*Buffalo Bisons photo*
By Brandon J. Koch
Here’s a Q&A with the new play by play voice of the Buffalo Bisons, Pat Malacaro.
I thank Pat for taking time to answer these questions and congratulate him on his milestone.
Q: What do you think the plan will be for Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire?
Pat- “I think it will be a tandem catching performance for much of the season. I think there will be a primary catcher, but a lot of times we will see one or the other DH, along with others. Danny Jansen really elevated his stock with how well he performed at all levels last season, and seeing time in MLB camp this year for the third time is a help as well.”
Q: Rowdy Tellez finished 2017 on a strong note, can he be more consistent this season?
Also, will there be more HR production this season?
Pat – “I also believe that Rowdy learned a lot about himself last season. He was coming off of a very successful 2016 season where he hit for power and was a name that many were expecting to be in Toronto sooner than later. He had his struggles last year, there is no doubt, but talking to others, this should be a bounce back year for Rowdy. It also ties into your next question about HRs. Rowdy hitting 23 the year before was a big reason why many, myself included, expected some bigger power numbers from the 2017 Bisons. However, they are very much built for speed, similar to the way they were made up last year. Having guys like Teoscar Hernandez back will add a little more pop, but I would not be overly surprised if the team was slightly better than last year in the power #s, but not significant to where it will be a total reversal from last year.”
Q: Buffalo’s bullpen looks really good, do they have enough starting pitching?
Pat – “The starting five should be good. LHP Ryan Borucki threw really well last year and did not look overmatched in his one start so far this season. I think he will be a very good addition to the rotation, and with other young pitchers in the lower levels of the minors as well like Sean Reid-Foley will further solidify things. Joe Biagini was a starter to begin his professional career. If he can put together good starts and not fall into the trap that many other starters turned relievers turned starters fall into, he could be a main anchor at the top of the rotation.”
Q: While he’s a defensive shortstop right now, will Richard Urena develop his hitting?
Pat – “Great question about Richard. You never know until a player is finally at this level getting consistent playing time. So many promising prospects have great success further down the organizational ladder, but by the time they get to AAA everything changes. Playing and hitting against pitchers that have been in the big leagues before is part of what separates the good prospects from just the average ones.”
Q: Do the Bisons have enough to make a playoff run or get into the postseason?
Pat – “I can’t tell you one way or the other about playoffs, but if this team stays together, that is usually a recipe for a team to contend for the postseason in the minors. Usually it is the teams that have too much roster upheaval and changes that suffer the most and do not have good seasons.”