Follow the Leader, Lugnuts edition

Leading off...

Here's the latest edition of Around the Nest, in which all of the Blue Jays minor league broadcasters talk about the system, via

And here's the magnificent entrance of the Lugnuts' bullpen on CBS Sports (via Slavko Bekovic video!):

Backstory:  Beginning recently, a segment of the Lugnuts bullpen (excluding Tucker Donahue and Wil Browning, who are far too cool for this) has begun walking down to the pen before each game in single-file fashion.  The leader of the line, which changes each day, determines everything that the group does -- be it an odd, meandering journey, rubbing strength and conditioning coach Jason Dowse's head, or bows to outfielder Chris Hawkins.  When they reach the bullpen, they stand side by side before sitting in unison.

It is glorious.


The Lugnuts defeated Great Lakes 5-3 last night, ending a six-game losing streak and improving to 1-6 during the current road trip.

Minor League baseball, it is repeated over and over, is about development... but no one likes losing.

The Lugs are now 7-1 against the Loons this year and a combined 19-6 against Great Lakes, Lake County, Dayton and West Michigan.  (Lest you think that this makes the Lugs a powerhouse:  The ballclub is 0-14 against Fort Wayne, South Bend and Bowling Green.  It's a pretty clear dividing line.)


Dig those shades!  -  photograph by Scott Mapes

Baseball is supposed to be tough, right?

You're looking at Efrain Nieves, a left-hander in the Lugnuts bullpen.  Including yesterday's blank frame, Nieves has now worked 10 1/3 scoreless innings while allowing five total baserunners (three hits and two walks).  Dominance, and it's all looked pretty darn easy.

He's a lefty, he throws sidearm, he has command, and he has some pretty wicked breaking stuff.

Hey, just a man doing his job, right?

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My first book, "The Baseball Thesaurushas made its way to the MLB Fan Cave!
Have you bought yours yet?  Bring it to the ballpark and I'll personally inscribe it for you!


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