Results tagged ‘ Roy Halladay ’

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

Nightcap vs. Phillies pregame

Back in the pressbox after what seemed like forever off. When you’re in Florida flying solo, days off don’t do you much good, especially when you’re not really a beach person. Spent some time reading, watching Flight of the Conchords and picking up the running again.

But, I’m glad to be back at work. The Jays host the Phightins tonight here at Dunedin Stadium, which is hardly known for its quality light towers. Got here early and had a nice chat with John McDonald, who isn’t taking the field worrying about if he has a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Sounds like Johnny Mac doesn’t have much to worry about anyway. Both manager Cito Gaston and general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he has a spot on the team as things stack up right now. Said Cito: “We’d be breaking camp with one shortstop, so I’d almost think he’s on the team.”

Jays had a “B” game this afternoon against the Phils as well, over at Bright House Field. Scott Rolen homered twice, Kevin Millar once, and B.J. Ryan made his first appearance since opting out of the World Baseball Classic. Ryan’s line: 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K.

Ryan said he’s currently working on shortening up his stride, one issue he’s had this spring. Earlier this spring, he said he felt he was holding back due to the surgery he had on his elbow. Ryan said he isn’t holding anything back this spring, and his health is fine. It’s still just mechanical problems that need sorting out.

Doc Halladay on the hill tonight against Philadelphia.

Today’s lineup:

PHILLIES
Eric Bruntlett, SS
Marcus Giles, 3B
Raul Ibanez, LF
Greg Dobbs, 1B
John Mayberry Jr., CF
Geoff Jenkins, RF
Mike Carvenak, DH
Pablo Ozuna, 2B
Ronny Paulino, C

Chan Ho Park, P

BLUE JAYS
Joe Inglett, DH
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Jason Lane, CF
Brad Emaus, 3B
Travis Snider, RF
Michael Barrett, C
John McDonald, SS

Roy Halladay, P

~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

Decisions, decisions

Continued to break down the looming roster decisions with manager Cito Gaston today and he provided a little more insight into what he’s thinking at this point. Of course, with five weeks left, anything and everything is subject to change. That injury bug doesn’t care about the plans.

As for the bullpen, which I find a more interesting race this spring than the rotation, Gaston said that his four lefties — B.J. Ryan, Scott Downs, Brian Tallet and Jesse Carlson — are all considered “locks” at this point. He added that some pitchers will have to beat out Jeremy Accardo for a job, so he’s the front-runner among the righties. Everyone else? Time to show something.

Last week, GM J.P. Ricciardi said he could see a scenario in which Travis Snider started the season at Triple-A. Today, Cito said Snider would have to play “real bad” not to be on the Jays’ Opening Day roster. As for the bench, which probably won’t have room for all of Kevin Millar, Jose Bautista, John McDonald and Joe Inglett, Cito said he has a tough decision ahead.

Someone made a comment on one of my stories recently about the fact that I always say there are only two openings in the rotation, when it’s been reported elsewhere that there are three jobs up for grabs. My reason for continuing to say that there are only a pair of vacancies?

“I would think there’s two spots. That’s what I think. Two spots open. I think Purcey pitched well enough to be one of the three guys that we have right now — unless he absolutely pitches himself off the club.”

Thanks, Cito.

So that’s Doc Halladay, Jesse Litsch, Purcey, and a pair of front-runners in Casey Janssen and Scott Richmond. Behind them, Toronto will take a good, hard look at prospects Brett Cecil, Brad Mills and Ricky Romero. Other candidates include Matt Clement, Brian Burress, Ken Takahashi, Mike Maroth and … I think I got ‘em all.

One team insider told me the prospects might be ahead of Clement and the others on the depth chart at the moment. It’s also more likely that Janssen and Richmond make the club, barring injury or poor showings, and the Jays ease the youngsters into the rotation as the season moves along. Moving Janssen to the ‘pen during the year to clear a spot for another starter is also a possibility.

Got some stories to write. Later…

~JB

Spring photos: Volume 2

Some more pics from the Jays’ workout today.

                                                               ~JB

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Roy Halladay preparing a throw during a bullpen session

 
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Lyle Overbay getting ready to take some cuts in batting practice

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Adam Lind watching batting practice

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Manager Cito Gaston talks hitting with coach Gene Tenace

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Manager Cito Gaston takes in batting practice

 
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Adam Loewen watches batting practice

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Travis Snider steps out of the batting cage

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Infielder Joe Inglett prepares to field a grounder

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Second baseman Aaron Hill fielding a ground ball

 
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Shortstops Marco Scutaro (left) and John McDonald during fielding drills

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Pitching prospect Brett Cecil fires a pitch during a bullpen session

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Ace Roy Halladay throws while pitching coach Brad Arnsberg admires

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Left-hander David Purcey in his windup during a bullpen session

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Catcher Michael Barrett and Brett Cecil after their bullpen session

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Reliever Jesse Carlson throws during a bullpen session

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Casey Janssen throws during a bullpen session

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Jesse Litsch prepares to throw during a bullpen session

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Reliever Jason Frasor follows through on a pitch during a bullpen session

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Reliever Brandon League prepares a pitch during his bullpen session

First Workout Photos

Here is a slew of photos that I took while checking out the Blue Jays’ first official workout for pitchers and catchers on Monday. I don’t have the photo gallery option I had with the previous blog format from past seasons, so I’ll just drop ‘em in the post here. Enjoy. ~JB

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Here’s manager Cito Gaston holding court with members of the Toronto media

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Scott Richmond and Jeremy Accardo during early-morning stretching

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Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg

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Vernon Wells, Alex Rios and Aaron Hill (From left) head in after BP

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Outfielder Adam Lind playing catch

 
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Shaun Marcum plays catch with a team trainer

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Matt Clement throws during a bullpen session

 
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Scott Richmond in his windup during a bullpen session

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Jeremy Accardo throws a pitch during a bullpen session

 
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Ace Roy Halladay throwing during a bullpen session

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GM J.P. Ricciardi watching pitchers with manager Cito Gaston

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Closer B.J. Ryan prepares a throw during a bullpen session

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Brian Tallet winds up during a bullpen session

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GM J.P. Ricciardi and hitting coach Gene Tenace watch the pitchers

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Japan’s Ken Takahashi holds court with the Japanese press

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Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg talking shop with pitcher Matt Clement

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)

Good to see you. How was your offseason?

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.

~JB

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