Results tagged ‘ Rod Barajas ’

Jays @ Astros pregame

Drove through a driving rain to get to ol’ Osceola County Stadium here this morning and with an hour before game time the tarp is still on the diamond. The rain has let up, though, and I don’t think a rainout is in our future.

Chatted with manager Cito Gaston about a few things today. One being that Vernon Wells, Travis Snider and Rod Barajas — all circled on the travel roster for today — did not make the trip to Kissimmee. Wells hurt his left wrist yesterday and had a cortisone shot, out for a few days. Snider jarred his left knee yesterday and Barajas is nursing a sore back.

Gaston said he doesn’t believe any of the injuries are serious and the disabled list hasn’t been discussed for any of the players at this point, even with the season right around the corner. Well broke the same wrist last year and Cito said the center fielder hurt it during his last at-bat yesterday.

Also talked about Shaun Marcum and Dustin McGowan, who continue to make their way back from injuries. It’s been tossed out there that Marcum might be ready by August or September, but Cito says he doesn’t see the point in bringing him back before next year. As for McGowan, he continues to be behind and Cito said he might be out of the picture until next year as well.

On the hill today is Ricky Romero, making his last bid for a job in the rotation. It’s down to Romero, Brad Mills and Scott Richmond. Gaston still isn’t showing his hand in terms of which way the Jays are leaning for the Nos. 4-5 slots. I’ve been saying Richmond/Mills all along, but now I could just as easily see them going with Mills/Romero.

We’ll know soon enough…

Today’s lineup:

BLUE JAYS
Marco Scutaro, SS
Aaron Hill, 2B
Alex Rios, CF
Kevin Millar, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Adam Lind, LF
Jose Bautista, 3B
Raul Chavez, C
Moises Sierra, RF

Ricky Romero, P

ASTROS
Kaz Matsui, DH
Hunter Pence, RF
Darin Erstad, 1B
Carlos Lee, LF
Miguel Tejada, SS
Geoff Blum, 3B
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Jason Michaels, CF
Jason Smith, 2B

Brian Moehler, P

~JB

Jays @ Yanks pregame

Good news on the Vernon Wells front. Jays skip Cito Gaston said Wells is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League appearance of the spring as a designated hitter on Friday in Dunedin. Wells is coming back from a strained left hammy, suffered Feb. 23.

Gaston said Wells will play center field for maybe three innings on Saturday, will be off on Sunday and then will DH again on Monday. The hope is that Wells will be fine to play center by Opening Day. He played in a Minors game again on Thursday with no issues.

Gaston said Scott Rolen (stiff back) is scheduled to take some batting practice tomorrow and he should be OK in a day or two to play. As for Travis Snider (left knee), Gaston said he’s going to be given a few days off, but the injury isn’t considered serious.

Rod Barajas and Alex Rios, both back from the World Baseball Classic, will be in the lineup tomorrow in Dunedin as well. Gaston also said that Scott Downs looked good in his Minor League appearance on Wednesday. Downs is skedded to pitch one inning on Saturday in his first Grapefruit League game.

Today’s lineup:

BLUE JAYS
Joe Inglett, RF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Jason Lane, CF
Jose Bautista, LF
Scott Campbell, 3B
Raul Chavez, C
John McDonald, SS

Casey Janssen, P

YANKEES
Jorge Posada, C
Johnny Damon, LF
Nick Swisher, 1B
Hideki Matsui, DH
Xavier Nady, RF
Cody Ransom, 3B
Melky Cabrera, CF
Angel Berroa, 2B
Ramiro Pena, SS

A.J. Burnett, P

~JB

Know Your Role + Jays@Phils pregame

Stopped by Dunedin Stadium this morning for batting practice. The Jays hold BP at home on days they play the Phillies in nearby Clearwater. And glad I did roll over there, because one of the best moments of the spring occurred.

Roy Halladay headed over to the snack cart and reached into the bucket of gum to grab a few pieces. As he walked away, Doc accidentally dumped the entire bucket and its hundreds of Double Bubble pieces all over the ground. Without as much as a flinch, Doc kept walking and left the mess in front of the clubhouse exit.

Not 10 seconds later, rook Travis Snider heads over and gets on hands and knees and begins picking up all the gum, completely knowing his role. As he was reaching under the cart to retrieve every last piece, Doc walked by and had the biggest grin you’ve ever seen the guy have.

“You’re all over it, Snider,” Halladay said with a laugh as he headed out to the field.

“It’s a good start to the day,” said Snider to the group of us reporters standing there enjoying the whole scene. “I got Doc on my side.”

Classic stuff.

Rod Barajas is back in camp after Mexico was bounced from the World Baseball Classic. Alex Rios should be around tomorrow or the next day now that Puerto Rico is out as well. USA! USA! USA!

Barajas had great things to say about the tournament and also about youngster Brad Mills. When asked if he was surprised to see Mill sill in camp, Barajas offered this:

“Absolutely not. I caught his first bullpen on accident. I’m looking through the line of pitchers and I’m trying to find the guys that I think are going to be challenging fo that spot and I hadn’t heard Mills’ name yet. But everybody had somebody else and I saw him and I’m like, ‘All right, I’ll take this little lefty.’ I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t expecting that out of him. So, the next time he threw a bullpen, I wanted to catch him again and his stuff was right there. It was unbelievable.”

Scott Downs threw in a Minor League intrasquad game today and center fielder Vernon Wells got some more ABs in that game as well. Wells is hoping to get into a Grapefruit League game this weekend. Said Cito: “Hopefully, we can start the season with him in center field. That’d be great.”

Don’t forget, you can follow my in-game updates at www.twitter.com/mlbastian 

Today’s lineup:

BLUE JAYS
Russ Adams, LF
Jose Bautista, SS
Jason Lane, CF
Kevin Millar, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Travis Snider, RF
Michael Barrett, C
Brad Emaus, 2B
Jesse Litsch, P

PHILLIES
Chase Utley, 2B
Miguel Cairo, SS
Greg Dobbs, RF
Jayson Werth, CF
Matt Stairs, LF
Pedro Feliz, 3B
Chris Coste, 1B
Ronny Paulino, C
J.A. Happ, P

~JB

Reds @ Jays pregame

Chatted some with Roy Halladay today about his decision not to take part in the World Baseball Classic, even though Team USA tried to bring him on board. Halladay has been camped at his locker, watching the tourney’s early games and he said he’s definitely a fan of the event.

As far as taking part in it, well, that’s a different story. Given the timing, Halladay prefers to stick with the Jays. His spring schedule usually calls for him to gradually add in his various pitches at different points throughout the month, and pitching in the WBC would mean he’d have to use all his pitches earlier than usual.

That, in short, is Doc’s main reason for staying in camp. Asked if he would consider taking part if the Classic was held at a different point in the year, Halladay said he just wasn’t sure. As a pitcher, it’s tough no matter when it’d be held. At this time in spring, he hasn’t worked on all his pitches. During or after the season, and you risk injury due to being overworked.

Team Canada can count its blessings, though. Doc probably would’ve been on the mound today at Rogers Centre if he was suiting up for Team America.

Pregame items: Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said havign catcher Rod Barajas playing for Mexico in the WBC is actually good for the club. It’s helped Gaston find more playing time for the catchers who are vying for the backup job. … Reid Santos, Fabio Castro, David Cooper, Brandon Fahey, Wayne Lydon and Kyle Phillips have all been returned to Minor League camp. The Jays now have 60 players in camp, 36 on their 40-man roster. … Making the trip to Sarasota tomorrow: J.P. Arencibia, Michael Barrett, Joe Inglett, Lyle Overbay, Scott Rolen, John McDonald, Adam Lind, Travis Snider and Adam Loewen, among others. Brett Cecil and David Purcey will pitch. … On Monday, Brad Mills and Casey Janssen will pitch.

Today’s lineup:

REDS
Norris Hooper, CF
Jeff Keppinger, SS
Jay Bruce, RF
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Lance Nix, LF
Todd Frazier, 3B
Daryle Ward, 1B
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Ryan Hanigan, C

Homer Bailey, P

BLUE JAYS
Joe Inglett, SS
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, DH
Kevin Millar, 1B
Jason Lane, CF
Scott Rolen, 3B
Travis Snider, RF
Curtis Thigpen, C
Russ Adams, LF

Jesse Litsch, P
Ricky Romero, P
Matt Bush, P

~JB

Moving Day Odds and Ends

Some items from the Mattick today:

–Vernon Wells spoke with us scribes and said he’s hoping to be back in a couple weeks. He doesn’t feel the injury is as bad as last year and feels that his experience a year ago can help him rebound quicker. He and Gaston make it sound like this hammy is always going to be a risk from now on.

–Mike Maroth threw off the mound in a bullpen session and felt good before and after. So that surgery he needs? A no go for now.

–Ryan talked with me today some about last season and how great it’s been to not have to worry about getting healthy right now. He called his performance at times last year “ugly” and said he was pretty much pitching without a slider all season long. Early reports from pitching coach Brad Arnsberg are that Bo’s slider is “tight”, his command is good and he’s stronger than he was last year. Great news for Toronto.

–Cito’s tentative lineup for Wednesday’s opener: Joe Inglett, 3B, Aaron Hill, 2B, Alex Rios, RF, Kevin Millar, 1B, Adam Lind, DH, Rod Barajas, C, Travis Snider, LF, Buck Coats, CF, John McDonald, SS. Pitching: Brett Cecil, Ricky Romero, B.J. Ryan, Brian Burres, Rick Bauer. … Coming for the Yankees: Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and [drumroll] Alex Rodriguez. On the mound for the Bombers: Brett Tomko, Kei Igawa and some other dudes.

–Cito said today that he plans on getting Adam Loewen plenty of playing time this spring: “I want him to play quite a bit. He’s a kid that looks good swinging. I spoke to him this year and told him that I was going to try to play him as much as i can. I’ve got him down mostly outfield. He needs some at-bats to get back to seeing the ball and swinging the bat.”

–Gaston doesn’t have a specific number of ABs in mind, but said Jose Bautista is very much in the plans this season. Said he wants to get him action in the outfield, at third and first base, as the DH and even at short. Gaston also doesn’t mind that Bautista is playing in the WBC with the D.R., even though he figured to get more ABs and innings with Wells out.

–Scott Richmond is skedded to start Thursday and Matt Clement on Friday. Brad Mills is slated to follow Clement, while Ken Takahashi is down to follow Richmond.

OPINION TIME: With the recent news about Wells, and after watching Rios man center field for two prolonged stretches last season, I’m thinking a change in the outfield alignment might be in order soon. If Wells’ injury is indeed going to be a constant risk, he might benefit from moving to left, or at least seeing more time as the DH. I absolutely loved Rios in center and Snider has been billed more as a right fielder than a left fielder. So, for the long run, would it not make sense to put Wells in left, Rios in center and Snider in right? The Jays have invested a lot of money in Wells and Rios and, along with Snider, these three outfielders are a major part of the organizations future. Just saying

~JB

Spring photos: Volume 4

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.

                                                                                                                         ~JB

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Third baseman Scott Rolen during Monday’s workout

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Infielder Kevin Millar during Monday’s workout

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Catcher Rod Barajas during Monday’s workout

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Third baseman Scott Rolen moving to another practice field

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Ace Roy Halladay winding up during a live BP session

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Second baseman Aaron Hill during batting practice

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Center fielder Vernon Wells (10) talks with Aaron Hill during BP

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Ace Roy Halladay delivering a pitch during batting practice

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Third baseman Scott Rolen gloves a ground ball during fielding drills

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Third baseman Scott Rolen fielding a grounder

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Right-hander Jesse Litsch during his live batting practice session

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Catcher Michael Barrett during batting practice

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Catcher Michael Barrett talking with reporters by the batting cage

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Manager Cito Gaston behind the batting cage

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Shortstop Marco Scutaro during batting practice

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Outfielder Adam Lind during batting practice

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Outfielder Adam Lind during batting practice

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Third baseman Scott Rolen during batting practice

Reporting Day



halladay.jpgBack 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.”

League: “Hey.”

(Butter laughs and throws his arms in the air)

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