Back at the ol’ MLB.com condo here after spending the morning over at the Mattick for Toronto’s reporting day for pitchers and catchers. The reporting date is kind of overblown, if you ask me. All this day means is players have to be in Florida — not at camp.
The real action will start on Monday, when all of the invited pitchers and catchers are required to be in camp for the first official workout. There’s plenty of them around already, including Mr. Halladay (pictured right). That photo is from the AP wire — nice shot. I’ll probably begin toting my camera to camp beginning on Monday. So keep checking back here for photos from around camp.
It was a pretty chill day today. Only three reporters and a few new faces around for the Jays. Ken Takahashi made his first appearance, as did GM J.P. Ricciardi and team prez Paul Beeston. I also saw Rod Barajas briefly before heading out to watch some of the pitchers work through drills.
I talked to Shaun Marcum today after he was done playing a light round of catch with one of the Jays’ trainers. Marcum is throwing every other day right now and has been throwing since shortly after the Super Bowl. Seeing him and Dustin McGowan walking around is a constant reminder of what Toronto is missing, and the competition it’s created this spring.
From our short meeting with J.P. today, we learned that the team isn’t going to pencil Travis Snider into the Opening Day lineup just yet. Ricciardi said he could definitely envision a scenario in which the Jays feel Snider could benefit from more seasoning at Triple-A. That’s one reason for the Millar signing, to help build a contingency plan.
If Snider begins the year at Triple-A, Adam Lind would be the starting left fielder and both Kevin Millar and Jose Bautista would likely make the team as well. With Snider and Lind in the fold, it’s not clear whether the club would carry both Millar and Bautista, or if someone like Joe Inglett might be at risk.
As for any more spring additions:
“We’ll see if there’s anybody out there that we match up with in a trade,” Ricciardi said. “I don’t foresee it, because obviously the No. 1 thing we’d want to get is some kind of pitching and I just don’t see that being in excess out there.”
Discussing the rotation, Ricciardi said he’s looking forward to seeing how the battle for the two vacancies plays out, with a mix of prospects, reclamation projects and holdovers vying for jobs. He did say that, on paper, the top five right now are Halladay (no kidding), Jesse Litsch, David Purcey, Casey Janssen and Scott Richmond.
As for Scott Downs being considered as a starter? No more. Said Ricciardi: “His heart’s not in it. He doesn’t want to do it, so we’re probably better off keeping him at a comfort level.” I say that’s a smart move, because Downs is a big reason why Toronto’s bullpen is as strong as it is right now.
FUNNY EXCHANGE OF THE DAY:
Bench coach Brian Butterfield: “Hi, Scotty.”
Scott Richmond, walking to the bullpen: “Hey.”
Butterfield: “Hey? I haven’t seen you all winter and all I get is ‘Hey’?”
Richmond (laughing): “How are you doing today Butter?”
(a few minutes later, Brandon League walks by)
Butterfield: “Hi, Leaguer.”
(Butter laughs and throws his arms in the air)
Jordan keep the posts coming.
In the long run having Travis Snider start in AAA wouldnt be the worst thing.
Glad to hear Downs is no longer being considered as a starter.
Sending Snider down to AAA sounds like JP getting his spin story ready for why he signed both Bautista and Millar. We’re not going to make the playoffs this year and supposedly are preparing for 2011. So why in the world would we want to keep Millar-a guy who will turn 39 next year and who’s skills are already in serious decline. I’d also like to see how much we’ve committed to pay Millar if he makes the team, that has been not suprisingly missing from any PR-why is that?
Snider is capable of becoming an elite hitter, maybe even one of the top 10 in the league. The issue is where will he get the best instruction and advance the best and fastest here or AAA. My take is Cito and crew are definately better for him than anyone we have at AAA. I think Cito and crew are one of the best hitting coaching groups in baseball.
If we really do want to get back into contention next year, both Snider and Arrencibia should be up here and give them two years under Cito-it will pay dividends for 10 or more years.
Our rotation looks like 2 through 5 on paper should be written in pencil.
We sent Litsch down last season, even though he was pitching very well at points. Who is to say he won’t get sent down again if he struggles? Purcey and Richmond have only 17 MLB starts between them with a combined record of 4-9? Also, who knows what we are going to get from Janssen after a year off, and the previous year being primarily used in the bullpen?
Its going to be fun this spring! At least McGowan might be ready by May.
welikeroy- this will be a fun spring. This year is shaping up to be very simular to 2007. But who remembers ohka, zambrano, thompson. We will remember Listch, Mcgowan, marcum.I am confident that several pithcers will show they have the stuff to hold down a spot in 2010 and when Marcum and Mcgowan are ready to go we will have a surplus of pitching similar to 2008 and with a Cito enhanced offence anythings possible.
The question is who will be the break out pitchers of this season. my money is on Romero, and purcey.