Us non-baseball folk scooted between the comforts of the media workroom or clubhouse and the baseball diamonds today — mainly keeping to the places that were, well, indoors. The wind was howling at the Bobby Mattick Training Center and the Blue Jays kept their workout short, sticking with PFP (pitchers’ fielding practice drills) and taking a day off from throwing off the mounds.
At around 11 a.m., when the pitchers and catchers were about an hour into their workout, Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield made his way into the complex. That’s a load off for the rest of the coaching staff, who have grown accustomed to having Butter lead the charge as far as setting up the daily schedule. Snowy weather slowed his travel from Maine to Dunedin.
Not a whole lot to report today. Brandon League (tight hammy) was back on the fields today, showing no ill effects from his very minor injury. Pitchers Tomo Ohka and Victor Zambrano still aren’t in camp (visa issues), but they should be arriving some time in the next few days. Pitchers will take the hills again on Monday.
Toronto manager John Gibbons offered his praise today for catcher Jason Phillips, saying he "has an edge" over Sal Fasano for the backup job. One plus to keeping Phillips on board is his ability to also spell Lyle Overbay occasionally at first base. Fasano will certainly try to win the job, but he’s also indicated that playing in Triple-A is fine with him. Besides, it’s practically inevitable that any team will need a third catcher at some point during any season.
Speaking of Fasano, who — like me — is a native Chicagoan, he was in attendance for the Bears’ Super Bowl loss to the Colts earlier this month. Fasano is a season ticket holder in Chicago, and had much better things to say about his seats at Soldier Field than where he was sitting (and getting drenched by the rain) in Miami. He was obviously upset about the loss, but there were some good moments, such as Devin Hester’s opening kickoff return for a touchdown: "I had already lost my voice by that point," Fasano said.
- On ESPN.com, Buster Olney has an interesting Q & A with first baseman Lyle Overbay in the Feb. 18 entry on his blog.
- I’m piecing together the first Jays mailbag of the spring tonight and it’ll run tomorrow. If you’d like to try to get some questions answered in the Spring Training mailbags, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all for now. How about a question for you all to dicuss: Who would you like to see win the final open job in the bullpen? Candidates include, not in any particular order, Pete Walker, Shaun Marcum, Davis Romero, Francisco Rosario, maybe Josh Towers. Guys like Matt Roney or Geremi Gonzalez could be darkhorses for the job, too.