Game #3 postgame
Gillick still has ties to people within Toronto’s organization from his time as the Jays GM, and he’s made many trips over to Bobby Mattick over the years. The fact that he showed up wasn’t a huge surprise.
Then there was Saturday. Us scribes were busy typing away and taking in the Toronto-Tampa Bay game and there was Gillick again, watching the action from the back corner of the pressbox. Now, it’s starting to seem a little fishy.
It could mean nothing. It could mean something. Believe what you want about the two visits. What it seems like, though, is that there could be something behind it. Philadelphia is looking for bullpen help and Toronto has some arms that it could make available. The Jays and Phils have also scheduled a pair of B games — 10 a.m. each on March 5 and 8 in Clearwater and Dunedin, respectively — and Toronto will likely have some of its younger pitchers throwing in those games.
There’s also the fact that the Phils seem willing to deal starter Jon Lieber, and various reports have them also interested in Jays right fielder Alex Rios. A Rios-for-Lieber seems like a stretch, though. It makes sense in this way: If Phils got Rios (or Reed Johnson for that matter), they could try to breathe life into the Aaron Roward-to-Padres-for-Scott Linebrink deal.
Dealing Rios in that situation seems unlikely, especially now that Toronto has added pitching depth with John Thomson, Tomo Ohka and Victor Zambrano. But the visits have been made, the games are scheduled, and the rumors and reports are there. So I guess we’ll wait and see what happens.
POSTGAME: Toronto is no longer undefeated and you can blame the rain. The Jays and Rays ended their Saturday contest after six innings when it began pouring harder. Tampa Bay was ahead, 5-4, at the time and that’s all she wrote.
A.J. Burnett looked solid, sticking to fastballs and changeups over two innings. He gave up a solo homer to Jonny Gomes in the first, but Gomes also went deep in the third. It happens.
Burnett’s line: 2 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 2 K.
Tomo Ohka didn’t look so good. He was throwing strikes, but leaving the ball up. It’s way too early to make a formal judgement on his performance, but it wasn’t a good start.
Ohka’s line: 2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB.
Troy Glaus nearly had two homers. He sent one pitch from lefty Scott Kazmir well over the wall in left center for a two-run shot in the first. Glaus then went off the wall in center in the third for a double. Don’t forget about the ball that sailed just foul in the spring opener. Glaus is locked in right now.
Rios also continued his hot hitting, sending a double to the right-center gap in the second. Toronto manager John Gibbons said Rios (sore shoulder) has been throwing and could be back in right field by the beginning of next week. DH Frank Thomas should be in the lineup on March 9, and Reed Johnson (sore lower back) will be out "a little longer."
As for Brandon League and his strained lat? There’s isn’t a clearcut answer right now. He’s been throwing off flat ground, but Gibbons isn’t sure when he’ll be back on a mound:
"He’s got to get off the mound pretty soon in the bullpen, because sooner or later we have to find out what’s going on. That way we can go to Plan B if we have to."
So, when does Plan B come into play? One week? Two?
"You tell me. I mean, it won’t be long."
With that, stay tuned for more…