Winckowski still posting zeros for Dunedin

Jays righty runs scoreless streak to 16 innings since promotion

Josh Winckowski is holding batters to a .077 average through 16 innings in the Florida State League. (Cliff Welch/MiLB.com)

By Duane Cross / MiLB.com | July 4, 2019 10:29 PM

For Josh Winckowski, the move to the Florida State League has meant a lot of nothing for everyone else.

The right-handed Toronto prospect ran his Class A Advanced scoreless streak to 16 innings after allowing one hit and a walk while striking out six in seven frames during Dunedin's 10-1 win over Lakeland on Thursday at Joker Marchant Stadium.


Gameday box score


Winckowski (2-0) compiled 13 starts with Class A Lansing, going 6-3 with a 2.32 ERA across 73 2/3 innings. After pitching a perfect frame as the East Division starter in the Midwest League All-Star Game on June 18, he was promoted four days later and has made three appearances for Dunedin, including two starts. He earned a four-inning save, the first of his career, against Daytona on Saturday.

"You can tell the difference," Winckowski noted of the two leagues. "Hitters here have a different approach. They hit their hot zones very well. The first two games, I really didn't have my slider, and any mistakes, they make you pay for it."

On Thursday, the Toledo, Ohio, native yielded a two-out single to Kody Clemens and a walk to Brady Policelli in the first inning. He sat down Nick Ames on strikes to squelch the threat, the first of 19 straight outs recorded by the 2016 Draft 15th-round pick.

"The first two games, I had my fastball and changeup. My strikeout slider was missing," said. "I wasn't putting people away, like I felt I could tonight."

Winckowski said there wasn't time to think about how many batters in a row he'd retired during the game.

"You just look to the next inning," he said. "After the inning, maybe five, 10 seconds with the pitching coach about what just happened, but it's more about the next inning. Really, it wasn't on my mind, to be honest."

The 21-year-old struck out two batters in the first and second innings and added single punchouts in the fourth and fifth frames. After the first-inning walk, Winckowski did not get to another three-ball count. He finished with 82 pitches, 58 for strikes.

"I consider myself a strike-thrower," he said. "I give the defense a chance to make plays. It's hard to have a good outing when you're putting guys on base for free."

Dunedin scored three times in the sixth and tacked on three more in the seventh. But the anticipation of getting back to the bump never turned into anxiety for Winckowski.

2019 MiLB include

"I like to work quick, get back to the mound," he said. "I do breathing exercises to stay focused [when the Jays are at bat]. I'm not going to be one of those teammates that complains about the offense doing its job."

No. 18 Blue Jays prospect Chavez Young went 3-for-4, including a double, and scored three times. No. 26 Kevin Vicuna, Cullen Large and Nick Podkul added two RBI apiece.

Tom de Blok (0-7) took the loss for the Flying Tigers. He allowed three runs -- two earned -- on three hits and three walks while striking out four across five innings.

Duane Cross is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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