Roger Brown's On Baseball: Fisher Cats' Ryan Schimpf turning on the power
The proof? Look at Schimpf’s home run totals. Entering Tuesday’s night’s game against Akron, Schimpf, a 25-year-old infielder with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, was tied for second among Eastern League players with 13 home runs.
“I have a few homers right now, but it’s not what I’m trying to do every time up there. I’m just trying to get a good pitch and stay up the middle. Fortunately I’ve just put a couple of good swings on balls and they got out of the ballpark.”
The 12 home runs Schimpf hit in April and May established a franchise record for most home runs in the first two months of the season. He hit six in each month.
“I really don’t want to think about numbers,” he said. “I don’t set goals on a number of home runs or what I want my average to be. I just need to put together good at bats and hit line drives up the middle.”
CATCHING ON: Catcher A.J. Jimenez joined Fisher Cats on Tuesday. He was promoted from Dunedin after catcher Sean Ochinko was sent to Triple-A Buffalo. Jimenez was on New Hampshire’s opening-day roster last year, but his season ended when he had Tommy John surgery in May. MLB.com ranks Jimenez No. 11 among Blue Jays prospects.
WHAT RELIEF: Reliever Randy Boone pitched a scoreless inning in New Hampshire’s 6-2 victory over Erie on Saturday, which extended his scoreless streak to 11 innings. Since returning from the disabled list on May 23 Boone has allowed one run in 13 innings (0.69 ERA).
HIT MAN: New Hampshire outfielder Kevin Pillar entered Tuesday night’s game leading the Eastern League in hits with 84. He was tied for sixth in the league with a .315 batting average.
Pillar also began the night as the league leader in at bats (267) and games played (63).