Ryan, Rolen recovering well

TORONTO — Good news on the Florida front. B.J. Ryan is feeling great and only needed nine pitches to work through a Minor League game on Saturday. Scott Rolen is already doing baseball activities and is scheduled to have the pin removed from his broken right middle finger on Monday.

If they keep sailing along smoothly, there’s a chance both players could be back with the Jays before the end of the month. Ryan is pitching every other day now and will do so for two or three more games before the Jays plot his return. Rolen still has to test his finger while throwing, which will be the biggest obstacle for him going forward.

Manager John Gibbons was in rare form this morning, holding an easy-going session with a few of us reporters. He allowed us to reaarange the furniture in his office, moving the couch to a more scribe-friendly location, and he gave us each a little gel pack of that Mona Vie stuff Lyle Overbay has been hyping up to try, and we all shared a little Mona Vie toast.

Of course, while we were consuming the antioxident gel packs, Gibby noted that they turned Yankees manager Joe Girardi on to the stuff, too. Ummm, Girardi’s been out sick this week. I hope that’s foreshadowing for those of us hanging out with Gibby this morning.

We also told Gibby about a minor mishap that took place during batting practice on Saturday. GM J.P. Ricciardi’s younger son Mariano — of Shaun Marcum Spring Training bet fame — was helping bench coach Brian Butterfield out during infield drills, catching throws from players and tossing the ball up to Butter to hit grounders.

Rod Barajas was manning first for a little while and tossed one back toward Butter behind the third-base line, where the ball bounced smack off the top of Mariano’s head. Mariano had turned away for a second and Lyle Overbay joked that he’d go prepare Barajas’ release papers.

“We always knew he was accurate,” quipped Gibbons, joking about Barajas’ throw. “But that’s probably not the kid you want to hit. You’re better off hitting one of my kids.” Nice.

Some lineup changes today: John McDonald makes his first start of the year at short, but Gibbons said it’s not because he’s Roy Halladay’s personal shortstop. Matt Stairs is out, even though a right-hander is on the hill, because Gibby said Stairs hasn’t fared well against Josh Beckett and it’ll give Stairs two days (off-day on Monday) to rest the hip that dogged him late in the spring.

For the rest, here you go…

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (3-2) at BOSTON (3-3)
at 1:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Julio Lugo, SS

PITCHING: RHP Josh Beckett

Shannon Stewart, LF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Rod Barajas, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay


Impressive win. So far this team looks like they have a completly different approach to the game than last year. I know its early, but I don’t see things changing unless some guys get hurt. The pitching has the ability to win alot of games. Great starters and just as good of pen. Its nice when you see the starter starting to wear out in the 6th or 7th, and know you have guys to come in and shut the door. Obviously there are going to be a few blown saves along the line, but ive been really impressed with Tallet and Accardo. Few teams, if any can compete with the Jays in the mid to late innings. I see alot of games being won this way.
The offense is putting alot more pressure on the other teams. Rios is the centerpiece, with 6 walks already he is getting on base a ton. With his agressiveness on the bases too, its going to help Wells or whoever is behind him to get some fastballs. Thomas looks like he is on a mission. I can’t wait for Rolen to return, because this team can be at least top 10 offence in all of baseball.

I agree with you about the approach, it seems really different this year. From taking more pitches, to the baserunning, it really seems like they are playing differently. The only complaint I have to this point is that they seem to be striking out looking more. That really isn’t a huge issue yet, because it seems like a fixable problem, however I hope it doesn’t continue as often. I guess it’s just a thing that comes with the taking more pitches approach though. Once Rolen and Ryan return this team will be that much better!

Hey, does anybody know the best time to call Rogers Centre lost and found? Unfortunately, I lost my cell phone at the game on Saturday, I did leave a message but I am hoping it doesn’t take forever for them to call back.

Is Rich Harden injured ? because I am really looking forward to watching him pitch against Burnett. The reason I ask is because I noticed today that the preview changed the scheduled starter.

As far as I know, Harden is now going Wednesday, but don’t quote me on that. I believe it was switched to Gaudin to keep him on his regular five-day schedule. Again, as far as I know, Harden isn’t hurt, but I could very well be wrong. Stay tuned…

So, yeah, as it turns out, Harden is hurt, with a sore back.

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