2005 Season in Review: Ken Joyce Recaps the Season

InsideTheDome sat down with Lugnuts manager Ken Joyce to talk about the 2005 season. Find out what Ken's opinion about some of the top players that saw action in Lansing this season, which player saved his career by how he performed this season, and much more inside.

InsideTheDome: Record wise this season probably isn't what you were looking for, but developmental wise you have to be pleased.

Ken Joyce: No question. I think developmental wise we had as good a year as anyone in the Blue Jays organization in the minor leagues. We had several guys that got shipped out of here, but the most important thing is getting these guys closer to the big league level. The closer you can get guys to the big league level and the quicker that you can get them there, the better off you're going to be.

InsideTheDome:You have had a number of promotions here. How would you rate the progress of Janssen, Cannon and Thigpen?

Ken Joyce: Casey Janssen is a guy that maybe can help the big league club possibly by the end of next season. Chip Cannon and Curtis Thigpen both are in Double-A and are a year and a half to two years from knocking on the door in Toronto as well. Those are guys that started the season here so from that stand point as well as the guys that got an opportunity to move up to Dunedin it was a successful year.

InsideTheDome:What do you think hurt you this season?

Ken Joyce: The bottom line is that we couldn't hold leads all season and that hurt us. But again, when your closer (Danny Hill) leaves after about 14 or 15 appearances, you're going to struggle. The good part about that is guys are going to get an opportunity to develop. There is always somebody else coming in and getting an opportunity to come into games and close them. I try to be philosophical about it and yeah we're competitive. We all are. But you know, it probably isn't going to be after a month or two after you get home after instructional league or whatever and you sit back and realize that it was a success.

InsideTheDome: What has the organizations impressions been of what has happened here?

Ken Joyce: Again to sit down with a Tony LaCava, Dick Scott, Charlie Wilson and talk about the players and what has happened here, they point out all the good developmental things that occurred. Players have progressed through the system in ways that we want them too. Other guys that have gotten an opportunity to play here have stepped it up in the second half.

InsideTheDome: Who are some of the guys that fans of Toronto should be keeping their eyes on?

Ken Joyce: A guy like Eric Nielsen, who has been as hard nosed a player as their has been all season. Ryan Klosterman has increased his value as a player. He struggled the first half but came on really strong during the second half. He not only started to hit the ball more consistently, but he started to hit doubles and home runs a little bit and drove in some runs. His play at shortstop has also gotten a lot better. Juan Peralta and Eugenio Velez both showed a lot. Peralta before he got hurt was having a break out season here. Velez came in and certainly took that opportunity to play everyday and has put himself on the map. Jason Armstrong who is a guy that didn't get an opportunity to play that much last year in Auburn came up here as a utility guy and forced his way into the lineup. Chris Snavely, again had a great second half and he carried us for one whole month by himself basically. He put himself back on the map.

InsideTheDome: Speaking of Christian, he has kind of been platooning between third and left over the second half of the season. How is the organization looking to continue his development?

Ken Joyce: There may be other position changes in his future. Not only in the outfield, but he may be a guy that we are able to move over to first base. The whole idea with a Christian Snavely is to increase his value in the organization. The more positions he plays, the better off his value is going to be for not only himself, but for us (Blue Jays Organization). I know he is going to instructional league and hopefully gets an opportunity to play some first base down there and just learn the intricacies of what's happening. Again, they don't come any better as far as what type of person that Christian is. You know, he's saved his career this year, he really has. He did the work himself and he turned it around. If he hits like he can, he has a shot.

InsideTheDome would like to thank Ken Joyce for talking with us throughout the entire season.

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