Sink or swim
The drive back from Winter Haven was uneventful, unless you consider that mass of cars that always shows up on the highays around Tampa eventful. Wilner didn’t insist on another Waffle House run, but he did request a stop at a 7-Eleven, so he could pick up some apples with caramel dipping sauce.
That quick bite had to act as a substitute for lunch, because the pulled pork sandwiches, which didn’t look good anyway, weren’t ***-friendly for poor Mike. The ham n’ cheese omelet I had this morning was more than enough to hold me until dinner time.
Wow, fourth graph here and food is the only topic at hand? Time to move on…
For those of you out there that still think Spring Training stats matter, you can begin hyperventilating at the sight of Shaun Marcum’s pitching line: 3 2/3 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 K, 0 BB, 1 HR, 65 pitches, 47 strikes.
What you don’t see within those numbers is what Marcum was doing, which was working on his two-seam sinking fastball over and over and over and over, even though the Indians were spraying it all over the yard and over the fence.
In the regular season, many of the counts that Marcum used his sinker in will be situations he turns to his changeup — his sick out-pitch. Take the 1-2 count to Pronk Hafner in the third. Marcum tested out the sinker and it promptly — pronkly? — was sent bouncing off the wall in right-center for a two-run tater.
Marcum really wants to perfect this pitch, so he has a reliable groundball-inducing option much like Roy Halladay. With a spot cemented in Toronto’s rotation, Marcum can afford to keep turning to the pitch without fear that he’s going to lose his job with subpar results. Marcum said he’ll keep firing away for one more start.
"If it doesn’t get better, I’ll throw it in the trash and go with what got me here," Marcum said.
After I got back to the condo here, I received word that the Jays made the following roster moves: Optioned Adam Lind, Curtis Thigpen, Robinzon Diaz, Buck Coats and Joe Inglett to Triple-A Syracuse and returned Ryan Patterson and Wayne Lydon to Minor League camp.
Catch you from St. Pete manana. Jesse Litsch takes the hill and B.J. Ryan is set to debut in Grapefruit League play. Stay tuned…