Some healthy competition

Dsc01656_1DUNEDIN, Fla. — Funny that I’d wind up getting a nice photo of Reed Johnson looking over his shoulder today (left), because that’s exactly what he’s doing now that the Jays have thrown Shannon Stewart into the mix.

Stewart is expected to be in camp on Monday — his 34th birthday, no less — and he’ll be competing with Johnson for one half of the left-field platoon. Toronto manager John Gibbons said it’s going to be a platoon regardless of who makes the club, so Stairs’ playing time isn’t influenced by the move.

Basically, I view this Stewart signing as an insurance policy. Next year, Toronto will be going with Adam Lind in left field. Johnson’s a free agent after this year and he’s coming off a major back injury. He’s says he’s healthy, but if there’s any issues or the Jays aren’t convinced he’s back to being the old Reed, they have Stewart in place as a fallback option.

Or, let’s say someone gets injured this spring (honestly, with all these healthy guys running around, there’s nowhere to go but down), the Jays have some more options in place that can help the club avoid dipping back into the Minor Leagues, unless absolutely necessary.

ON DECK: The Jays will hold their first intrasquad game of the spring on Monday, when the Matticks will square off against the Ceruttis in a six-inning affair at the Bobby Mattick Training Center.

Monday’s Lineups:

MATTICKS — SS David Eckstein, RF  Alex Rios, LF Matt Watson, 3B Scott Rolen, C Gregg Zaun, 2B Marco Scutaro, 1B Chip Cannon, CF Buck Coats, DH Travis Snider

CERUTTIS — LF Reed Johnson, 2B Aaron Hill, CF Vernon Wells, DH Frank Thomas, 1B Lyle Overbay, C Rod Barajas, SS John McDonald, RF Adam Lind, 3B Joe Inglett

Overbay and Inglett were both out with flu-like symptoms on Sunday, but expected to be fine for Monday’s game. Pitchers will include John Parrish, Kane Davis, Shawn Camp, Josh Banks, Mike Gosling, Tracy Thorpe, David Purcey, Jamie Vermilyea, Jesse Carlson, Ryan Ketchner and Jeremy Cummings.

Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Gus Chacin and Davis Romero all threw in live BP on Sunday and won’t pitch in either intrasquad game on Monday or Tueday. On Tuesday, pitchers will include Shaun Marcum, Scott Downs, Jeremy Accardo, Casey Janssen, Brian Wolfe, Randy Wells, Dustin McGowan, Jason Frasor, Brian Tallet, Brandon League, Lance Carter and Jean Machi.

Stretch is at 9:30 a.m., so anyone wanting to come out to watch the game should probably be here by then. When asked if the lineup card for the first game had any mistakes in it, Gibbons said, "I guarantee you there’s a couple."

With that, I’m getting out of here and am looking forward to watching the Oscars tonight. I hope No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood are the big winners. Feel free to browse the spring photo gallery for the new additions.



    The more depth the better!!! Why anyone would not like this deal is beyond me… Mr. Rogers is paying his salary so why wouldn’t anyone want more proven MLB players in the system incase we see the injury bug again this year????

    I was hoping the Jays would try for a minor league deal with Colon this winter… Zero risk and potential for good reward.


    Colon looks as if he is going to Boston for that minor league contract. If i’m the jays i would turn my attention to Freddy Garcia if he wants a small contract great, if not then it’s no big loss.


    Yah the Sox scooped him… He would rather go there anyways considering Schilling is done and there is better opportunity for him to actually make the team. I’m guessing Garcia won’t be as cheap but hey I don’t pay the contracts… Sign em’ up


    Of the remaining members of the Free Agent bargain bin, the only two remaining that I find intriguing are Freddy Garcia and David Wells.

    Reports indicate that wells aims to make 20 starts this year. Wouldn’t hurt to have the Veteran presence for the 5th starter and provide a contigency plan to ease Casey Janssen into the rotation.


    So Stewarts back…I’m sure the pitchers who were happy to drive him to the Airport when he left town might be there to pick him up here on Part Deux! He can’t defend but he can hit and he’ll be expected to do that. The guy who needs to be nervous is Lind, not Johnson. Lind’s an average defender at best and strikes out way to many times. With Snider and Patterson in the pipeline Lind best not unpack…he’s headed out of town.


    I would trade Lind instantly while his value as a good prospect remains, If… They lock up Rios longterm and Snider keeps developing into a stud. If they see Snider as a DH then you keep Lind. I’ve heard that Snider while a little on the slow side is a good defender with a plus arm.

    Trade Lind


    I can’t see fatso Wells coming back to the Jays after the way he left. Jansen is a great 5th starter and in the case he ends up back in the pen then Litsch would still be an improvement over Wells.

    Wells does seem to pitch well when up against a former team though and we do play the Yanks a ton.


    rmatty, nobody thought the jays would pursue Rod Barajas after what he did, but they did. Personally though I would pass on Wells. It’s Garcia or nothing for me (as far as the free agent market is concerned)

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