Vernon Wells was in a pleasant mood today and why not? He had six at-bats as a designated hitter in a Minor League game today and felt good. Wells said he was excited to get back out there and he thinks he’ll play in his first game by this weekend.
Wells also said he doesn’t see why he wouldn’t be able to play center field for Toronto come Opening Day, adding that if it were the regular season right now he would’ve been back on the field a week or so ago. So, don’t purchase your Jason Lane jerseys just yet.
Chatted a bit with catcher Michael Barret, too. He had a significant wrap on his right elbow, but it was just normal icing maintenance. Said he’s been picking Gene Tenace’s brain and working with Doug Davis and his arm feels great right now. He’s had a couple nice throws to nab would-be stealers this spring.
Matt Clement threw in an intrasquad Minor League game today, working five clean innings. He said he feels great and he really wants to convince the Jays to put him in the rotation. If there’s no job with Toronto, he’s undecided if he’ll accept a Minor League assignment. He doesn’t want to pitch in the Minors if he can help it.
Brian Wolfe played catch today lightly for the first time since hurting his right shoulder. Threw from 60 feet and felt OK — some mild soreness, but more from what the trainers have been doing, not from the injury, according to Wolfe.
The B game for Wednesday has been cancelled, but Minor League games are beginning so that’s not a huge deal. Scott Downs was down to pitch in the B game, and he said he’s not sure where he’ll be working now, but he will definitely still be pitching Wednesday.
Moves today: Brian Jeroloman and J.P. Arencibia were returned to Minor League camp. Bill Murphy, Davis Romero and Robert Ray optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas.
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Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Jed Lowrie, SS
J.D. Drew, RF
Chris Carter, 1B
Josh Bard, DH
Jeff Bailey, LF
Angel Chavez, 3B
Nick Green, 2B
Dusty Brown, C
Justin Masterson, P
Joe Inglett, LF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Jose Bautista, 3B
Jason Lane, CF
Travis Snider, RF
Raul Chavez, C
John McDonald, SS
Roy Halladay, P
With or without Vernon Wells, the show must go on. It’s moving day tomorrow for the Jays, who will pack up camp after their morning workout and move shop to Dunedin Stadium. As for today, I spent some time snapping some more photos. Enjoy.
Third baseman Scott Rolen during Monday’s workout
Infielder Kevin Millar during Monday’s workout
Catcher Rod Barajas during Monday’s workout
Third baseman Scott Rolen moving to another practice field
Ace Roy Halladay winding up during a live BP session
Second baseman Aaron Hill during batting practice
Center fielder Vernon Wells (10) talks with Aaron Hill during BP
Ace Roy Halladay delivering a pitch during batting practice
Third baseman Scott Rolen gloves a ground ball during fielding drills
Third baseman Scott Rolen fielding a grounder
Right-hander Jesse Litsch during his live batting practice session
Catcher Michael Barrett during batting practice
Catcher Michael Barrett talking with reporters by the batting cage
Manager Cito Gaston behind the batting cage
Shortstop Marco Scutaro during batting practice
Outfielder Adam Lind during batting practice
Outfielder Adam Lind during batting practice
Third baseman Scott Rolen during batting practice
Some more pics from the Jays’ workout today.
Roy Halladay preparing a throw during a bullpen session
Lyle Overbay getting ready to take some cuts in batting practice
Adam Lind watching batting practice
Manager Cito Gaston talks hitting with coach Gene Tenace
Manager Cito Gaston takes in batting practice
Adam Loewen watches batting practice
Travis Snider steps out of the batting cage
Infielder Joe Inglett prepares to field a grounder
Second baseman Aaron Hill fielding a ground ball
Shortstops Marco Scutaro (left) and John McDonald during fielding drills
Pitching prospect Brett Cecil fires a pitch during a bullpen session
Ace Roy Halladay throws while pitching coach Brad Arnsberg admires
Left-hander David Purcey in his windup during a bullpen session
Catcher Michael Barrett and Brett Cecil after their bullpen session
Reliever Jesse Carlson throws during a bullpen session
Casey Janssen throws during a bullpen session
Jesse Litsch prepares to throw during a bullpen session
Reliever Jason Frasor follows through on a pitch during a bullpen session
Reliever Brandon League prepares a pitch during his bullpen session
That, in a sense, sums up Day 1 at Spring Training for us scribes. Unless you’re Robby MacLeod of the Globe and you’re feeling extra motivated to run around and do interviews, the first day at camp is basically chilling out, chatting with players and coaches and just enjoying the start of another season.
I’m sure Yankees camp is a little different. But, for the most part, the Bobby Mattick is a relaxed atmosphere with a handful of reporters hanging out between the clubhouse and the practice fields. For the beginning of camp, we’ve got myself, MacLeod, Griff from the Star, Sandler from the Post and Elliott from the Sun.
Today wasn’t mandatory for any players to be in camp and tomorrow isn’t either. Tomorrow is the “reporting” date, which means pitchers and catchers just have to be in the area. Physicals are on Sunday and the first official workout will be held on Monday. Today, there were some bullpens thrown, some hitters taking BP and some other light drills going on.
Most of the pitchers are in camp, and a handful of position players have arrived already as well. Off the top of my head, I spotted John McDonald, Aaron Hill, Russ Adams, Curtis Thigpen, J.P. Arencibia, Michael Barrett, Adam Lind and Travis Snider, as far as position players go.
Hill mentioned that I looked “a little beefed up” today, but I quickly corrected him and said, “No, you mean a little puffed up.” I guess taking three weeks off from running — dealing with a right leg issue since my last marathon in january — has helped me pack on a few pounds again. Good thing it’s Spring Training! I’ll be using the next six weeks to whip myself back into game shape, as long as there are so many Minor League deals being tossed around.
Speaking of which, the recently-departed Dirk Hayhurst is back in the fold once again. Hayhurst, if you’ve been following closely, was acquired off waivers from the Padres in October — only to be relased earlier this week to clear room on the 40-man roster for Matt Bush. Today, Hayhurst inked a Minors deal to stick with the Jays after all.
Chatted with Roy Halladay today about the state of the game and the whole A-Rod steroids admission and you’ll see that story up on bluejays.com today. We also discussed the state of the team and you’ll be reading something on that a little later. As far as the rotation, Halladay did say he wouldn’t mind seeing some of the younger arms stepping up and earning those spots.
He also said that, at the end of last season, he thought the Jays were going to be a lot more active over the winter. Halladay said he understands the situation, but he obviously would’ve loved to have seen the club go out and make some big pick-ups, including re-upping A.J. Burnett. As for his contract situation, Halladay doesn’t want to discuss it with the season being underway now.