Do Mills and Richmond have upper hand?
So, it seems as though young Brad Mills can do no wrong in manager Cito Gaston’s eyes. After Friday’s four-run, six-hit, five-inning performance, Gaston was still very forgiving, pointing out missed calls by the umpire and praising Mills’ ability to settle down.
Gaston also offered up this gem:
“Hey, we’re looking forward to having him on this club.”
“We’re not sure if he’s going to make it out of camp, but we’ll see what happens in the next week or so.”
On Sunday, Matt Clement and Scott Richmond will pitch in the same game on the road against the Twins. That could be a big game for both of them. Even after today, I get the impression that Mills and Richmond is ahead of Clement in the club’s eyes, which could mean that’s the pair that will be heading north.
An MRI on Janssen’s right shoulder showed a mild muscle strain, according to the Jays, and he’s set to play catch in three days. But, that’s on flat ground. He is now behind and heading north as a starter seems an unlikely scenario, especially with the Jays needing a fifth man right out of the gates.
“He’s going to have to back off either way, whether we want to or not,” said Gaston. “He’s going to be backed off anyway. It might be a little bit of a struggle to get him ready for the season. We have to wait to see what’s going to happen with that.”
As for Richmond, who missed some time due to the WBC and is also a tad behind thanks to not pitching in the tournament, GM J.P. Ricciardi had this to say:
“We’re giving him a little bit of leeway there. Innings wise, he’s behind the other guys, but he’s right in the mix.”
“We’re going to try to take the best guys with us and Richmond, he certainly has a great chance of making this ballclub. We all know him, we all like him and he didn’t get a chance to pitch in the World Baseball Classic, but we’ve had him around before and he’s always given us a chance to win a ballgame.”
Ricciardi was very short in his meeting with the media today and worked very hard not to say much of anything. When asked if every start from here on out was a sort of audition for the rotation candidates, this was his response:
“Yeah and no. Right now, we have a pretty good idea what we think we can take. Obviously, if someone goes out and keeps pitching well, it’s only going to make you take notice. But, I think we’re going to take the whole body of work into consideration.”
By “whole body of work,” Ricciardi meant this Spring Training.
Catch you all tomorrow…