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Bisons notebook: Herd washed out again, Kawasaki heads north

On Friday night in Kansas City, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes slid awkwardly into second base. He came up grabbing his left ankle, was carted off the field and was reported to have an ankle sprain that could sideline him for up to three months.

On Saturday morning in Buffalo, the Bisons were doing their best to get in baseball-related work in the fourth straight day without a game. Saturday’s doubleheader against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders was postponed due to wet grounds.

The teams will try again for a doubleheader today at 1:05 p.m. (Radio 1520 AM). In the meantime, while the Herd took swings in the batting cages in the lower hallways of Coca-Cola Field, they waited for a break in the weather and to hear about pending roster moves.

In the afternoon, the Blue Jays made it official, selecting the contract of Bisons infielder Munenori Kawasaki after putting Reyes on the 15-day disabled list.

Kawasaki has played in two of the Herd’s six games. The shortstop is 2 for 5 (.400) with an RBI, two walks and one strikeout.

The 31-year old shortstop played 61 games with the Seattle Mariners last season after six seasons with Fukuoka of the Japan Pacific League.

“He’ll go up and I don’t know how long that will be, if it’s a short-term fix or if it’s something that they’ll give him a chance to play,” said Bisons manager Marty Brown. “But he’s been at the Major League level all last year in Seattle. He played several years in Japan at the highest level. He’s a very sound player. He should be able to help them defensively.”

Brown said he did not see the play that injured Reyes, but noted there are several potential options from Buffalo in order to get the Blue Jays through the injury.

“I think you always try to have a Plan B if things do go wrong,” Brown said. “You never want to be empty handed and I think there are several options there that could have been the guy to go up whether it be long term or short term.

“Michael McCoy’s been up and down several times. Ryan Goins is a young player that probably needs more time at Triple A. If he’s going to be there to play every day, great, but if not he needs to play every day. [Eugenio] Velez has got big league time, but not as much at shortstop. There are always options.”

The 25-year-old Goins is one of the top prospects for the Jays. Last year in Double-A New Hampshire, he batted .286 (158-546), driving in 61 runs. In four games with Buffalo he’s batting .289 (4 for 15) with two runs batted in.

McCoy, a 32-year old second baseman, has played in 158 games for Toronto over the last three seasons while the 30-year-old Velez spent all of last year with Triple-A Memphis but has 259 games of major league experience over five seasons.


While the Herd was waiting for news on forthcoming roster shifts, the pitching staff was taking another day to figure out the rotation.

The plan for the doubleheader today has righty Dave Bush starting Game One and Miguel Batista Game Two.

Bush was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays and cleared waivers to join the Bisons. He appeared in one game for Toronto this season, giving up five runs on five hits in three innings.

Batista, a member of the Herd in 2011 when they were a Mets affiliate, was signed to a minor league contract by the Blue Jays on Wednesday.

But stats aside, pitchers need to pitch. And all this rain isn’t good for their rhythm. Then again, Bisons pitchers have been tagged for 30 runs over the last three games. So a little time to work away from the game may have some benefits.

“You’d like to have guys facing hitters in game-like situations but unfortunately we’re not able to do that,” Brown said. “We had some guys standing in yesterday and that’s a help because they see a hitter up there.

“But in some ways it’s not bad because we can execute pitches. We don’t need to think about the hitter. We need to think about pitching, staying within ourselves and throwing strikes. That’s from what I’ve seen the first six games. I think it’s not a bad thing.

“Unfortunately the layoff always makes them feel too strong. Sometimes that affects command too. It’s just the individual pitcher how it effects them.”


The four straight days of rainouts is the longest stretch for the Herd since they postponed the first four games of the 2007 season due to snow and freezing temperatures at Coca-Cola Field. ... The doubleheader today will consist of two seven-inning games. … It is single admission for both games. … Fans holding tickets to any of the rained out games can exchange their tickets for another 2013 Bison game (except for special events) any time at the Coca-Cola Field Box Office.