* RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) retired Rice Owls’ Ryan Chandler on a 1-0 pitch to end the seventh inning with his 114th pitch on Feb. 27 and wound up with the victory. Quantrill underwent Tommy John surgery and won’t pitch again until next spring.
But What Do I Know? … Pat Borders, Cal Quantrill, Jim Henderson
By Kevin Glew
My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories:
_ The Philadelphia Phillies have hired former Toronto Blue Jays catcher Pat Borders to manage the Class-A Williamsport Crosscutters for the 2015 season. The 1992 World Series MVP suited up for 17 big league campaigns, including parts of eight (1988 to 1994, 1999) with the Blue Jays. This will be Borders’ first professional managerial gig. He joins fellow ex-Jays backstop Ernie Whitt and Rob Ducey in the Phillies organization. Whitt is a roving catching instructor with the club, while Ducey is a hitting instructor at class-A Clearwater.
_ The Canadian Baseball Network’s Alexis Brudnicki reported that top Canadian pitching prospect Cal Quantrill would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Friday. The Port Hope, Ont., native, and son of ex-Blue Jay Paul Quantrill, was selected by the New York Yankees in the 26th round of the 2013 MLB draft, but elected to attend Stanford University rather than sign. In his freshman collegiate season, the 6-foot-3 right-hander posted a 2.68 ERA in 111 innings and led Stanford to a super regional appearance. He was forecast to be a first-round pick in this June’s draft. “Appreciate the love everybody,” Quantrill tweeted on Monday. “This is just a small detour in the grand plan. Can’t wait to get back on the bump.”
_ The chances for North Delta, B.C. native Jeff Francis to make the Blue Jays big league staff took a hit on Wednesday when he surrendered four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in the Jays’ 9-3 loss. Prior to that appearance, the Canadian southpaw had struck out four in three scoreless innings. Francis rebounded to contribute a scoreless inning in the Jays’ 6-3 win over the Phillies on Saturday. The 34-year-old Canuck appears to be in a battle with Colt Hynes for the role of third left-hander out of the bullpen. Hynes, who last pitched in the big leagues for the San Diego Padres in 2013, hasn’t allowed a run and has surrendered just one hit in 5-2/3 innings this spring.
_ Three former Blue Jays relievers might be in the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen this season. Right-handers Brandon League, Dustin McGowan and Sergio Santos will all likely pitch for the Dodgers at some point in 2015. League was shutdown on March 15 with soreness in his throwing shoulder. Also vying for a spot on the Dodgers’ staff is Canadian lefty Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.).
_ Calgary, Alta., native Jim Hendersonwas re-assigned to the Milwaukee Brewers minor league camp on Thursday. However, on Saturday, the club rescinded the decision and instead decided to place him on the disabled list. The 6-foot-5 right-hander, who saved 28 games for the Brewers in 2013, is attempting to come back from shoulder surgery and has seen his velocity dip between five-to-10 miles per hour this spring. The Brewers’ strength and conditioning staff will work with Henderson to attempt to regain some of his velocity.
_ According to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo and Mat Eddy of Baseball America,Brendan Harris, who played 20 games with the Montreal Expos in 2004, has signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers. The 34-year-old utility infielder has hit .256 in parts of eight major league seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels. He spent last season with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque. By my count, there are now six former Expos – including Harris – left that could see big league action in 2015. The others are Bruce Chen (Cleveland Indians), Scott Downs (Cleveland Indians), Bartolo Colon (New York Mets), Maicer Izturis (Blue Jays) and Endy Chavez (Seattle Mariners).