Game #10: Jays at Braves postgame
Josh Towers looked sharp in his second outing of Spring Training:
3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 10 BF, 27 pitches(18 strikes)
Jays manager John Gibbons and pitching coach Brad Arnsberg both say that Towers has looked nothing like the pitcher that went 1-9 with a 9.11 ERA out of the rotation last season. They see a much more relaxed, confident pitcher — and, honestly, I’d have to agree. Towers isn’t let bad pitches affect his mindset, and that was one of his major issues a year ago.
If he keeps up his current pace, Toronto will have a big decision to make at the end of Spring Training. Towers is scheduled to make $2.9 million in 2007, and he’s a guy who logged 200 innings and won 13 games just two years ago. So far, he’s done nothing to show he doesn’t deserve a spot in the rotation, but it’s still very early in Spring Training.
Dustin McGowan, on the other hand, did not look as sharp. The right-hander yielded three runs on four hits in two innings and saw his spring ERA jump to 10.80. Geremi Gonzalez pitched two scoreless frames, and Pete Walker allowed one run on two hits in one inning of work.
OTHER NOTES: Brandon League is scheduled to throw a fourth bullpen session on Sunday, when he’ll begin working on breaking balls and splitters, too. He’ll then have a 30-pitch BP session on Wednesday, followed by a Minor League game on Saturday. He still might not crack the Opening Day roster because of the time he’s missed due to the lat injury, but he probably won’t have a long stay in the Minors, either. … Josh Towers and Jeff Duncan each had bunt singles against Braves pitcher Mark Redman in the third inning on Saturday. Gibbons told his pitchers not to swing at any pitches after seeing Atlanta hurler Mike Hampton injure his oblique during BP recently. … When asked on Friday about the bullpen situation, GM J.P. Ricciardi said Casey Janssen could be an option: "I think we’re just going to be really open-minded in putting our team together, and we’ll break with the best guys who can give us a chance to get off to a good start."
OVERHEARD: "Hey, Frank Thomas! Someone over here wants your autograph. Hey, Hurt! Frank! Come sign this autograph over here." –Gibbons, sarastically yelling over to Jays reliever Tracy Thorpe in the dugout after Saturday’s game when a fan mistook the pitcher for Toronto’s DH