The gruesome eight game road trip to start the season has finally come to an end for the Vancouver Canadians, as they came up short in two out of three meetings this past week in Tri-City, despite coming out on top in the first match of the series, 4-2.
Lefty-reliever Travis Bergen was dubbed the winning pitcher, striking out eight batters in three innings. Additionally, third baseman Alexis Maldonado had four hits and three stolen bases in the opening tilt, culminating into an early call-up to the Lansing Lugnuts, a higher ranked affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Unfortunately, it all went south afterwards as the C’s were simply outmatched in consecutive 6-3 and 9-3 losses at Gesa Stadium in the Pasco, Washington region. Although the team continues to play its tail off (the effort has never been put into question), help is needed – and the cavalry is on its way.
Tonight at the Canadians home opener versus defending Northwest League Champion Hillsboro Hops, the Blue Jays first rounder from this past MLB Amateur Draft, Jon Harris, will take the mound. Just recently, the Jays signed Harris to a deal that will pay him $1,944,800. A 29th overall selection out of Missouri State, the young right-hander has a fastball that quickly dipped to the mid-80s when he was in high school, and now sits at 91-93 mph. The 21 year old is not known to overpower or overwhelm his opposition, but to pick his spots at opportune times instead.
Considered a “steal” at the draft by numerous MLB analysts nationwide, Harris was 8-2 with a 2.45 ERA in his final year of college ball. His 116 strikeouts were ranked 12th in the NCAA.
Among Harris, four other position players have been added to John Schneider’s ball club. See them in person this summer at Nat Bailey Stadium. Friday’s home opener is at 7:05 p.m, and be sure to arrive early for the pre-game ceremony. Don’t forget that there are post-game fireworks, which will take place frequently during C’s home games. For tickets and more information, visit canadiansbaseball.com.