As the transaction deadline has come and gone, the real season begins as the calendar prepares to turn to August. Teams now know what they have for the stretch run and the playoffs, and while some teams overhauled their rosters, others decided to stay status quo. Which teams made the right decisions? Time will tell.
#8. London Majors (8-17, Previous Week: 6)
London is in freefall mode, having lost five straight games and it looks like things might get worse before they get better. Rotating in and out import pitchers, they haven’t found the right fit to go along with Owen Boon in the rotation and the results have not been kind to them. They also were unable to add any pieces to improve their league worst offense. It’s tough to see how the Majors get back into the race this season.
#7. Brantford Red Sox (6-24, Previous Week: 8)
Winners of two out of three, the Red Sox have played significantly better baseball of late. It’s clear the offense is not the problem, and the pitching has improved, but this team is having a difficult time playing good defense. Their league leading 74 errors is much higher than the next closest team (Barrie with 47), however the addition of Cris Ruiz behind the plate should help stabilize things in that aspect at least slightly. If Brantford can start playing better defense, they will be an interesting team to watch down the stretch.
#6. Guelph Royals (11-18, Previous Week: 7)
This team is about to get a whole lot scarier. The return of the greatest hitter in league history and last year’s league MVP on the mound make the Royals a serious candidate to pull off a first round upset. Coming off a season where he was virtually unbeatable, Claudio Custodio gives the Royals a pitcher that matches up with every team’s ace, and Sean Reilly will add some thump to a lineup that desperately needs it. Watch out for Guelph in the coming weeks.
#5. Hamilton Cardinals (15-14, Previous Week: 3)
Talk about an overhaul. General Manager George Halim was by far the busiest GM at the deadline this week, with 14 players either being released, signed, or moved to the inactive list. With the recent injury to Logan Walters, the additions to the pitching staff will be welcome for Manager Dean Castelli, however if they don’t live up to expectations it could be a long rest of the season for a team that has looked so promising to this point.
#4. Toronto Maple Leafs (14-14, Previous Week: 5)
The Leafs were surprisingly quiet at the deadline, and unfortunately with how the rosters look at the moment, they are severely lacking starting pitching depth. Their offense is still as dangerous as ever, and the bullpen looks like it’s been solidified, but they will be counting on a couple of starters that haven’t been awfully consistent to get them over the top. While it’s certainly possible their offense is good enough to get them over the hump, but it’s hard not to look at their deadline as a missed opportunity.
#3. Kitchener Panthers (18-11, Previous Week: 2)
As expected the Panthers stood pat at the deadline, however they did recently add starter Yadien Martinez into the fold last weekend. The question for Kitchener remains the same as it has all season. The offense will certainly do its part, but will the pitching be good enough down the stretch? This weekend was encouraging from that standpoint, and this next month will offer far more clarity.
#2. Barrie Baycats (18-9, Previous Week: 3)
Injuries have plagued this Baycats recently, but they have been able to keep their heads above water regardless, and their depth is a big reason why. In terms of position players, only Welland has a deeper roster, and Barrie has needed every bit of that recently. A relatively quiet deadline for the team up north, but their moves were made earlier in the season. If they can find someone to be a legitimate number two starter behind Garces, this team could easily find themselves lifting the trophy when all is said and done.
#1. Welland Jackfish (24-6, Previous Week: 1)
It feels like a broken record at this point. Week in and week out the Jackfish showcase why they are the cream of the crop. Riding a 10 game win streak, this team is showing no signs of letting up. Every addition they have made has improved their team, and it has shown in the results. Their biggest enemy now will be complacency. Will they stay hungry through the end of the season and continue to be a juggernaut or will they leave the door cracked open for another team to take their spot at the top? If this team remains motivated, it will be incredibly difficult to stop them from achieving the ultimate goal.
News: IBL Veteran Brett Lawson Re-Signs with Hamilton
The Hamilton Cardinals have re-signed veteran right-handed starting pitcher Brett Lawson.Standing tall at 6-foot-8 and hailing from Burlington, Lawson made a mid-season move to the Cardinals from the Welland Jackfish during the 2023 campaign. Despite a limited regular-season engagement, where he pitched 7 innings for the Cardinals, Lawson stepped up remarkably in the playoff series…
The Hamilton Cardinals have re-signed veteran right-handed starting pitcher Brett Lawson.
Standing tall at 6-foot-8 and hailing from Burlington, Lawson made a mid-season move to the Cardinals from the Welland Jackfish during the 2023 campaign. Despite a limited regular-season engagement, where he pitched 7 innings for the Cardinals, Lawson stepped up remarkably in the playoff series against Barrie, delivering a standout performance by striking out 10 batters across 8 innings and achieving a commendable ERA of 3.37.
With a rich career spanning over 500 innings in the IBL and accumulating more than 400 strikeouts, Lawson’s experience is unparalleled in the league. His illustrious career includes clinching the IBL’s prestigious Dominico Cup with the Barrie Baycats from 2014 to 2018. Lawson’s professional journey was kickstarted when he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 15th round of the 2001 MLB June Amateur Draft, following his tenure at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, marking the beginning of a six-season journey in professional baseball. The Cardinals will continue to lean on Lawson’s proven leadership and track record of success throughout the 2024 season.
“Lawson is one of the model IBL veterans, and with a young roster, we’re fortunate to have him back with us,” said George Halim, Hamilton Cardinals General Manager. “He’s a lifetime pro who knows how to get outs, and knows how to compete while giving us a chance to win when he’s out there.”
About the Hamilton Cardinals
The Hamilton Cardinals Baseball Club are a member of Canada’s best league, the Intercounty Baseball League. The over 100-year old summer league is one of the oldest baseball leagues in the world, established in 1919. For more information visit: https://www.theibl.ca & https://www.iblcardinals.ca
News: JACKFISH ANNOUNCE CHAMPION VS. CHAMPION GAME AGAINST QUEBEC CAPITALES
WELLAND – The Welland Jackfish, Niagara’s sports entertainment destination, is excited to announce they will host the 2023 Frontier League Champions Quebec Capitales for a preseason game at Welland Stadium on Monday, May 6.Gates are scheduled to open at 6:00 p.m. and first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Concessions will be available and tickets…
WELLAND – The Welland Jackfish, Niagara’s sports entertainment destination, is excited to announce they will host the 2023 Frontier League Champions Quebec Capitales for a preseason game at Welland Stadium on Monday, May 6.
Gates are scheduled to open at 6:00 p.m. and first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Concessions will be available and tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 905-735-9834 or by clicking here.
“It will be great to open the doors on May 6 for the exhibition against Quebec,” team President and Director of Fun, Ryan Harrison said. “I appreciate Pat Scalabrini and the entire Quebec Capitales for making this happen for us and all of our fans. It will be tremendous for our players – and our gameday staff – to get in a preseason game under the lights as we continue to prepare for Opening Day. It’s incredible to be home at the Pond.”
The Québec Capitales (French: Les Capitales de Québec) are a professional baseball team based in Quebec City, Quebec. The Capitales have been members of the Frontier League since the 2020 season after a merger between the Can-Am League and the Frontier League in October 2019. Since the 1999 season, the Capitales have played their home games at Stade Canac.
The Jackfish return to The Pond on Saturday, May 18th at 6:05 pm for their 2024 Home Opener. Season membership and flex plans are on sale now at wellandjackfish.com/2024 or by calling 905-735-9834.
The Welland Jackfish are a member of Canada’s best league, the Intercounty Baseball League. The over 100-year old summer league is one of the oldest baseball leagues in the world, with the league established in 1919, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. For more information, visit www.wellandjackfish.com or follow the Jackfish on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @wellandjackfish.
News: Leafs Re-Sign Pitcher Chris Nagorski
TORONTO, Ontario – The Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club (@MapleLeafsBaseball) announced today the re-signing of 5 time IBL Champion Right-Handed Pitcher Chris NagorskiNagorski returns for his 3rd season with the Leafs after spending 8 seasons in the IBL with Guelph and Barrie. Nagorski is 2nd all time in IBL career saves (25) and 12th all-time…
TORONTO, Ontario – The Toronto Maple Leafs Baseball Club (@MapleLeafsBaseball) announced today the re-signing of 5 time IBL Champion Right-Handed Pitcher Chris Nagorski
Nagorski returns for his 3rd season with the Leafs after spending 8 seasons in the IBL with Guelph and Barrie. Nagorski is 2nd all time in IBL career saves (25) and 12th all-time in appearances (136 games) . Last season in 12 games, Chris stuck out 8 and had an ERA of 5.26 in 13.2 Innings pitched.
“Chris is a tremendous team player and understands his role as a leader and late inning relief pitcher. He knows how to be ready to pitch and helps the younger players adjust to the IBL. We are excited to have him back this year.” GM Jeff Lounsbury
“I am thrilled to run it back with the boys and contribute to a new era of Toronto Maple Leaf Baseball” said Nagorkski
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a member of Canada’s best league, the Intercounty Baseball League. The over 100-year-old summer league is one of the oldest baseball leagues in the world, with the league established in 1919, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. For more information, visit www.mapleleafsbaseball.com or follow the Maple Leafs on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This announcement is brought to you by NEW ERA CAP COMPANY official hat supplier of the Toronto Maple Leaf Baseball Team. New Era | New Era Hats & Apparel – New Era Cap
Photo: Craig Aikin