The first workout


DUNEDIN, Fla. — I just got back from shooting some pool with a few fellow scribes, while watching my Spartans get creamed by the Hoosiers on one TV and Dwight Howard put on a show in the dunk contest on another.

Before I headed out, I threw together some pictures that I snapped around camp today during Toronto’s first workout of the spring. I’ll be adding more photos throughout Spring Training and you can access the photo album on the left side of the blog. The "2008 Spring Training" link is what you’re looking for.

Obviously, the news of the day was B.J. Ryan (above) throwing in the bullpen for the first time in front of reporters and photogs. Ryan breezed through the session and reported no issues. While his progress is impressive, I’ve got to say that the one person that blew me away on Day 1 was Dustin McGowan.

I stood on the other side of a fence right alongside where he was throwing off the mound and the sound of his arm whipping and the hum of the baseball flying out of his hand was unreal. Sure, it’s just one session, but take it from Sal Fasano, who was catching McGowan.

"He’s one of those special arms. You’ve heard it a million times. But it’s funny, because when he goes from getting loose, so smooth out of his hand, and then he tries to add something … most of the time when someone tries to add something it’s like one or two miles per hour. When he adds, it’s like six. He’s so special. He looked great today."

Gustavo Chacin, Jean Machi and Robinzon Diaz were not in camp for the first workout. Rod Barajas was on hand and Alex Rios (sporting a short mohawk) and John McDonald arrived. The pitchers and catchers worked in the bullpen, ran through PFPs and did some general agility stuff.

More of the same tomorrow. Stay tuned for more…



    I remember last year on this blog, many of us thought Dwight got robbed with his sticker dunk. Glad he won it this year with some major creativity even though our hometown boy Moon didn’t win but he didn’t embarrass himself.

    It’s looking good for BJ but I still hope they don’t push him. His health is very important to the success of this year. And considering McGowan’s showing in the last half last season, I think he’s ready to be the #2 starter making Burnett more expendable.


    What do you plan on getting for Burnett at this point ? I think it would be wise to keep the guy. Even if he isn’t as good a starter as Dustin he could still be a great number 3. In my opinion you hang on to him and if the jays don’t look like serious contenders by the trade deadline then you see what you can get. Untill then though I say keep him.


    Please explain how it would make any sense to say Burnett is expendable? Just because McGowan is getting better doesn’t mean you get rid of another good player…just because?
    If the Jays want to win this year, they need Burnett and need him heathly. If Burnett leaves after this season he leaves, so what.. take the draft pick, the extra cash and try to replace his arm elsewhere. If you trade him it undermines the whole point of being a contender.


    Hey guys i need your help: its a bit offtopic but still relates to baseball:

    This is one of my fantasy teams (my first for this year)

    Its a head to head league with RUNS, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, WINS, SAVES, K, ERA, and WHIP

    This is my lineup:

    C) Kenji Jojojima

    1b) Prince Feilder

    2b) Howie Kendrick

    3b) David Wright

    SS) Carlos Guillen

    OF) Carlos Lee

    OF) Alex Rios

    OF) adam Dunn

    Util) Hunter Pence (OF)

    Bench) Matt Kemp (Of)

    bench) James Loony (1b)

    Bench) Troy Glaus

    Bench) Stephen Drew (3b)

    Bench) O-dog (2b)

    SP) Javier Vazquez

    SP) Kelvin Escobar

    RP) Jose Valverede

    RP) Kevin Gregg

    P) James Sheilds

    P) Matt Cain

    P) Dustin McGowan

    I missed the draft and half of these guys i don’t know: the line-up seems pretty strong because i think that Hunter Spence, Matt Kemp, James Looney and Stephen Drew are all 1st or 2nd round draft picks which are going to play on their teams for sure. They all seem pretty good (high average, power…).

    My RP are WEAK though… I only have 2 and one of them is Kevin Gregg. I was wondering if you guys have any suggestions improving it…


    Nice to hear that BJ is coming back but i don’t want him to be rushed back…

    AJ Burnett isn’t expendable unless we are not contending like enigma said. If we are not making the playoffs and we know that AJ is prolly gonna opt out. Then trade him…you will probably get something better in return than a draft pick and some freed up cash… I was looking at rankings and in many places Tim Linceum is rated either ahead or very close to Halladay…


    oh and i sent a trade proposal for rafael furcal and erik bedard while giving up carlos guillen and javier vazquez


    Mohawk on Rios? Maybe its just me, but does this remind anyone of Pedro Cerano breaking camp with the Indians in the movie Major League. lol


    Ryan looks like a MONSTER out there!!! He looks much “thicker” than he did last year in my opinion. He WILL be ready and Jansen will get the 5th spot.


    I forgot add “… expendable after this season” if AJ opts out. But I do think McGowan will surpass Burnett some time this season barring injury. JP is managing for his job, don’t look for him to gamble/patient on youngsters this season (see: re-signing Stairs over Lind)

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