(Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium - Vancouver, B.C.) - With the Toronto Blue Jays off and running and spring training now in the rearview mirror, I thought it might be as good a time as any to start our baseball chatter as the Canadians season draws closer. This new outlet for information, titled Canadians Connected, will be posted each Monday with bullet point styled notes to keep you in the loop. It is my hope that by the time the season rolls around, you will be more than versed in everything 'Canadians' and ready to head out to the ballpark to cheer on the defending Northwest League Champions once again (sounds good doesn't it).
* The Toronto Blue Jays affiliates in Buffalo, New Hamsphire, Dunedin and Lansing have been assigned Opening Day rosters and it is littered with former Vancouver Canadians, 62 players in all (and another six that have yet to report due to a variety of issues). Buffalo, who has yet to play a game due to snow back east has 11 former Canadians including LHP Ryan Borucki , OF Roemon Fields and INF Jason Leblebijian while New Hampshire has 16 and both Dunedin and Lansing have 18 on each roster. Of note, former C's manager John Schneider continues to climb the managing ranks now with Double-A New Hampshire which features a boat load of bluechip prospects including INF Bo Bichette , INF Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and INF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in addition to INF Cavan Biggio and RHP Andrew Case . Many of last year's C's can be found scattered between Lansing and Dunedin.
* RHP Andrew Case is about to become a father as he announced at Spring Training that he was set to become a dad for the first time right near the end of this season. Congrats from the entire C's family!
* Former Canadians hitting coach Dave Pano has been reassigned to Lansing (Midwest League) as a bench coach after spending the past seven (7) seasons in Vancouver. Dave, 60, helped the C's to four (4) Northwest League Championships and single-handedly kept the Coca-Cola Company in business drinking more than his share of Coke Zero during his tenure in Vancouver. Dave will be missed as will his Deep Thoughts which ran on the Canadians video board during most home games.
* Dave Pano and Jim Czajkowski received their Championship rings and are the only two Toronto Blue Jays staff members to have all four of the Canadians NWL Champion keepsakes. Czajkowski was pitching coach when the C's reached the top of the mountain in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017.
* Former Vancouver Canadians RHP Roberto Osuna (2012 Canadians) is one save shy of his 100th MLB save. If he can get it this season, he will become the youngest player in Major League Baseball history to reach the century mark.
* This off-season, the Canadians welcomed Lori Stankiewicz to the front office staff as she takes on both Sales Coordinator & Game Day duties. Lori is a graduate from the University of Waterloo, and spent more than six years as a lifeguard back in Ontario before coming to Vancouver last season to intern within our organization.
* Canadians Clubhouse Manager & Ballpark Operations manager John Stewart just returned from Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training down in Dunedin, Florida after spending two weeks working within the Major League & Minor League clubhouses. Those days spent among the Blue Jays will help Johnny as he prepares for the upcoming season. One of his off-season endeavours is to increase the space of the team's current weightroom which with a little creativity should be no problem for the third year clubbie.
* Fresh off of his first of what we hope are many ballpark awards, Canadians Head Groundskeeper Ross Baron began his pre-season field management this past week with airation and a number of turf preparations in hopes of having the ballpark popping green come opening day (June 20).
* Everett is close to having it's new field surface in place as the Aquasox become the third franchise within the Northwest League to utitlize a synthetic all-weather surface. Hillsboro and Eugene are the other two organizations that play home games on a synthetic surface. That means the C's will play 16 of its 38 road games (42%) on turf.
* Vancouver Canadians Game Day powered by Booster Juice is back as of next week (Thursday, April 19th) from 7-9pm on TSN1040 Sports Radio. This marks the 10th season of Game Day which is currently Vancouver's only baseball-only talk show.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.