Week 2, 2014: Marcus Walden Pond


Here’s your link to listen this week, coming up from 5:00 – 5:45 p.m. (and then available to listen to in its entirety afterward).

The 2014 season is in full swing, with starting rotations now beginning to cycle through for a second and third time.  Both the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons and A-Adv. Dunedin Blue Jays are off to hot starts, buoyed by strong pitching; Jon Berti and Brad Glenn are tearing it up for Double-A New Hampshire; and Dickie Joe Thon is delivering nightly dramatics for the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts.

Join the radio broadcasters of the Toronto Blue Jays system, discussing all of the weekly highlights and hijinks!


Ben Wagner, Triple-A Buffalo Bisons
Tom Gauthier, Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Tyler Murray and Al Hernandez, A-Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Trey Wilson, Lansing Lugnuts

Before the show can get underway, drop by Bluebird Banter’s Week 2 question thread.

Volume 1: Let’s get this show started!

Check out the first Around the Nest of 2014, featuring:

*  Dunedin Blue Jays voice Tyler Murray, previewing the D-Jays, offering observations on Matt Boyd and Dwight Smith, Jr., and feeling optimistic about K.C. Hobson and the Dunedin bullpen.

* Lansing Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, previewing Lansing’s talent-rich lineup and starting rotation and offering top prospects and a sleeper from the 2013 Lugs.

* An interview with Lansing first baseman Matt Dean, who won the 2013 Appalachian League batting title.

* Buffalo Bisons broadcaster Ben Wagner, on Marcus Stroman, the new coaching staff, and the feel and flavor of the International League.

Here’s our beautiful page in Podomatic.

We’re very proud to announce, too, that we’re partnering with SB Nation’s Bluebird Banter this season.  Check out their Question Thread for us, and add in your own questions, too!

Meet the 2014 Dunedin Blue Jays

From the press release:

The Dunedin Blue Jays have announced their tentative 2014 Opening Day roster…

Dunedin will begin the season with 30 players on the roster, 22 of which played at least one game in Dunedin last season. There are currently 14 pitchers and 16 position players on the team, and among them are nine who were drafted in the first 10 rounds of the MLB Entry Draft.

Leading the rotation will be lefties Daniel Norris (Science Hill HS, TN) and Matt Boyd (Oregon St.)…

Matt Boyd put forth a pretty darn good effort on Opening Day yesterday, too.

Your 2014 Fisher Cats roster

From the press release:

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, in conjunction with the Toronto Blue Jays, have released the projected opening day roster for the 2014 Fisher Cats. The new group of players is headlined by the Blue Jays’ top overall prospect, RHP Aaron Sanchez, and New Hampshire native and 2013 Fisher Cats All-Star Kevin Nolan. That duo is part of a team that features a host of Double-A veterans as well as some key newcomers, all with the hopes of bringing the Fisher Cats another Eastern League Championship.

“Top prospect Aaron Sanchez, Opening Day Starter” is a pretty good way to open things.

Bisons announce Opening Day Roster

From the release:

The Buffalo Bisons, Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, today announced their 2014 Opening Day Roster. Led by new manager Gary Allenson, the Herd will begin the 2014 season on Opening Day, Thursday, April 3 at Coca-Cola Field against the Rochester Red Wings (2:05 p.m.).

The 25-man squad will feature 17 players who have already played at the Major League level, including 16 that reached ‘The Bigs’ a season ago. The club will also feature four of the top young players in the Blue Jays minor league system.

The Bisons pitching staff fits that ideal formula of having exciting top prospects and established veterans. The rotation will include RHP MARCUS STROMAN and LHP SEAN NOLIN, who are rated the #2 and #10 top prospects in the Blue Jays system respectively, according to Baseball America.

SP:  Marcus Stroman
Sean Nolin


Catcher:  Mike Nickeas, Jack “Uncle Murph” Murphy


Outfield:  Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar, Brett Carroll, Matt Tuiasosopo, Ricardo Nanita

Introducing… the 2014 Lansing Lugnuts

From the press release:

“In conjunction with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Lansing Lugnuts announced a loaded 2014 Opening Day roster headlined by center fielder D.J. Davis, third baseman Mitch Nay and frontline pitching talent.

Third-year manager John Tamargo, Jr. will direct a Lugnuts squad that features eight returning players alongside 10 of Baseball America’s Top 30 Blue Jays prospects – including six of the Jays’ 12 best minor-league talents. The top of that list belongs to the fleet Davis, drafted 17th overall in 2012 and rated #3 in the system, and the powerful Nay, a 2012 first-round supplemental pick rated #4…

Here’s the roster in PDF form for your consideration.  To make it all clearer, though:

(Don’t read anything into the order of the starting rotation.  There’s no #1, #2, etc.)

SP:  Jairo Labourt/Alberto Tirado
SP:  Chase De Jong/Adonys Cardona
SP:  Jeremy Gabryszwski
SP:  Kendall Graveman
SP:  Tom Robson

Closer – RHP Jimmy Cordero
Lefties – Alonzo Gonzalez, Griffin Murphy, Scott Silverstein
Righties – Brady Dragmire, Roberto Espinosa

C:  Santiago Nessy, Jorge Saez
1B:  Matt Dean
SS:  Dawel Lugo
2B:  Dickie Thon (don’t be surprised to see Thon at SS and Lugo at 2B)
3B:  Mitch Nay
UT:  Justin Atkinson, Jason Leblebijian

OF:  D.J. Davis, Derrick Loveless, Ian Parmley, Carlos Ramirez
(I suspect we’ll see Davis in CF and Ramirez in RF)

We’ll have much more info as the week moves onward.

Fresh for ’14

Welcome to the new Around the Nest website, migrating over from Blogger!

We’ll get back to Jay-walking our way along every active level of the Blue Jays’ farm system starting Friday, April 4th, hosted by Lansing’s Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, with guest stars:

Week 22, 2013: Wrapping 2013 and Forecasting 2014

The 2013 season is a wrap for the majority of the Toronto Blue Jays’ Minor League affiliates — the Vancouver Canadians are clearly magical — and it’s time to take a look back upon the season.  Join the radio broadcasters of the Jays’ system one last time as we go Around the Nest, talking about the biggest surprises of the year, each team’s MVP, and the players we’ll be watching come 2014!
Starting Lineup
  • Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Lansing Lugnuts (A)
  • Ben Wagner, Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
  • Tom Gauthier, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
  • Tyler Murray, Dunedin Blue Jays (A-Adv.)
  • Slavko Bekovic, Lansing Lugnuts (A)
  • Trey Wilson, Bluefield Blue Jays (Rookie)
Listen to the show:  Week 22, 2013

Week 21, 2013: The Roar of the Crowd

We’ve reached the end of August, with regular seasons throughout the Blue Jays’ Minor League system rapidly coming to an end.  Join us as we journey from Buffalo to New Hampshire, Bluefield to Vancouver, Dunedin to Lansing, talking about the player development contract extension in Buffalo and players like Blake Gailen, Deck McGuire, Franklin Barreto, Dawel Lugo, Aaron Sanchez, and Daniel Norris.  Question of the Week:  Favorite crowd/fan-related moments of the year.  (Prepare yourself for the Bluefield answer!)

Starting Lineup
  • Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Lansing Lugnuts (A)
  • Highlight: Dalton Pompey’s grand slam
  • Ben Wagner, Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
  • Tom Gauthier, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
  • Trey Wilson, Bluefield Blue Jays (Rookie)
  • C.J. Pentland, Vancouver Canadians (SS-A)
  • Tyler Murray, Dunedin Blue Jays (A-Adv.)
  • Slavko Bekovic, Lansing Lugnuts (A)
Listen to the show:  Week 21, 2013

Week 20, 2013: Better than a Florida State League rainout


We’re nearing the end of August in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization:  Buffalo is battling for the playoffs despite a slew of recent call-ups, New Hampshire’s Ryan Schimpf takes the Eastern League lead in home runs, Lansing sees a renaissance from Daniel Norris, Vancouver nears its final homestand, and a Bluefield trio receives rightful All-Star nods. And Dunedin?  They’ll be playing baseball, oh, any day now… if the rain ever lets up.  Plus an interview with Blue Jays 2013 6th round draft pick Matt Boyd!  Join the voices of the Blue Jays’ system as we Jay-talk about the prospects and the moments of the Minor League summer.

Starting Lineup
  • Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Lansing Lugnuts (A)
  • Interview:  Lugnuts pitcher Matt Boyd
  • Trey Wilson, Bluefield Blue Jays (Rookie)
  • Ben Wagner, Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
  • Bob Lipman, New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
  • Tyler Murray, Dunedin Blue Jays (A-Adv.)
  • Slavko Bekovic, Lansing Lugnuts (A)
Listen:  Week 20, 2013

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