Game #3 postgame

Gms_1On Wednesday, it could’ve just been a coincidence. Phils GM Pat Gillick showed up at the Bobby mattick Training Center and chatted for a little while with Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi (left).

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…

3 Comments

Phillies need bullpen depth but so do Jays. Jays have enough starting depth to last a while but I bet Gillick said “if you run out of useful depth, Lieber is still available.”

Or Gillick went loonie and offered Cole Hamels and JP to prove he was loonier refused. XD

Jordan:
First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Jorge and I’m from México. My wife and I are planning a trip to Florida, and since we’re huge baseball fans, we’d like to watch some Grapefruit League games. I was trying to purchase 2 tickets for the March 19 game between the Blue Jays and the Yankees. But, a big surprise, seems I’m not allowed to purchase any ticket via Jays’ official website just because I’m from México. It seems only Canadian and U.S. citizens can make it. Seems so strange to me, because I’ve done it before with other teams and I never had that problem. I’d like to ask you if I could buy my tickets at Knology Park Box Office the same day of the game. Do you think there would be some available tickets. Or it would be an unnecesary trip to Dunedin? I would appreciate if you can help me.

I wouldnt take too much out of the visit by Gillick. He is probalby just coming to visit some old friends. I would think its too early in spring right now that they would be talking about trades. I would imagine the teams would want to see what they have internally before they start looking externally. Although I guess it is possible that they could be having preliminary talks. The Phillies arnt the only ones who need bullpen help, I would say one of the weaker spots on Torontos roster is mid releif, and as we see with the injury to Brandon League the back end is very shallow. If BJ Ryan and Brandon League go down who do we have to close out games? It would be very tough for me to trust Jason Frasor going into the 9th with a one run lead. I also want to comment on our offence, its getting me pretty excited this year. Troy Glaus is naturally a streaky player, but if he could put together a full year of health and consistancy I don’t think we have saw the best of him yet. Also with the further development and added power of Alex Rios and Aaron Hill (who I think is going to have a great year,.300+ BA and 10+ HR), plus the addition of Frank Thomas there is no reason that this lineup cannot be the best in baseball.

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