Guerrero, Bichette: Bloodlines aplenty in Blue Jays farm system
Toronto's starters on Saturday included sons of many MLB all-stars
It could have been called the "Legacy Game" when a Toronto Blue Jays split squad played the Canadian Junior National Team.
The Blue Jays' starting infield Saturday was Clemens, Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero, with a Grudzielanek as the designated hitter and a Smith in left field.
Talk about bloodlines for a group of Toronto prospects.
And on the other side of the diamond, Braden Halladay, son of late Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, pitched a 1-2-3 eighth in his debut with the Canadian team and received a standing ovation.
Kacy Clemens, son of pitching great Roger Clemens played first. Cavan Biggio manned the same second base spot as his Hall of Fame father Craig Biggio. Former slugger Dante Bichette's son Bo was at shortstop and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., whose father is headed to the Hall, got the call at third. Longtime infielder Mark Grudzielanek's nephew, Brandon, was the DH and Dwight Smith Jr. was in left, where his dad played.
'Trying to make our own trail'
"We all grew up with the last name on our back," Kacy Clemens said. "It's a commonality between all of us. We all kind of feel the same way about it. We're trying to make our own trail, make our own path to the big leagues."
Said Cavan Biggio: "It's cool to get a complete infield of legacy, I guess you could say."
Clemens, Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero were a combined 8 for 14 with seven RBIs and seven runs scored in the Blue Jays' 11-3 win.
After getting a pair of fly outs, Halladay got Bichette to groundout to shortstop for the final out of the inning that garnered applause from both sides.
"It was pretty surreal being out there," said Halladay. "I just tried to enjoy the experience as much as I could and I'm glad that I was able to do that."
No extra pressure
Altogether, the families in the Blue Jays' lineup combined to make 32 All-Star teams, win seven Cy Young Awards and earn two Most Valuable Player trophies.
Cavan Biggio doesn't feel any extra pressure playing the same position as his dad.
"It's nice to have him as a resource," Biggio said. "Growing up I didn't become a second baseman on purpose, this is where I ended up. I was a shortstop, third baseman, outfielder growing up, and professionally I'm here playing second base."
Kacy Clemens was drafted of high school as a pitcher but had arm trouble and would up at first base. He has thought about the possibly that Saturday's infield could one day be together in Toronto.
"If it does happen, it would be pretty cool," Clemens said.
Stroman 'ready for' youth infusion
The juniors struck for two runs in the sixth when LaRon Smith of Spruce Grove, Alta., drilled a double down the left field line to score Damiano Palmegiani of Surrey, B.C. Ryan Faragher of London, Ont., followed by cashing in Smith on a RBI groundout.
Noah Naylor of Mississauga, Ont., who's likely to be the top Canadian selected in the 2018 draft, scored on a Denzel Clarke triple in the ninth. Naylor's older brother, Josh, was selected by the Miami Marlins 12th overall in 2015.
Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman, who went two hitless innings in the game, feels Guerrero and Bichette could play in the majors right now.
"I'm ready for Bo and Vladdy to be on the big league roster, to be honest," Stroman said. "I think they could help us win. Those guys are special. You don't get too many players like that come across an organization. I would love to be playing with those guys behind me."