John Cerutti would’ve turned 64 today.

April 28, 2024

By Kevin Glew

Cooperstowners in Canada

Some Canadian baseball news and notes from the past week:

–Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.) was activated from the 7-day injured list by the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. He had been sidelined by a concussion since April 15. Yesterday, he belted his ninth home run of the season and he is now tied with Baltimore Orioles slugger Gunnar Henderson for second place in the American League (Mike Trout leads with 10 home runs). O’Neill’s nine homers represent a personal-best for him in the first month of the regular season. In 2021, he hit five in the first month for the St. Louis Cardinals.

-Minnesota Twins infielder Edouard Julien (Quebec, Que.) clubbed 16 home runs in his rookie season in 2023, but he never hit two in the same game. This season, he has already had two multi-homer games, including his latest on Thursday when he hit two solo home runs in the Twins’ 6-3 win over the Chicago White Sox. On April 10, he also went deep twice against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Target Field. Julien has seven home runs this season, which leaves him in a tie for the fourth-most in the American League.

-Left-hander James Paxton (Ladner, B.C.) would’ve started against the Blue Jays today at Rogers Centre if the Dodgers had followed their regular rotation. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has opted to make today a bullpen day and give Paxton an extra day of rest, per Bill Plunkett, of the Orange County Register. The veteran southpaw will start on Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Paxton is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA in four starts with the Dodgers this season, but he has walked 17 batters in 20 2/3 innings. From the Blue Jays perspective, Paxton not pitching is probably welcome news. The Junior National Team alum is 5-1 with a 3.21 ERA in seven starts at Rogers Centre. That includes the no-hitter he threw against the Blue Jays on May 8, 2018.

–According to Ryan Divish, of The Seattle Times, right-hander Matt Brash (Kingston, Ont.) has been “shut down indefinitely” by the Seattle Mariners. Brash suffered a setback with his right elbow while playing catch on Friday. Mariners GM Justin Hollander told reporters on Saturday that Brash is headed to Dallas to be examined by Dr. Keith Meister, who is an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in elbow reconstruction surgery. Brash had been diagnosed with medial elbow inflammation in early March and had been attempting to work his way back without surgery. Last season, in his second big league campaign, Brash developed into a go-to late-inning reliever for the Mariners. He led major league pitchers with 78 appearances and had a 9-4 record and a 3.06 ERA. Thanks largely to his devastating slider, he fanned 107 batters in 70 2/3 innings, good for a 13.6 strikeout-per-nine-inning rate.

-Right-hander Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) made his 100th major league start last night. According to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, he became the 14th Canadian pitcher to reach that milestone. Unfortunately, Quantrill was saddled with the loss when he permitted six runs in five innings to the Houston Astros. Prior to this start, however, Quantrill had put together three consecutive quality starts for the Rockies. Last Sunday, he tossed six scoreless innings against the Mariners at Coors Field while suffering from the flu. For the season, Quantrill owns a 5.34 ERA in six starts, but he is still looking for his first regular season win as a Rockie. The Ontario Terriers and Junior National Team alum was traded to the Rockies by the Guardians on November 17 after a 2023 campaign in which he was limited to 19 starts by shoulder woes.

-Boston Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta (Victoria, B.C.), who has been on the 15-day injured list with a right elbow flexor strain since April 10, threw live batting practice on Saturday. Chris Cotillo, of MassLive.com, reports that if Pivetta feels OK after this session, the Canuck righty will likely make a rehab start in triple-A this week. Pivetta had registered a 0.82 ERA and struck out 13 batters in 11 innings in two starts this season prior to be sidelined. The Junior National Team alum is in his eighth big league campaign and his fourth with the Sox.

-Chicago White Sox right-hander Michael Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) allowed two runs in five innings in his start against the Twins on Thursday. That was a significant improvement from his previous three starts in which he had given up four earned runs or more in less than five innings. The 26-year-old right-hander now sports a 6.83 ERA in six starts, spanning 29 innings, this season. Soroka was traded to the Sox by the Atlanta Braves on November 16 after posting a 6.40 ERA in seven big league games last season. Those were his first major league appearances since he tore his right Achilles tendon for the first time on August 3, 2020.

-Please take a moment to remember former Blue Jays pitcher and broadcaster John Cerutti who would’ve turned 64 today. He passed away from a heart condition in his hotel room at Rogers Centre on the last day of the Blue Jays’ 2004 regular season. The crafty southpaw recorded 46 wins and posted a 3.87 ERA in 191 games in parts of six seasons with the Blue Jays from 1985 to 1990. His best season was in 1989 when he went 11-11 with a 3.07 ERA in 205 1/3 innings in 33 appearances (31 starts). On June 7 that year, he became the first Blue Jays pitcher to register a win at SkyDome. He finished his playing career with one season with the Detroit Tigers in 1991 and later became a respected analyst on Blue Jays’ TV broadcasts. The Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America renamed their Good Guy Award after him following the 2004 season. This honour is handed out annually to a person associated with the Blue Jays who “best exemplifies a positive image for baseball.”

-Twenty-five years ago today, Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, B.C.) belted three home runs and had eight RBIs for the Rockies to lead them to a 9-7 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. This was the second of three, three-home run games Walker would have during his major league career. It’s interesting to note that each of Walker’s three-home run games occurred when he was with the Rockies and none of them took place at Coors Field.

-Happy 43rd Birthday to Baseball Canada alum and former big league pitcher Shawn Hill (Georgetown, Ont.)! Hill pitched parts of seven seasons in the big leagues with the Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres and Blue Jays. He’s the only Canadian pitcher to have won a game for both the Expos and the Blue Jays. He has also pitched for the national team on several occasions, including on the gold medal-winning 2011 and 2015 Pan Am Games squads.

-Happy 49th Birthday to Baseball Canada alum and former Blue Jays pitching prospect Joe Young (Fort McMurray, Alta.)! Young was a hard-throwing right-hander on the Canadian National Youth Team that won gold at the World Youth Baseball Championships in Brandon Man., in 1991. That team was later inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1993, the 6-foot-4 right-hander was selected in the third round of the MLB draft by the Blue Jays. He would pitch six seasons in the Blue Jays’ organization, making it as high as double-A and striking out 571 batters in 566 1/3 innings. These days he operates Joe Young Baseball Development in St. Albert, Alta.

-This week’s trivia question: Who has registered the highest on-base percentage in a season for the Toronto Blue Jays? Please provide your answer in the “Comments” section below.

-The answer to last week’s trivia question (Who had the highest on-base percentage in a season for the Montreal Expos?) was Tim Raines, who had a .429 on-base percentage in 1987.

The post But What Do I Know? . . . Tyler O’Neill, Edouard Julien, James Paxton, John Cerutti appeared first on Cooperstowners in Canada.