Some minor movement here at Dunedin Stadium this morning. Blue Jays manager called a handful of players into his office — none unexpected — and sent them packing for the Minor Leagues.
Returned to Minors camp were Jason Lane, Russ Adams, Dirk Hayhurt, Scott Campbell and Brad Emaus. Brian Wolfe was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. Adams, who is in a similar situation as Curtis Thigpen was before being dealt to the A’s yesterday — no clear home in the organization — said he’d welcome a trade in order to have a fresh start.
“Without question,” Adams said. “It’s one of those things where you’re caught in a bit of a trap and all you can do is continue to play and hope something breaks through at some point, whether it’s here or with somebody else. I’ve just kind of got to take things in stride and hope there’s some kind of a break around the corner.”
With that in mind, Adams was happy that Gaston gave him as much playing time as he did this spring. Same with Lane, who has five homers in Grapefruit League play. Gaston noted that Lane played well enough to make the team, but there’s simply no room for the veteran outfielder with Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, Travis Snider and Adam Lind in the fold.
“It’s just one of things with numbers with him,” Gaston said. “He’s just one of those guys that in case something goes down — somebody gets hurt — we’ve got him in the Minor Leagues.”
As for the rotation, Gaston said the roster will be set before the team heads to Jupiter on Friday for two days of exhibition games with the Marlins. Scott Richmond goes today. Gaston also said again that the team might be leaning toward sliding David Purcey into the No. 2 slot to avoid having two or three lefty starters in a row.
Tigers brought a solid A squad today. And the wind is howling straight in from center field. It should be a good test for Richmond. Jays’ lineup — minus Rod Barajas not being in there — looks close to what it will probably be come Opening Day.
Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Carlos Guillen, LF
Gary Sheffield, DH
Gerald Laird, C
Brandon Inge, 3B
Danny Worth, SS
Edwin Jackson, P
Marco Scutaro, SS
Aaron Hill, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Adam Lind, DH
Michael Barrett, C
Travis Snider, LF
Scott Richmond, P
Chatted with Dustin McGowan this morning about his “setback” and he sounded more relieved than anything. He said his shoulder was feeling more weak than anything, as opposed to the sharp pain he felt prior to his surgery on July.
Dustin said he wanted to see Dr. Kremchek for some reassurance that what he was feeling was normal, and that’s precisely what the doc said. McGowan wants to get back as soon as possible, but said he’s trying to be smart, knowing that there’s no timetable he’s racing against.
“I want to get back to playing, but I’ve go tto be smart. I’ve got to do it the right way so I can avoid injury again and not go through this again,” he said.
Then there is Shaun Marcum, who has been playing catch and wowing Toronto’s coaches an medical staff. There’s even talk that Marcum could possibly be back as early as August. We’ll see about that, though.
“You talk to Marcum, he would pitch right now if you let him,” Gaston said with a laugh, “We have to slow him down a little bit too. I actually spoke to him this morning. I told him ‘Remember, you’re pitching next year — not this year.’ Just slow him down a little bit.”
Russ Adams, who is basically auditioning for other clubs this spring, left yesterday’s game with a sore left quad and Jays skip Cito Gaston said he might be held out of games through Saturday — the off day tomorrow helps.
Scott Richmond is also back in camp with the Jays. He’s scheduled to log three innings in a Minor League game on Friday. Vernon Wells ran again today and said he “felt good.” Probably another week before he’s in a game.
And former Cub great (and Canadian) Fergie Jenkins was on hand to toss out the first pitch today.
Don’t forget, you can follow my in-game updates at www.twitter.com/mlbastian
Nyger Morgan, LF
Andrew McCutchen, RF
Nate McLouth, CF
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Craig Monroe, DH
Andy LaRoche, #B
Shelby Ford, 2B
Jason Jaramillo, C
Luis Cruz, SS
Paul Maholm, P
John McDonald, SS
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, LF
Kevin Millar, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Jason Lane, CF
Travis Snider, RF
Michael Barrett, C
Scott Campbell, 3B
Roy Halladay, P
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.