Tagged: Vernon Wells

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:

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

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


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:

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

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


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:

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

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


Wells update plus BoSox @ Jays pregame

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.

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

Today’s lineup:

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


Pirates @ Jays pregame

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

Today’s lineup:

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


Jays @ Reds pregame

Blasted Nine Inch Nails’ “With Teeth” through the Jeep on the hour-or-so drive here to sunny Sarasota this morning. Nothing like coffee and Reznor to wake you up. Entering Ed Smith Stadium, the security guard kept calling me “Bubba” while checking my bag. Cracked me up.

Just got back to the pressbox a little while ago after our daily pregame chat with Cito. Not a whole heckuva lot going on today, but Gaston did say that Vernon Wells — out since Feb. 23 with a left hamstring strain — will probably begin playing in games in another 10 days or so.

Wells took part in some running drills prior to Toronto’s game against the Reds last night in Dunedin and reported no soreness. Cito also said today that Jason “King of Spring” Lane could head north with the club if Wells isn’t ready by Opening Day. That’s been the assumption anyway with how Lane has been hitting of late, and since Cito has been running him out to center regularly.

Hey, and remember that A.J. Burnett fellow? The guy that opted out of his contract with Toronto and signed a five-year deal with the New York Yankees? Ringing any bells? Yeah, well, turns out he’s scheduled to start against the Blue Jays tomorrow in Tampa. Should be fun.

“It’ll be nice to see him,” Gaston said. “I certainly got along with A.J. really well and I appreciate the way he performed last year for this club after I came here. You know what? He’s a good guy for me and I wish him all the best. But, when we play him, I hope we beat him.”

UPDATE: Funny story. We were misinformed about Burnett’s start. He’s going today for the Yankees — NOT tomorrow. Soooo, there goes that. Andy Pettitte is starting tomorrow against the Jays.

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

Today’s lineup:

Joe Inglett, 2B
Buck Coats, CF
Adam Lind, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Travis Snider, RF
Michael Barrett, C
J.P. Arencibia, DH
John McDonald, SS

David Purcey, P
Brett Cecil, P

Jacque Jones, LF
Alex Gonzalez, DH
Chris Dickerson, CF
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Jonny Gomes, 1B
Laynce Nix, RF
Jeff Keppinger, 3B
Humberto Cota, C
Paul Janish, SS

Micah Owings, P


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


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.



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

Wells out one month with hamstring strain

Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells is expected to be sidelined a month after straining his left hamstring on Monday at the Bobby Mattick Training Center. Wells was left Toronto’s complex to undergo an MRI exam to further evaluate the damage.

“Right now, preliminary, I’d say he’s going to miss four weeks,” Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said.

Wells had two stints on the disabled list last season, including one for the same hamstring last July. The 30-year-old center fielder finished the season batting .300 with 20 home runs and 78 RBIs, but he spent 52 games on the DL. He also fractured his left wrist in May of last season.


Wells likely out of Classic

Due to some paperwork issues, Vernon Wells probably won’t be suiting up for Team USA during the World Baseball Classic. Wells has been waiting two weeks for an update, but is starting to think it’s not going to happen.

“Right now, I’m under the impression that I’m not playing,” he said on Friday.

Wells said he exceeded the number of days allowed to be on the disabled list in the previous season for participating players. He noted that each player also requires insurance and there have been issues with that due to the size of his contract with Toronto.