More photos from around camp today. Enjoy.
First baseman Lyle Overbay fielding a ground ball during practice
Bench coach Brian Butterfield hitting a grounder during fielding drills
Infielder Kevin Millar during fielding drills
Pitching prospect Ricky Romero prepares to throw during a bullpen session
Second baseman Aaron Hill in the batting cage
Infielder Joe Inglett prepares to swing during batting practice
There’s an older security guard named Jim who’s here every year. Today, as usual, he’s parked in a fold-up chair outside the Blue Jays’ clubhouse. He’s been here since 7 a.m., and he’s been guarding a locked door.
Still not much going on in the way of player sightings. I think I might’ve spotted Shawn Camp briefly, but it was from a distance and I could be wrong. Coaches have been coming in and out of the building here, but they’re all headed over to the ballpark to sit down with the front-office types for some meetings.
Bench coach Brian Butterfield, bullpen coach Bruce Walton, pitching coach Brad Arnsberg and third base coach Nick Leyva have all poked their heads into the media room to say hello. Just spotted hitting coach Gene Tenace and, hey! Jays closer B.J. Ryan just strolled by. No rest for the Beej.
Walton left only a few minutes after arriving, and before he headed out the door he held up a thin book with a Blue Jays logo on the cover and smiled: “Well, that’s all the work I’m doing here today. I’ve got to go read up on all my new players.”
NEW SIGHTINGS: Roy Halladay, Jesse Litsch, Matt Clement, Brandon League. Gold stars all around. Day off? Not for these guys.
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)