Jays @ Reds pregame

Blasted Nine Inch Nails’ “With Teeth” through the Jeep on the hour-or-so drive here to sunny Sarasota this morning. Nothing like coffee and Reznor to wake you up. Entering Ed Smith Stadium, the security guard kept calling me “Bubba” while checking my bag. Cracked me up.

Just got back to the pressbox a little while ago after our daily pregame chat with Cito. Not a whole heckuva lot going on today, but Gaston did say that Vernon Wells — out since Feb. 23 with a left hamstring strain — will probably begin playing in games in another 10 days or so.

Wells took part in some running drills prior to Toronto’s game against the Reds last night in Dunedin and reported no soreness. Cito also said today that Jason “King of Spring” Lane could head north with the club if Wells isn’t ready by Opening Day. That’s been the assumption anyway with how Lane has been hitting of late, and since Cito has been running him out to center regularly.

Hey, and remember that A.J. Burnett fellow? The guy that opted out of his contract with Toronto and signed a five-year deal with the New York Yankees? Ringing any bells? Yeah, well, turns out he’s scheduled to start against the Blue Jays tomorrow in Tampa. Should be fun.

“It’ll be nice to see him,” Gaston said. “I certainly got along with A.J. really well and I appreciate the way he performed last year for this club after I came here. You know what? He’s a good guy for me and I wish him all the best. But, when we play him, I hope we beat him.”

UPDATE: Funny story. We were misinformed about Burnett’s start. He’s going today for the Yankees — NOT tomorrow. Soooo, there goes that. Andy Pettitte is starting tomorrow against the Jays.

Don’t forget, you can follow my in-game updates at www.twitter.com/mlbastian

Today’s lineup:

BLUE JAYS
Joe Inglett, 2B
Buck Coats, CF
Adam Lind, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Travis Snider, RF
Michael Barrett, C
J.P. Arencibia, DH
John McDonald, SS

David Purcey, P
Brett Cecil, P

REDS
Jacque Jones, LF
Alex Gonzalez, DH
Chris Dickerson, CF
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Jonny Gomes, 1B
Laynce Nix, RF
Jeff Keppinger, 3B
Humberto Cota, C
Paul Janish, SS

Micah Owings, P

~JB

4 Comments

JB
If wells isnt ready for opening day what will the outfield look like. Will Rios or Lane man center? Also has there been any talk of Wells returning as the left fielder as you mentioned the outside chance earlier?

Keep up the great work on both this site and on Twitter!

Very entertaining game between Canada and the U.S. despite the loss. I, like Gary, am proud of the way they played. It’s a shame that guys like Bedard, Hill, Harden and Dempster couldn’t or wouldn’t make it though.

It’s been nice to read the box scores too and see guys like Lane and Rolen producing thus far.

Jordan,

Michigan State kicking butt at home today. It could be another great run by Izzo in the tournament. Not many coaches better than Izzo in the month of March, one of the best if not the best. I think North Carolina or Pitt will win it all. Only negative about North Carolina, they don’t defend well and there bench is a little thin. I wouldn’t be surprised too see the Spartans in Detroit. If Mich. State does make it that far, they will be very tough too beat!

So, “Bubba”, whatcha reading? Anything good?

Thanks for the Johnny Mac updates. My sister and I are still members of the fan club since his days here in Cleveland and we’ll applaud politely for him on Opening Day. (Actually, she’ll go all out.)

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