-bats, 1 single, 1 home run, .299 average
  • 7/31 at Bowling Green: 4 at-bats, 3 singles, .317 average
  • 8/1 at Bowling Green: 4 at-bats, 1 single, 1 double, .324 average
  • 8/2 at Bowling Green: 4 at-bats, 1 single, 1 double, .330 average

All told, Lugo went 12-for-25 with four extra-base hits and seven runs batted in during the trip, lifting his batting average 44 points and his slugging percentage 120 points.

Adjust accordingly.


Fun to know: Lugnuts reliever Dusty Isaacs is an Uber driver around the Lansing/East Lansing/Okemos area.

Around the Nest, Week 13, 2015

Major League Baseball wasn’t the only circuit to put on an All-Star Game this week; both the Double-A and Triple-A levels showcased their standouts, with a sudden-death home run derby ending the Eastern League midsummer classic. New Hampshire Fisher Cats voice Bob Lipman was on the scene in Portland; a day later, Buffalo voice Ben Wagner took over the airwaves in Toronto with the call of an Aaron Sanchez rehab start at Coca-Cola Field. In Dunedin, Marshall Kelner reports on the streaking Anthony Alford and the D-Jays, while in Lansing, David Fine relates the latest exploits of the near-record-setting Ryan McBroom, and Vancouver goes a week without a nooner, allowing Rob Fai to drop by. Join #AroundtheNest for the latest insights and outlooks from the Jays’ organization!

Around the Nest, Week 12, 2015

The Double-A, Triple-A, and Major League All-Star Games are just around the corner, the Vancouver Canadians’ season is already a quarter complete, and a trio of talented pitchers — Ryan Borucki, Tom Robson, and Aaron Sanchez — rehab their way back to the spotlight in the Gulf Coast League. Meanwhile, Taylor Cole fires eight innings in one night, Dunedin plays 30 innings in two days, Lansing plays 15 innings in one absurd evening, and, opposition be darned, Anthony Alford just keeps on scoring a run (or more) in every game. Join the radio voices of the Toronto Blue Jays’ system for the latest insights and outlooks. #AroundtheNest

Around the Nest, Week 11, 2015

Around the Nest, Week 11, 2015: Legacy of the Magic Man

Tim Locastro and Chase De Jong are Dodgers now, traded to aid the signing of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. Could there be more trades to come? Perhaps, but for the moment, the voices of the Blue Jays’ Minor League system are focused elsewhere: “Captain Canada” Shane Dawson leads the Minor Leagues with 11 victories, soaring into the Pan-Am Games; the Bluefield Blue Jays are in full swing — and you never know what might happen in the Appy League, where a perfect game disappears in a seven-run 9th; and Dalton Pompey and Roemon Fields were made for one another, comprising the most dangerous offensive duo this side of Anthony Alford and Rowdy Tellez. All this, plus much more on #AroundtheNest!

Around the Nest, Week 10, 2015

Short-season MiLB is away, with the GCL Blue Jays, Bluefield Blue Jays and Vancouver Canadians all getting into the swing of things. In Vancouver, first-rounder Jon Harris makes his professional debut. In Lansing, the Eastern Division champion Lugnuts welcome back Home Run Derby champion Ryan McBroom, now leading the Midwest League in batting average. In Dunedin, the D-Jays greet top prospects Anthony Alford, Rowdy Tellez and Chase De Jong while celebrating Jairo Labourt’s Futures Game selection. In New Hampshire, Dalton Pompey continues to hit while Blake McFarland enjoys his best relief outing yet. And in Buffalo, Devon Travis continues to progress in his road back to the Major Leagues. Join the voices of the Blue Jays’ Minor League system for the latests insight and outlook from all along the ladder! #AroundtheNest

Around the Nest, Week 9, 2015

Dalton Pompey hits safely in his first 11 games in Double-A New Hampshire; Devon Travis arrives in Triple-A Buffalo; and Chase De Jong pitches a gem of a CG, punching Single-A Lansing’s ticket to the postseason! Join the radio voices along the Toronto Blue Jays’ MiLB ladder — Ben Wagner, Tom Gauthier, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and David Fine — for the latest ins, outs and anecdotes from the organization, talking rain delays, doubleheaders, and the very best ways Mother Nature has stepped in to help out the cause. #AroundtheNest

Around the Nest, Week 8, 2015

What’s happening around the Blue Jays’ system? D.J. Davis drives in eight runs in a game, Murphy Smith wins FSL Pitcher of the Week, Dalton Pompey returns to New Hampshire, and Phil Coke ascends from Buffalo. The radio voices of the Jays’ MiLB affiliates from Single-A to Triple-A will talk all of this and more — 139-degree heat index in Louisville, Richard Ureña’s home run pop, J.D. Davis’s impact, draft day stories, and remembering the Mayor of Coca-Cola Field — on the latest Around the Nest!

Around the Nest, Week 7, 2015

Partake in a week of insights and outlooks directly from the Blue Jays’ system, proceeding from Matt Hague and the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons to Matt Boyd and the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, from Luis Santos and the A-Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays to Sean Reid-Foley and the Lansing Lugnuts. At each stop, the radio voices of the Blue Jays’ Minor League affiliates present their latest observations and anecdotes — with a special triple play tinge to the show. #AroundtheNest

Around the Nest, Week 6, 2015

After a hiatus while Jesse struggled with the dread flu, Around the Nest returns to talk about Andy Burns and the social-media conscious Buffalo Bisons; K.C. Hobson and the comeback (New Hampshire Fisher) Cats; Jairo Labourt and the walkoff-enjoying Dunedin Blue Jays; and Shane Dawson and the first-place Lugnuts. Bo Schultz is heading up to the Bigs, 1st-rounder Jeff Hoffman has his first two professional starts under his belt, and Ian Parmley is lighting up the Eastern League! Join the broadcasters of the Blue Jays Minor League system for the latest insights and outlooks. #AroundtheNest

Around the Nest, Week 5, 2015


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