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Canadian Baseball – 2012 Olympic Edition

Written By on 2nd August, 2012


Canada is tired of being disrespected by their baseball playing brethren of the south. For too long has derision been directed at those brave Canadians who scorn their home sports and the comfort of ice below their feet for the uncertainty of toiling with a ball and stick on soil that is all too foreign. For the 2012 Olympic games the Prime Minister of Canada has made it a directive to show the rest of the world that Canadians can play baseball just as well as everyone else in the Americas. A call to arms for all able-bodied Canadians successfully secured the service of Oscar Taveras and Jameson Taillon from the hated Dominican Republic and United States.

The pitching staff consists of giants… young giants at that with some power arms! Do they always know where the ball is going? Not really but some of them do! Jameson Taillon & James Paxton are the two aces at the top of the rotation; following is a veteran in Shawn Hill and an interesting arm with a long injury history in Kyle Lotzkar. Ethan Stewart will used primarily out of the bullpen where his control issues should be downplayed and his stuff allowed to play up. As a starting pitching prospect, he can be relied upon to throw a handful of innings at a time if necessary. Phillippe Aumont is the biggest arm coming out of the bullpen with an explosive, heavy fastball and a hard breaking ball; he struggles to command them but his stuff can be absolutely overwhelming. Some veteran relievers strewn into the mix, and Canada has a staff that should fare well.

Oscar Taveras is clearly the best player among the position players. He lived in Montreal as a teenager (before moving back to the Dominican to sign with the Cardinals) and owns a Canadian passport:

“I’m Canadian, my passport is Canadian,” said centre fielder Oscar Francisco Taveras. [1]

So take that Mr. Herrick! The best pure hitter in the minor leagues is a Canadian. He will hit in the middle of the order and likely play right field. Tyson Gillies may be serving an indefinite team suspension for Reading, but his speed and defense in centrefield (see what I did there?) are coveted. Left field will be occupied primarily by former pitcher turned position player, Adam Loewen. Nick Weglarz may see some time there as well; he’s stagnated in AA, but he still provides a very patient approach at the plate. Matt Stairs makes the team as DH; sure he’s retired and probably won’t hit that well, but how can you have a Canadian baseball team without Matt Stairs?

Taylor Green is the most notable infielder. He saw some time with Milwaukee this season and could eventually emerge as a solid regular at third base. Chris Bisson is better suited for second base, but he seen time at SS for Lake Elsinore. With few alternative options in organized baseball, he is the obvious man for that job here as well. Jimmy Van Ostrand is one of the few right handed hitting Canadians — if you’re wondering why so many swing left-handed, it’s because that’s how right handed Canadian kids are taught to shoot a hockey puck — so he will man first base. Tissenbaum was recently drafted out of Stony Brook in the 2012 draft; he will split time at second base with veteran utility guy Pete Orr. Texas prospect Kellin Deglan will catch.

24-man Roster:

Pos. Name T B DOB Ht. Wt. Team
RP Phillippe Aumont R L 1/7/1989 6’7″ 260 Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA)
SP Shawn Hill R R 4/28/1981 6’2″ 225 Las Vegas 51ers (AAA)
RP Jay Johnson L R 12/21/1989 6’2″ 210 Reading Phillies (AA)
RP Chris Leroux R L 4/14/1984 6’6″ 230 Indianapolis Indians (AAA)
SP Kyle Lotzkar R L 10/24/1989 6’4″ 205 Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA)
RP Trystan Magnuson R L 6/6/1985 6’7″ 220 New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
SP James Paxton L L 11/6/1988 6’4″ 220 Jackson Generals (AA)
SP/RP Ethan Stewart L L 1/19/1991 6’5″ 210 Lakewood BlueClaws (A)
RP RJ Swindle L L 7/7/1983 6’3″ 190 None
SP Jameson Taillon R R 11/18/1991 6’6″ 225 Bradenton Marauders (A+)
C Luke Carlin R S 12/20/1980 5’10″ 195 Columbus Clippers (AAA)
C Kellin Deglan R L 5/3/1992 6’2″ 195 Hickory Crawdads (A)
SS Chris Bisson R L 8/14/1989 5’11″ 185 Lake Elsinore Storm (A+)
3B Taylor Green R L 11/2/1986 5’11″ 195 Nashville Sound (AAA)
2B Pete Orr R L 6/8/1979 6’1″ 195 Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA)
3B Mark Teahen R L 9/6/1981 6’3″ 220 Syracuse Chiefs (AAA)
2B Maxx Tissenbaum R S 7/25/1991 5’10″ 185 Eugene Emeralds (A-)
1B Jimmy Van Ostrand R R 8/7/1984 6’4″ 210 Harrisburg Senators (AA)
OF Tyson Gillies R L 10/31/1988 6’2″ 205 Reading Phillies (AA)
OF Adam Loewen L L 4/9/1984 6’6″ 235 Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
OF Matt Stairs R L 2/27/1968 5’9″ 200 None
OF Oscar Taveras L L 6/19/1992 6’2″ 180 Springfield Cardinals (AA)
OF Rene Tosoni R L 7/2/1986 6’0″ 200 New Britain Rock Cats (AA)
OF Nick Weglarz L L 12/16/1987 6’3″ 240 Akron Aeros (AA)

Jeff Reese
Jeff Reese
About Jeff Reese

Jeff Reese is a writer & administrator for Bullpen Banter. He can be reached via email at JReese@BullpenBanter.com and via twitter @ioffridus. An index of his college notes can be found here and his youtube channel can be found here.

Articles, Olympics

5 Comments on "Canadian Baseball – 2012 Olympic Edition"

  1. Profile Photo
    dgapa August 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm -

    What about that kid named Lawrie?

    • Profile Photo
      Jeff Reese August 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm -

      Players on major league rosters weren’t eligible. Lawrie will be a key member of their WBC team, but the timing of the Olympics keeps MLB players off of the rosters.