Notes from Rainout 2

McGowan2.jpgBlue Jays pitcher Dustin McGowan said he is trying to stay positive right now. Honestly, what other choice does he have?

“I’ve got to stay positive,” he said with a shrug on Sunday. “I’ll be all right.”

After a rough start on Friday, McGowan complained of a fatigued arm — a normal turn of events for pitchers trying to return from long lay-offs. McGowan’s start was his first game action since July 8, 2008.

McGowan is taking a week off to rest and he will be re-evaluated at that point. He said he hopes to pick up where he left off with his throwing program, doing light days between brief game appearances for now.

McGowan said one good thing is that the current issue is not similar to the type of setbacks he has previously had with his shoulder. This is not pain, it is simply a “dead arm” period, not considered serious right now.

“It’s kind of a minor setback,” McGowan said. “Nothing I hope too alarming. I hope I take this week off and come back feeling good again.”

The bottom line is McGowan’s comeback — after missing the past year and a half dealing with a surgically-repaired shoulder and a knee injury last season — has been a good story this spring. He is leaps and bounds ahead of where he was at this time last year, and that is something McGowan is focusing on right now.

“Absolutely,” McGowan said. “You always have to keep your head high. It’s been a long road and I’ve made a lot of big strides this year. Hopefully I continue to make more.”

GAINING SPEED: Following Saturday’s game, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston mentioned that closing candidate Kevin Gregg wasn’t throwing as hard as he will likely throw during the season. Speaking with Gregg today, the pitcher said that is a normal part of Spring Training for him each year.

“Yeah, you get arm strength as the season goes,” Gregg said. “It happens every Spring Training. I sit there and I typically start Spring Training throwing 89-91, and then as the season comes, I’ll be throwing in the low 90s, which that makes a difference.”

Gregg noted that he has been working extensively on his splitter, one reason he has been hit around a little bit this spring (7 hits, 1 HR, 5 IP). Gregg said he felt last spring he was too caught up in results and that led to him not being fully prepared with his pitches once the season began. He doesn’t want to make the same mistake this time around.

RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY: Sunday was not a fun day at the ballpark. It poured rain all morning, with only some slight periods of light drizzle breaking it up. Still, the Jays and Red Sox waited until around 2:30 to officially cancel the game. For a while, it was starting to wear on everyone held hostage, trying to wait out the weather.

“Anyone want to do tarp slides,” asked Aaron Hill, standing outside the clubhouse as the delay dragged on. “This isn’t fun. We need to do something fun.”

And, no, despite Hill’s pleas, there were no tarp slides.

UPDATE – 7:45 pm: Wait! I stand corrected. There were tarp slides. I just didn’t see them. 


TarpSlide2.jpg

Much thanks to Tony Plut for e-mailing me the above photo.

MOUND MATTERS: Shaun Marcum, who was slated to start on Sunday, headed indoors and worked through an 81-pitch simulated game. Even with the delay dragging on and on, Marcum was still hoping to get an actual game in. “I’d much rather pitch in a little rain than throw in the cage,” he said. No such luck.

As for relievers Josh Roenicke, Casey Janssen, Jeremy Accardo and David Purcey — all scheduled to follow Marcum — they will now pitch on Monday after Brian Tallet’s five-inning start. Relievers Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Shawn Camp will pitch in a Triple-A game on Monday.

INJURY UPDATES: Brandon Morrow (right shoulder) met with Dr. Steve Mirabello at Dunedin Stadium on Sunday morning and was told that his injury is not considered serious. Morrow will resume throwing on Wednesday, will throw in a bullpen session on Friday and then will make his next start on Monday, March 29. Morrow is still in line to start the third game of the regular season for the Jays. … LHP Jesse Carlson (left knee) is scheduled to throw off a mound on Monday. … 3B Edwin Encarnacion (left wrist) and UTIL Mike McCoy (right shoulder) will likely be asked to play in a Minor League game or two before being thrown back into big league games. … Spoke with RHP Scott Richmond (right shoulder) on Saturday. He is currently throwing from 120 feet, but there is no timetable for his return to a mound. … RHP Dirk Hayhurst (right shoulder) has been cleared to continue his rehab back home in Ohio for now.

QUOTABLE: “No, some of us are supposed to pitch the eighth inning.” – Janssen, when a teammate asked an umpire to call the game

ALSO: GO SPARTANS!!! SWEET 16!!!

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.

~JB

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2 Comments

Hill and Wells did do tarp slides. I’d post a pic but I left my card reader in Toronto. Only exciting thing to happen after hours of waiting in the rain. The Jays staff should take notice, despite the fact thousands of people waited for the game to start almost no one was buying the crappy food.

I was listening to the “game” on FAN590 and they said Vernon Wells and Aaron Hill did tarp slides after the game was called. I was hoping maybe you might get pictures of that, sorry if you missed it. Hope Aaron had a happy 28th birthday despite the game being called because of rain.

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