Almost There

Jp_1There’s just one more day left before Toronto kicks off its Grapefruit League schedule. On Wednesday, the Jays will file into the Bobby Mattick Training Center one last time for another round of BP and some other minor drills. It’s bound to be a quick day, ending with the big leaguers clearing out of camp and moving a few miles south to Knology Park.

On Tuesday, Toronto held its second intrasquad game of the spring. Today’s score? I couldn’t tell you. Us scribes were paying close attention to a few pitchers, and then needed to catch up with some players who were wandering back to the clubhouse during the game. The bottom line: for the most part, the pitchers have looked strong this spring. A.J. Burnett and John Thomson each started on Tuesday, and Josh Towers and Victor Zambrano made appearances, too.

Zambrano is quickly emerging as one of the better stories in Jays camp — aside from the improbable journey to a Major League invite by Brazilian Jo Matumoto. Zambrano continues to rapidly recover from the reconstructive elbow surgery he had last May, and there’s an outside chance he could crack Toronto’s bullpen. His comeback would be quicker if he came back as a reliever.

OTHER BITS: Alex Rios sat out on Tuesday and Toronto manager John Gibbons said he’ll probably use the outfielder as a DH in the first few games. Rios is battling a tender right shoulder, which bothers him while throwing — not while hitting. … Gibbons said DH Frank Thomas might not play the first few games. Gibbons said he wants to see what kind of schedule Thomas would like to be on. … Right-hander Brandon League threw for about 10 minutes on flat ground on Tuesday, and could be back on a mound in a few days. He’s had tightness near his right shoulder. "I feel good. I felt better," League said as he walked into the clubhouse after playing catch.

UPDATE: I added a few photos to the Spring Training Photo Album. There’s a few shots of closer B.J. Ryan, Vernon Wells, and one of general manager J.P. Ricciardi (shown above).

I’m calling it a night. I just got back from downing some great Chinese food at P.F. Chang’s in Tampawith Shi Davidi of the Canadian Press and Mike Wilner of The Fan590. Changs is one of my all-time favorite restaurants to hit up on road trips. I’ve Changed it up in Tampa, Orlando, Seattle, Boston, Denver, and Kansas City now. What’s funny is there’s one in Chicago, where I’m originally from, and one in East Lansing, Mich., where I attended Michigan State, but I didn’t experience Changs until I got on the baseball beat last year.

And since I know you all care so much about how much I like a particular restaurant (sarcasm), I’m going to turn in. Stay tuned for more…

2 Comments

Has Rios had any tests or examinations on that shoulder? Id sure love to see his cannon in right at full strength by april 2nd. Great work Jordan

Restaurant chains like PF Changs and the Cheesecake Factory catch a lot of grief from food critics. Yet they are very popular, offer very good, consistent food, and large servings. I think foodies just don’t like them because if chains are popular, there goes the need for them to review restaurants.

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