Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning on April 15, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. All uniformed team members are wearing jersey number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The Blue Jays defeated the Twins 9-3.
Photograph by: Hannah Foslien, Getty Images
Ryan Dempster is taking a year off, Jason Bay has retired and Jeff Francis is in the minors. In the last decade, they were among the best achievers from B.C. plying their trade in baseball’s major leagues. But they are out now and others have taken their place.
With the new season underway, here’s a look at how five B.C.-born players are doing in the early going:
James Paxton, Seattle
25-year-old Pitcher, Ladner
The skinny: The big lefty is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his back. Was off to terrific start and was 2-0 when injured April 8. He had retired 14 straight batters in the April 8 game before leaving in the sixth inning. In 12 innings pitched this season, the 6-4 Paxton has allowed six hits and three earned runs and posted an ERA of 2.25. He struck out 13, walked just two.
Brett Lawrie, Toronto
24-year-old third baseman, Langley
The skinny: The hyper-active Lawrie has dazzled with the glove at the hot corner but has been considerably colder at the plate. In his first 14 games, he hit just .132, going 7-for-53. He had three homers, including a grand slam Tuesday, drove in nine, walked three times and struck 11 times. His batting average has fallen each season since he cracked the Jays’ lineup, from .293 to .273 to .254 in 2013 so he needs to pick it up.
Mike Saunders, Seattle
27-year-old outfielder, Victoria
The skinny: The left-handing hitter is off to a slow start with the M’s. In the team’s first 13 games, he appeared in 11 and recorded 22 official at-bats. He hit safely just five times, two of those for extra bases – one double, one triple – while driving in two runs and scoring three himself. He walked once and struck out four times.
Justin Morneau, Colorado
32-year-old first baseman, New Westminster
The skinny: Now eight seasons removed from his MVP year with the Minnesota Twins, Morneau is in his first season with the Rockies and is hitting well although not for power. He appeared in 13 of the Rockies’ first 14 games, going 14-for-45 at the plate, a .311 average. Only three of the 14 hits were for extra bases and only one left the park. He had three RBI, walked three times and was fanned seven times.
28-year-old utility player, Burnaby
The skinny: Born in Burnaby but raised in Illinois, Adduci, a left-hand hitting depth player, has spent most of his career in the minors before making his MLB debut last season. He hasn’t seen much action this season. He appeared in just seven of the first 14 Ranger games and posted eight official at-bats. He went 3-for-8 with one double, two RBIs and two runs scored. He struck out once and wasn’t walked.
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