Rainy day in Dunedin


The Blue Jays headed for cover today on a very rainy and cold (relatively speaking, of course) day at the club’s complex in Florida. The soaked fields were vacated and the pitchers and hitters took to the indoor cages for the day’s live “batting practice” sessions.

I use the quotation marks because there’s no swinging when the pitchers are working off a mound in the netted tunnels. They can track the movement of various pitches, but taking a hack in there today would have been dangerous.

Pitchers scheduled to work off the mound included Shaun Marcum, Scott Downs, Jesse Carlson, Marc Rzepczynski, Brandon Morrow, Jason Frasor, Daniel Farquhar, Casey Janssen, Robert Ray, Kevin Gregg, Jeremy Accardo, Kyle Drabek, Brad Mills, Brian Tallet and Zach Jackson.

We caught up with Marcum in the clubhouse afterward and discussed his comeback from Tommy John surgery, the fact that he’s in the mix for the No. 1 starter’s job and what life is like sans Roy Halladay. Check bluejays.com later for more on Marcum and Romero’s bid for the Opening Day nod.


Every Saturday from now until the end of camp, I plan on including my current predictions for the Opening Day roster. Two days into full-squad workouts, here is who I believe will be among the 25 players headed north:

PITCHERS — Starters: Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Brandon Morrow, Brian Tallet, Marc Rzepczynski. Relievers: Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp, Jesse Carlson, Casey Janssen, Jeremy Accardo

POS. PLAYERS: John Buck, Jose Molina, Lyle Overbay, Aaron Hill, Alex Gonzalez, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Travis Snider, Vernon Wells, Jose Bautista, John McDonald, Joey Gathright, Randy Ruiz.



Gregg: “How’d it go?”

Downs: “It went.”

Gregg: “Strike ’em all out?”

Downs: “No. I gave up a homer to Lind.”


TAKING A DAY: I will not be in camp covering the Blue Jays on Sunday. I am running the Tampa Marathon (my fourth career 26.2) in the morning and will be using the rest of the day to rest up. I’ll be back limping around camp on Monday. MLB.com reporter Anthony Dicomo will be filling in for me while I am gone.

For complete Blue Jays coverage this spring, make sure you’re reading bluejays.com and following me on Twitter at @MLBastian. You can also find spring photos on TwitPic.com.



  1. djaysm

    I don’t know why Tallet keeps being looked at for a starters role.
    Yes- he came in and did a ‘good’ job for the Jays last year in a starting role, but with so many young guys looking for spots, it seems a waste.
    I can see them bringing him in for a spot start here or there, but having a long guy in the bullpen like him would make more sense.
    Once again, as has been stated on this blog numerous times, “Let the kids play!”
    I like Tallet, he’s a great long man, but I don’t want to watch him start every 5 days at the expense of a Mills…..or McGowan!
    Also, I see Roenicke (Sp?) isn’t in the bullpen predictions. I know he’s had control issues, but with an arm like his, you think they’d be working hard with him to get a spot.

  2. Enigma_D17@hotmail.com

    I agree with Djaysm, I’d hope that if McGowan, Mills and even Purcey show something in the spring that they would get priority over Tallet as a starter. I too was surprised that Roenicke isn’t in Jordan’s 12 but then again it’s only his opinion.
    Good luck in the marathon Jordan!

  3. gsjays

    If Tallet is in the rotation, the only reason he’s there is to showcase him for a trade, which makes perfect sense because he’s only got one more year of arbitration left, he’s already getting expensive and turns 33 this year.

    Frankly, I don’t see Mills as a starter in MLB, maybe a bullpen guy. Roenicke needs to learn either a two seam fastball or another pitch with good movement. His breaking pitch isn’t that great and hitters just sit on his fastball which is why he’s getting beat up. He needs some time in AAA to refine something that will work.

    I would prefer McCoy instead of Joey Gathright. He has similar speed, better eye at the plate and plays more positions. Gathright is sort of one dimensional and if McCoy doesn’t make the team we lose him.

  4. gsjays

    Like everyone else, I generally take any articles in the New York Post with a huge grain of salt, however, I think this article written by Joel Sherman discussing the payroll time bomb the Yanks have is right on the money.

    Before we move on to Derek Jeter’s next contract, let’s appreciate the 10-year deal that is concluding this season — because it is a triumph for the Yankees.

    Jeter began this contract a decade ago as an elite player and is ending it the same way. This is pretty close to a baseball miracle. The history of this type of mega-deal is not pretty. Just look at what a payroll killer the seven-year, $126 million deal Vernon Wells inked with the Blue Jays has become.

    No single pact can stagger the Yankees in the same way that Wells’ has done in Toronto. The Yankees organization’s oversized budget enables it to absorb mistakes such as Kei Igawa or Carl Pavano in a way few others can.

    Once Derek Jeter (above) gets a new deal after this season, the Yankees will face a load of expiring contracts in upcoming years for aging players, including Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.

    Nevertheless, there is a minefield out there for the Yankees. In just base salary, the Yankees are due to pay $90 million to Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett in 2013. The youngest will be Sabathia and Teixeira, both at 33. This is before we find out if the Yankees do as much as a three-year extension with Jeter, which would drive the 2013 payroll well over $100 million for five players.

    Balance of article here: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/tick_RWYkOOkch4QdVYNmnOaeiK

  5. jaysfan1969

    in the five man or out of the pen Tallet can contribute…I’d prefer to see the guys coming back off injury getting limited work out of the pen this year…protecting arms while the team develops should be the focus…

  6. gsjays

    A very positive article today on Marcum in the Toronto Sun.

    DUNEDIN ? If you?re going to experience the pain of a ruined elbow, have your baseball career put on hold by major surgery, fight through the endless rehab and fret about your uncertain future, then there should be a payoff.


    We take you now to Shaun Marcum, 16 months post-Tommy John surgery and fresh off an indoor bullpen session at Blue Jays camp Saturday morning as a cold rain fell on the tin roof above.

    ?It feels like a brand new elbow,? said Marcum, who last pitched for the Jays on Sept. 16, 2008.

    ?It almost feels like I?m 10 years old, again. It takes me three throws to get loose and other than that I just go out there and throw and my arm feels great.?

    By the reactions of hitters who stood in the batter?s box (no swings allowed) during Marcum?s session, they were impressed with what they saw. Lyle Overbay was one hitter who was visibly perplexed by the movement on Marcum?s pitches.

    ?He?s probably worried about getting hit, not the movement on the ball,? said Marcum. ?It?s good when we talk with them afterward. Johnny Mac (McDonald) said he thought that ball was coming out of my hand pretty good. It helps to hear from the hitters.?

    If all goes well this spring, Marcum will most likely go into the season as the

    No. 1 or 2 starter for a Jays? staff that will lack a true ace but has plenty of potential to be competitive.

    After losing a full season, he is anxious to get back into harness.

    ?Last year wasn?t a whole lot of fun just sitting there watching and not being able to help,? he said. ?This year, I?m looking forward to getting out there and doing whatever I can to help this team win games.?

    Even during that lost season, there were benefits, such as spending time with his wife and son Ryne, 3, as well as welcoming his second son, Landon, last Aug. 19.

    ?I think Toronto was at home to Boston and I was watching the game on TV in the hospital,? he said. ?My wife wasn?t too thrilled about that. But I didn?t know what I was supposed to be doing.?

    Marcum is among the many candidates Cito Gaston will have to screen to figure out who will pitch on opening day. Marcum prefers to look at the big picture.

    ?Opening day start, whatever,? he said. ?It doesn?t matter. I just want to pitch when it?s my turn to pitch. The main thing is staying healthy, whether it?s opening day or not.

    ?Whoever takes the ball on opening day, whether it?s me, Ricky Romero, Brian Tallet or Brandon Morrow, every one of us has a chance to take the ball and go out there and win. That?s all I care about.?

    Had the Jays been in the playoff hunt last fall, Marcum probably could have returned at the end of the season. With that being unnecessary, he got the benefit of full recovery before coming back to pitch in earnest.

    ?I thought I could have (come back) but that was probably just the competitor in me trying to rush back and pitch,? he said. ?When I look back at it now, it was probably a smart move that I didn?t.?

    The signs at the edge of town bill this little corner of Florida as ?Delightfully Different Dunedin.? Yesterday?s miserable weather conditions cried out ?Dreadfully Depressing Dunedin.? Very little of substance was accomplished at camp, with just three more days before the games begin.

  7. inception

    Tallet is too frail to be a starting pitcher. Last year, he really started to weaken as the season progressed. IMO he is better suited for the bullpen. I have mentioned it before, but Purcey is a guy who needs to emerge as a dependable starter. He has the type of body frame to work 200+ innings taking up some of the slack resulting from Doc’s departure. He really needs to focus and pitch concistently. If he can find his stuff, there is no reason that he cannot be as productive as another form Jay, David Wells.

  8. yerouttaheah

    I was just trashing around in our minor league sites and I came across Matt Fields (6’3″ – 109lb, 24 yrs old), drafted last year in the 22nd round. In 51.2 innings with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays last year as a starter and reliever, he put up a 1.22 ERA with 6 walks and 54 Ks. 0.794 WHIP, 6.1 H/9, 0.2 HR/9, 1.0 BB/9, 9.4 SO/9, 9.00 SO/BB.
    Might be worth keeping an eye on.

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