Tiger Town

LAKELAND, Fla. — Back here at lovely Joker Marchant Stadium for the final time this spring. Hard to believe wer’e in the home stretch here. At least on my end, this spring has flown by. Can’t believe I board a plane outta Florida in one week.

This is where Spring Training began for Jesse Litsch, who was roughed up in his Grapefruit League debut here back in February. Litsch takes the hill here again, now as the clear favorite for the fifth starter’s job. Still no official word, of course, but Litsch appears to be the guy.

Before I head down to look around for some pregame notes, here are…

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (8-13) at DETROIT (11-11-2)
at 1:05 p.m. ET at Joker Marchant Stadium

Reed Johnson, CF
Shannon Stewart, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Rod Barajas, 1B
Matt Watson, DH
John McDonald, SS
Hector Luna, 3B
Sal Fasano, C
Ryan Klosterman, 2B

PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch

Curtis Granderson, CF
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Gary Sheffield, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Carlos Guillen, 1B
Jacque Jones, LF
Ryan Raburn, 2B
Brandon Inge, SS

PITCHING: LHP Dontrelle Willis

Anybody’s brackets jacked up after Day 1 of the tourney? I had USC and Georgia at least through to the second round — ah, well. At least my Michigan State Spartans took down Temple! Pitt’s going to be a tough second-round matchup, though. Go Green.

UPDATE — 6:39 pm: Gonna admit, I’m not feeling a whole postgame blog post here today — sorry guys. There’s a long drive ahead and tourney basketball at the end of the rainbow. I will say that Reed Johnson and Shannon Stewart had some good things to say today about their left-field battle and Sal Fasano talked some about his situation. B.J. Ryan threw on a mound as well and Litsch looked great — sans two mistakes — against the Tiggers. For all the info, check bluejays.com in a bit for the stories I just filed. Catch you tomorrow from Tampa…


Nice outing against pretty much D’s starting 9. Are Reed and JMac trying to prove something? They have both taken the starting job away from other guys in the past.

You are right gnorman…

JMac and Reed looked awesome today…

I think the Jays should be going with Reed mainly because from Spring Training it seems like Reed not only has the better Defence but better offense…as shown by today…

JMac with 2 walks…he seems to be hitting better too and he is getting on base…also had a stolen base although 1 spring outing isn’t enough…I think JMac might steal the job from Eckstein if Eckstein struggles…

Pretty happy with Litsch’s Pitching…3 runs in 6 innings against the starting 9 for the tigers is pretty good…

Rios is starting to look better too

Lets hope the Jays can avoid any other injuries now…

Well, it wasn’t exactly the starting nine (seven – no Renteria or Polanco), but honestly: Wow. Litch rocked it out over there.

He’s really gonna be something this year.

Im excited to see how Randy Wells does tommorrow. If he does well against the Yankees that could make for some tuff decisions in Gibby land.

Yeah, Wells has pitched well, but mostly in the late innings when the minor leaguers are in. Tomorrow will be a good test against the Yank’s “pretty much” starting 9.

I still think thats a bogus criticism, but, we will see. Even if he does well, i don’t think he’s better then Parrish.

And if im right about this then maybe that means i will be right about the 649 on wednesday !

Only time will tell though.

I’m not sure he’s better than Wolfe. We could do worse that to give Wells back and keep Wolfe and Parrish in the pen until BJ is ready.
One thing I like about this team this year is that we have a LOT more depth than last year, and a much stronger bench. At almost every position, if someone gets hurt there are several choices for a good replacement. We are actually starting to hold players back in AAA now that we would have pushed up a few years ago.

Nice outing by Jesse Litsch minus the 2 long balls. The stat I was surprised with was 5 K’s in 6 innings against a lineup like Detroit’s. His cut fastball was very sharp today and he worked his pitches very well at both sides of the plate. I hope he has similar success in regular season.

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