Hey, did you guys hear that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was in JFK Airport once? Oh yeah, he played some baseball games this week too.
It’s April 17, 2018. Here’s the state of things on the path 400 miles to Toronto and beyond.
Thursday, May 10 @Harrisburg – Harrisburg 9, New Hampshire 8 (10 inn.)
Friday, May 11 @ Harrisburg – New Hampshire 5, Harrisburg 0
Saturday, May 12 @ Harrisburg (ppd. to Sunday)
Sunday, May 13 @Harrisburg – Game 1: New Hampshire 6, Harrisburg 1 Game 2: Harrisburg 2, New Hampshire 1
Monday, May 14 @Hartford – New Hampshire 10, Hartford 5
Tuesday, May 15 @Hartford – New Hampshire 7, Hartford 6 (11 inn.)
Wednesday, May 16 @Hartford – New Hampshire 7, Hartford 1
In a normal week, a baseball team winning five of seven games or one of its players hitting home runs pretty much every single day would be the focus of things, but not this week.
No, this week the talk was about Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s alleged and imaginary promotion from New Hampshire to Toronto. Guerrero, who keep in mind is still just 19 years old, posted an Instagram photo over the weekend of himself at an airport, with the location identified as JFK Airport in New York City.
Needless to say, as of today Vlad is still with the Fisher Cats and Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins won’t give a clear timeline on his almost certain promotion to the majors.
Fisher Cats manager John Schneider has no comment on that timeline, if it even exists. However, he heaped praise on Guerrero this week, noting that if he did leave it would make a mark on the team, even if the sheer volume of offensive threats on the team wouldn’t make his departure catastrophic for New Hampshire’s 2018 pennant hopes.
“He’s here, he’s continuing to work. He’s done such a great job with (the attention). For a 19-year-old kid, he’s handled it like a pro. But it was totally harmless and kind of funny at the end of the day,” said Schneider. “His departure would obviously be a change, losing the best hitter in the league from your lineup. But there’s guys every night that are contributing, we can beat you in a lot of ways.”
Perhaps the most notable offensive threat outside of Guerrero is Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.
Cavan hit a home run in five of the seven games during this latest road trip, currently holding the Eastern League lead in home runs with 12.
Once again, the big question remains with the club’s pitching. Sean Reid-Foley and Jordan Romano have been automatic in the starting rotation and the bullpen is coming through more often that not, but there is still work that has to be done otherwise.
Schneider has Reid-Foley, Romano and Jon Harris locked into the rotation, with Schneider high on Harris’ determination in the face of some difficult situations this year. Those other two spots are up for grabs though, and Schneider says that T.J. Zeuch, Nick Tepesch, Francisco Rios and potentially other starting pitchers in the Blue Jays organization will get as many opportunities as possible to prove their worth, either as starters or perhaps in relief roles as applicable.
Fisher Cats of the Week
Offense: Cavan Biggio – See above, that part about the homers. Still, Guerrero was close, particularly with his 4-of-5 performance on Wednesday.
Starting Pitching: Jordan Romano – Still no official word on why Romano was pulled after the sixth inning despite not having allowed a hit. He also pitched 5 1/3rd scoreless innings on Friday as well.
Relief Pitching: Kirby Snead – He retired nine of the 12 batters he faced, and has yet to allow an earned run in his five Fisher Cat appearances.
Around the Horn
The biggest transaction news (other than Vlad’s imaginary promotion), was Rios’ transition to extended spring training. Dalton Rodriguez takes his place for now on the pitching staff, following four appearances so far this year in Single-A Lansing.
The Fisher Cats return to Manchester tonight for a five-game set against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, followed by a three-game road series against Reading from May 22-24.