March 1 to 7, 2010
Programming note: this takes up way to much of my time to compile. Hope you enjoyed it because I am going to have to start getting selective from here on…..
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“He has to play his way onto this team,” general manager Alex
Anthopoulos said about Snider. “He’s a young player and he knows that. I
told him in the offseason he’s going to be a big part of this organization.
That being said, he knows he’s got to go out and perform in spring training.
“But if he doesn’t make it as an everyday player, he’ll go down. He
flew through the minor leagues and has not had a lot of minor league at-bats,
and that’s a credit to his ability. So if he’s going to be up here it’s going
to be to play every single day,” Anthopoulos said.
“We’ve talked to him about it. That date is non-existent for us with him,”
general manager Alex Anthopoulos said about McGowan. “If it happens to fall on
that date, great. If it happens a week later, that’s fine as well, even three
months after that.
“This is a young guy who certainly has a great chance to be part of this
organization for a long time and we want to make sure we get it right and not
take any chances.”
“He asked(McGowan about facing live hitters)” said GM Alex Anthopoulos.
“He’s feeling really good, he wanted to do it and the trainers signed off on
“We’ve told him that as far as we’re concerned, opening day is just another
day on the calendar,” Anthopoulos said. “If he’s not ready until three weeks
later, it doesn’t matter. He’s not some 38-year-old guy on a one-year contract.
We want him to be a part of this for a long time and he understands that.”
“If Kevin Gregg wins that job in spring training,”
said new GM Alex Anthopoulos, “and he ends up getting the eighth-inning
role or the seventh-inning role, that isn’t a bid thing either.”
“We’re not going to go into the draft shying away from
certain players because they’re too expensive,” Anthopoulos told MLB.com.
“If we feel the value is there, and we put the right value on those
players, we’ll have the money to go sign the players.”
him as a starter,” Alex Anthopoulos, the Blue Jays’ rookie general
manager, added. “He seems very comfortable.”
“His control and command has
been the thing that’s held him back the most,” Anthopoulos said. “But
when you throw that hard, command usually comes later.
“He’s only 25. We think that
will come. I’ve compared him to a young A.J. Burnett. His walks rates have
gotten better from his Florida Marlins days. You can’t teach stuff. You can’t
teach a sharp-biting curve.”
“I can’t speak for the other places he’s been, but I know we’re
certainly going to give him an honest shot to win the full-time DH role, or to
be a guy off the bench,” Anthopoulos said about Ruiz.
“His bat is definitely his calling card,” Anthopoulos said about
“2010 will really tell us the tale,” general
manager Alex Anthopoulos said about Loewen.
“We’re not going to rush any of these kids,” the GM said. “There’s not going
to be that temptation, ‘Oh, we just traded Roy Halladay, we got these three
kids, lets get them up here right now, let’s show the fans what we’ve got.’
“This is about getting these guys ready and, hopefully, ready to stay and be
part of this for a long time.”
“I’ve told Kyle, even before he
throws an inning, the plan for him right now is to go down to New Hampshire,
but it’s not set in stone,” Anthopoulos said. “And we certainly reserve the
right to change our minds, but we do feel that there’s some development left
for him. And just because he starts there [Double-A], if that ends up being the
case, it doesn’t mean that we’re not capable of calling him up.”
“A big part of this game is the mental side and I think players will go
through a wall for him,” Anthopoulos said. “And I think he knows how to build
them up and get them to have confidence in themselves, believing in
“We want to have an identity as a team that plays good, hard-nosed,
fundamental ball,” Anthopoulos said over the phone while scouting a high
school game in Florida.
“It helps them be more comfortable,” Buck said. “I didn’t want
to come in and say, ‘This is what you’re going to do.’ They’re good for a
reason. They’re here for a reason. We can use that and go from that point,
rather than me coming in and not knowing them. I think that helps them just
stay with who they are.”
“It’s a fresh start,” Buck said. “We’ve obviously got a young
staff, like the way Kansas City
was when we were really young. But the guys that are young that are here, I
think they’re ready to be at this level.”
“It will probably be a couple
years down the road, but I could see it being very exciting,” Buck said. “Maybe
Braves-type of thing. They really have the arms here.”
“Doc may not be here but I can
feel just what he’s left here, the work ethic,” Buck said. “Coming in at 6:30
in the morning, and I thought I was going to impress some people here, and some
of the pitchers were walking out. They were done with their workouts, and that
was pretty encouraging.”
“The task at hand is nothing
compared to what we were in Kansas
City,” he said. “The guys are ready right now. They
may be young, they may be lacking experience, but they’re ready. They have an
idea, they know what works for them, they know what doesn’t.”
“He’s pretty impressive, too,” the veteran catcher said, referring to Kyle
“He’s cheating a little bit with his dad,” Buck said. “He was probably
talking to him, telling him what sequence to throw out of the womb.”
“I said I’d rather face batters,” McGowan said. “So we went
“Actually, to tell you the truth, I
was a little nervous all last night,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect.
But we didn’t call any inside pitches. I was just trying to get a feel for
pitching again and just finding the plate.
“The important thing is that I got to do it and everything felt good. I
enjoyed it, having fun again.”
“They didn’t swing too much. That’s not their job right now.”
“It’s early. Later on they’ll be on a lot of those pitches,” he said.
“He was throwing some nasty
stuff,” said Snider about McGowan.
“I’m just excited. I’m saying,
‘Hey, 22 years old and you’ve got a shot to make the big-league team out of
spring training.’ I’m here to win a job. Coming off last year’s performance,
how can anyone guarantee me a job?”
“Hey, at this point, just
making contact is a good thing, right?”
“I had a great time hitting
with him,” Lind said, referring to Hill.
“We were both confident, had
personal competitions going on,” Lind said. “We were neck and neck in
everything the whole year.”
“I don’t really think about
(increased attention) until people bring it up to me. It’s not like I think
about it when I go home,” said Lind, who won a Silver Slugger for his
performance in 2009. “I haven’t been back to Toronto but maybe (more people will recognize
me). We’ll see.”
“I was in the background,” he
says. “You couldn’t really see me.”
“I don’t think either one (Hill, Lind) thinks that much about
it,” Blue Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield said. “I think that they’re
both confident enough where they try to block out all the exterior stuff that
may not allow you to play as well as you could. I think they’ve both arrived as
“I’ve always respected him as a shortstop who catches the ball as well or
better than anyone in the game,” Butterfield said. “Everywhere he has been
people have raved about his ability to catch the ball and save runs…He’s in
good physical shape and I’d like to think that he could play, and play a lot of
“The pitchers are going to come
at us with a game plan until we change and show them that we can handle it, and
then they’ll change again,” Hill said. “That’s baseball.”
“It hasn’t even started yet,”
Hill said, his game face already very much in place. “You can’t say how good or
bad we might be. People are still putting together their lineups.”
“So far, so good,” Gaston said about McGowan. “I’m impressed
in what I see.”
“You’ve got to realize this kid’s been out what, almost
two years,” Gaston said.
“Big time, Gaston said. “He was one of the guys I really wanted to go over
and watch. … So far, man, good. It would be really great if he could break
(camp) with us. If he can’t, say a week or two later, whatever, we want him not
to rush himself, but we want him to know how bad we want him.
“He’s a kid I’ve been pulling for, hard,” Gaston added. “You’d love to see
this kid have a career and not end it by having a bad arm. He’s someone I think
of often as far as hoping he’ll get back, not so much for this team or myself
as for himself and his family.”
“I think because he’s so young and we want to see him develop and play a
long time here, he’d be better off to go out and play (triple A) if he didn’t
make the club. He’s a part of the future,” said Gaston about Snider.
“I think he’s matured in the sense that he’s listening, working hard, he’s
learned by his mistakes. I’d love to see him make this team, go out and hit
20-25 home runs. Then we’d really have something going.
“But for him to just come here and sit and play every once in a while off
the bench, or even platoon, I don’t think that’s what we want.”
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston noted that Frasor, lefty Scott Downs and
newly-signed Kevin Gregg are the only relievers who are assured jobs in the
Opening Day bullpen. “The rest of it’s open,” said Gaston.
“We’re not going to move him to
the bullpen,” Toronto
manager Cito Gaston said about Morrow. “We want to make him a
“This kid gained a lot of confidence last year and he was
successful,” Gaston said about Frasor. “You’d give him the ball and
he did a great job for us. He really just got over the hump last year.”
“Carlson is one of the guys I really like,” Gaston said. “We
pitched him a lot and he was having problems, not with his pitching arm, but
with his other shoulder. You do have to lead with that shoulder.
“He’s still got to go out and do something because he didn’t have a great
year last year.”
“All he’s got to do is go out there and take it to them,” Gaston
said about Josh Roenicke.
“Gonzalez has never played on
turf before and he’s one of the guys I want to give a day off here and there if
I can,” Gaston said.
“I think it’s going to be better for Mac. I’m going to try to make it
better for him.”
“I’d like to find him some more playing time.”
“That’s one reason we got Buck,” Jays manager Cito Gaston said.
“We heard he’s great with young pitchers.”
“He’s really nasty, isn’t
he?” Gaston said Jenkins. “He’s going to move real fast (through the
minor-league system) if he stays healthy.”
“Carlson, to be honest
with you, he’s got to show something, too,” Gaston said. “Carlson
struggled a little bit last year, but there was a lot going on with him last
year that people don’t know about. We were pitching him a lot and he was having
problems, not with his throwing arm, but with his other arm, his
“I was talking about trying to
give guys days off,” Gaston said about Gonzalez. “And he’s probably one of the
guys I would do it to.”
“I’ve been saying it since we
started camp,” Gaston said. “I can’t wait to see some games and start being
able to have something to really evaluate all these young players and pitchers.
You really can’t tell anything until the games begin.”
“It’s been good so far,”
manager Cito Gaston said. “It’s usually an arm or a leg, or something. We’ve
got to move and get it going. I’m excited to be able to watch some games, which
is what it’s all about.”
“We’ll just give him a few more
days,” Gaston said about E5. “He’s OK, though. He’s probably going to play on
“It’s not anything new he hasn’t heard from Murph before, and he knows Murph
from the minor leagues,” Gaston said. “I’ve told him and Murph’s told him, too,
‘(Pitchers are) gonna come at you different. They’re gonna try and figure out a
way to get you out. It’s up to you to stick to your guns. I’ve always said you
dictate what you want to hit and that’s what he’s got to do.”
“Pressure doesn’t bother him too
much. He’s pretty laid back,” Gaston said. “He got (a) nickname last year from
Scutaro. Scutaro called him Sleepy. He’s Sleepy till he walks up to that
“Jenkins had one of the best,” Gaston said yesterday, settling into full
nostalgia mode at the Blue Jays spring training camp. “Fergie’s back foot would
not leave that mound. He was just all arm and he’d give you the same motion and
“Great changeup – although he had some kind of a slider, too.”
“The changeup is the toughest pitch to recognize what it is, the speed of
it,” Gaston said. “And that’s why they keep saying it. But pitchers don’t
realize it sometimes. They think because they take a little off they’re going
to get killed.
“It’s the best pitch in baseball because you can’t distinguish what it is.”
“I still like that kid,” manager Cito Gaston said about Loewen.
“I still think he has a good swing.”
“I’ll never forget I had Green here one time, when he was a kid,”
Gaston said, “and it seemed like every time I put him up there he was
hitting against a left-hander. I thought for a while that kid probably is
thinking I’m doing that intentionally.”
“The pitches he was swinging at were pitches he can’t hit,” Gaston
said. “I don’t think a good hitter is going to hit those. Good hitters
will probably take those — experienced hitters. I don’t believe any of them
were a strike. They all were balls.
“That’s one thing that’s he’s got to work on — get a strike. If he
takes those pitches, now he gets the chance to hit a fastball. Now you get a
chance to hit a ball you can handle.”
“We were just try to protect him a little bit,” Gaston said of
putting Snider in a platoon last year. “Trying to build some confidence
“If he’s going to play every day, he’s going to have to hit some
left-handers,” Gaston said. “I’m not sure we want to really platoon
him. We haven’t really talked about it in-depth, but I’d almost think — at 22
years old — it’s almost better for him to go out and play [in the Minors]
instead of platooning [in the Majors].”
“We’re going to be aggressive in a smart way,” Gaston said.
“If pitchers are going to give it to us, we’re going to take it. We’re
going to do some things, some small things to try to win. We’re not going to
run ourselves out of games. If we do that, then that’s just crazy.
“But, we’re going to be aggressive and we’re going to do some things
that we haven’t done before, if I’ve got those kind of guys around to do it.
You still have to have the right people around to do it.”
“Jose knows how to get a good jump,” Gaston said. “He reads
pitchers well and Aaron’s going to be aggressive. That’s two good combinations
“We haven’t made that decision yet,” Blue Jays
manager Cito Gaston said. “He gave up one run but he pitched well.”
“Not to say that he can’t do it,” Gaston said. “Not to
discourage him … but if he’s facing the [No. 1] all the time, it’s going to be
tough. You certainly don’t want to destroy a kid at that age. So it’s something
we really have to think about.”
“It was a tough day out there with the wind blowing, one of those days you
love to be a left-handed hitter,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.
Romero gave up two hits, had a strikeout and no walks. Gaston said Romero
looked a lot better this time than early last spring.
“Control problems,” Gaston said. “Now you don’t see that. There’s a little
bit of confidence along with the hard work. He looked great. I think he just
got a little careless at the end. Otherwise he pitched great.”
“The rest of it’s history,” Gaston said.
“You just have to remember one thing — he’s going to go against the
best,” Gaston said of the No. 1 starter. “Not to say that [Romero]
can’t do it. … But if he’s facing [a No. 1] all the time, it’s going to be
tough. Certainly, you don’t want to destroy a kid at that age. It’s something
that we really have to think about.”
“He’s got a chance to lead off for you,” Gaston said of Gathright.
“He’s got some speed there. We’re going to give him a chance. If he makes
this club, and say Snider doesn’t make this club as the left fielder, then we
might think about leading him off and dropping Bautista somewhere else.”
“There is a bit of a problem with the leadoff guy,” Gaston said
earlier this spring. “We might have to go to Bautista because Bautista
does get on, he walks. But he’s not a guy that you would just pencil in for a
leadoff man. … He just might be the guy to lead off for us because we don’t
have a leadoff man.”
“Now you don’t see that (inconsistency),” Gaston said about Romero after
Wednesday’s 7-6 loss to the Tigers. “That’s a little bit of confidence… along
with some hard work.”
“He did a good job, just like I said,” said Gaston about Rzepczynski.
“The record didn’t show how well he pitched for us last year.”
“Like I said, when we leave, we leave
with him,” said Gaston.
“He throws strikes and that’s what I like about him.”
“I’ve seen him in the Florida State League two or three years ago,” said
manager Cito Gaston about Arencibia. “We didn’t see much from last year because
he was hurt. I think this kid is going to be a legit catcher. He can hit and I
like the way he moves around behind the plate.”
“He just missed his first one, too,” said Blue Jays manager Cito
Gaston, referring to Arencibia’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Gaston said of Drabek’s performance.
“He was just missing just a little bit. From talking to [Jose] Molina a
little bit, [pitching coach Bruce Walton] was telling me, he said he’s got good
stuff. He’s firm. He just missed a little bit on certain pitches — up a little
bit in the strike zone, But otherwise, his ball jumped. He was a little fired
“Tallet has earned the chance (to start) by all that he did for us last
year,” Gaston said.
“When a young pitcher understands what he did wrong, that goes a long way
toward making the adjustment he’ll need to make,” Gaston said about Drabek.
“If a guy knows what he’s doing out there, that means he can make some
sort of adjustment and get it right.”
“I like the way he pitched for us last year,” Gaston said about
Rzepczynski. “As I’ve said, his record surely didn’t show how well he
pitched for us last year, but he did a good job. And, he did a great job today.
Like I’ve said, when we leave, we leave with him.”
“We’re just going to give him a few more days,” Gaston said about
E5. “There’s nothing going on. He’s not hurt. I think he’ll probably play
on Thursday of next week. There’s nothing going on, He just feels a little weak
in that hand, so we don’t want to rush him. If he comes to me and tells me
he’s good before then, he’ll go before then.”
“I think I’ll leave him right where he’s at,” Gaston said about
Bautista with a chuckle. “He’s been swinging the bat, man, ever since he
got a chance to play at the end of last season. … He’s one of the guys I
thought about all winter for a leadoff guy. We didn’t really pick up anybody
else to do that job, so he fits it pretty good.”
“Mills looked like a different kid all together,” Gaston said.
“He looked even better than he did all last year, even in Spring Training
when everybody was so excited about him. I don’t know. It’s tough. It’s tough,
because if you look at what we have, I don’t know. [The rotation
race] is open. We’ll just hope he keeps going and see what happens.”
“I told him if he stays healthy he should move [up] pretty quick.”
said Gaston to Jenkins.
“Oh, man. Wow,” said Gaston, smiling. “He got a lean,
too. That means he can really get around those bases. He’s leaning the right
way. Inside lean. That’ll get you around there quick.”
“I never got a chance to see the real Shaun,” Gaston said. “I
know when I joined this club, when I got hired back here, Doc was one of the
guys that said, ‘Cito, you’re going to enjoy watching this kid pitch.’ Then,
his arm was hurt, so I never got a chance to see it.
“All I hear is good things. I’m looking forward to seeing if he’s
healthy at the end of the game, at the end of his two innings. That’s what’s
“Just keep on doing what you’re doing.” Gaston said to Bautista.
“This kid gained a lot of confidence last year, and he was successful,”
Gaston said about Frasor. “You’d give him the ball and he did a great job for
us. He really just got over the hump
“We haven’t made that decision yet,” Gaston said about opening day.
“He’ll probably play about Thursday of next week,” said manager Cito Gaston
about Encarnacion. “There’s nothing going on. He’s not hurt. He just feels a
little weak in that hand and we don’t want to rush him. If he comes to me and
tells me he’s good to go, then we’ll go before then.”
“Second inning better than the first,” was Gaston’s first impression about
Morrow. “He just kind of dominated against some very good hitters.”
“I just wanted to be in the best shape possible coming into
camp. I didn’t want to be out of shape,” said Jenkins, now listed at 225
pounds. “I didn’t want to be struggling during conditioning, so I just
decided to get into really good shape before I showed up. The pounds just
started to come off.”
“That fried chicken and stuff that people in the south
love, if you quit eating it and come back to it, it does a number on your body
the next day,” he says. “Every day I feel better. I’m not tired. On
the field my arm feels better. … Taking off some pounds does help.”
“I was really nervous,” said Jenkins. “That’s the first time I’ve thrown in
a live game situation since May 15. I’ve really missed this feeling.”
“He’s really starting to command it,” pitching
coach Bruce Walton said about Frasor’s change up/splitter. “Hitters are
going to have to start swinging at it, because it’s going to be a strike.”
“It makes it so
much easier in anything in life,” first-year Toronto pitching coach Bruce
Walton said about Morrow starting, “knowing what direction you’re going.
“He has the stature,” Blue Jays pitching coach Bruce Walton
said about Gregg. “He’s big, he don’t look real nice, and I don’t think he is
nice when he gets out on the mound. He has that appearance that he’s going out
there and he doesn’t even want to see you foul a ball off. That’s pretty
“He did something to it in a kitchen-type accident,”
said about Cecil pitching coach Bruce Walton, who did not indicate the injury
“At the time, I hated the game,” Walton said, looking back at a turbulent
time in his life, during a break this week from the Blue Jays’ spring training
camp at Dunedin Stadium.
“I didn’t want to make a replacement team,” Walton said. “Hell, I could have
made that. I wanted to make a major-league team and that was it.”
“Who wouldn’t hate the game,” Walton said. “There was no major-league
baseball and here I am busting my butt, still trying to get back there, or
prove I could stay there, and there was nothing to do. There was no team to
make. I just didn’t like it.
“The game gives you so much at times and it takes so much out of you at
“I’d never even heard of Medicine
Hat,” Walton said, before readily accepting the new
“Pitching was always No.1 and getting to the big leagues was always my
goal,” Walton said. “But I always had a pretty good knack of helping guys down
in the bullpen while I was playing. And I found I liked that part of the game.
“But it all really came down to one simple question – where did I see myself
being 10 years down the road?”
“From the day the season ended until that phone call from Alex I had no idea
what was going on,” Walton said. “I knew I was still under contract for another
year, which helped because I knew I wasn’t in trouble financially to have to
sprint out and find a job right away.
“But the not knowing if I was the bullpen coach for the Toronto Blue Jays hurt.
It was hard.”
Walton will readily admit that while he believes there is plenty of talent
in the mix, he really doesn’t know exactly what he has.
“I can’t wait to find out,” he said.
“Americans,” he said jokingly, rolling his eyes. “No
“I’m going to be doing some investigating around
here,” said Richmond, who is a native of North Vancouver, British Columbia
after his make shift gold medal was destroyed.
“I had 20 guys jumping and dancing in front of
said with a smile.
“It’s an opportunity I wish could have,” Richmond said. “To
get in there and just try and battle for a spot again, it brings out the best
in everybody and I’d like to be a part of that, contributing and trying to see
where I stack up with everybody. It’s exciting to go out there to compete with
the guys, but on the other hand, I’ve got to do it at 100 percent.”
“I was able to come back and pitch after being on the DL,” Richmond said. “I
came back feeling 100 percent, but it just got worse every time out. It never
stayed at 100 percent, and my numbers show it. It just kept going down. It was
frustrating. I’m trying to get up there and help the team and I don’t want to
be babying it. I’m trying to pitch and battle through it.
“It’s something I can overcome. It just makes me work harder. Plain and
simple, I can’t rush it and come back and not be at 100 percent and then have
to be down and up and rehab it again. I have to have it at 100 percent right
out of spring and keep it at that level the whole year. By taking good care of
it right now, that’s what we’re doing.”
“I just try to do what I can to help out and still have
a good time,” Richmond
“I think it’s a good move for
me, yeah,” Morrow said. “The whole clean-slate thing. It relaxes the
mind, especially because they said coming in that it’s going to be a young
staff and they’re going to build it up.
“The next two or three years, I
think it’s going to be a great staff.”
“It will be nice to be in here
at this development stage, and they’ll let you develop,” Morrow says.
“And it doesn’t matter if I have four good starts and three bad starts.
I’ll still be out there.”
“Not that they were pushing me
in different directions mechanically, but it takes awhile for them to get to know
you, and for you to get to know them,” Morrow said.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“Probably, I guess. The first regime probably had a long-term idea of what
they wanted to do with me.”
“I don’t measure myself against
him, that would be awfully difficult,” Morrow said. “We’ve had such
different paths. I realize that.
“It doesn’t bother me, but the Seattle fans and media
made a big deal about it. I was always of the mindset that if Tim Lincecum were
a Mariner, he probably would have been in the bullpen in ’07.”
“All that stuff just stays in
the back of people’s heads,” Morrow said. “There was always the
thought that if I was still in Seattle,
that I could go back to the bullpen at some point.”
“That’s been answered for sure
over the last three years,” he said. “Physically, I feel better
starting. It puts me in a better spot mentally. It calms me down a
“I was rushing a little in the first inning but that’s hard not to do when
it’s your first outing facing the two-time NL champs with five All-Stars in a
row starting it off,” Morrow said. “Maybe I was trying to throw too many
strikes in the beginning. In the second inning I came out and was a lot more
“Over the winter, I might have played catch more with my changeup than
I did my fastball,” Morrow said. “So I’m in a really good spot with
that right now.”
“That was a big pitch,” Morrow said.
“Yeah, I think they broke in the second inning was what happened,”
Morrow said about his curveball.
“Maybe [I was] trying to throw too many strikes in the beginning,”
Morrow said. “Then, the second inning, I came out and was just a lot more
aggressive. I’ve been going through my windup a little bit slower. Then, the
aggressiveness at the end of my mechanics was a lot better in the second inning,
and I threw some good pitches.”
“This is my first time playing a lot of games (on turf) and I know it’s
really hard,” said Gonzalez, who signed with the Jays in late November. “But
I’ve got to put it out of my mind and go out there and do everything. I don’t
care (if I play on) turf or regular grass.”
“Thank God, it feels good, my knee,” he said. “I can do everything on the
“I think that was the key behind me leaving,” Molina said. “I think Jorge
was one of the guys who didn’t like it. I don’t think he had anything against
me, but he probably didn’t like the situation.”
“What I’ve heard, Buck is the No. 1 guy and I’ll be the backup,” he said. “I
know how to do my job.”
“It changed my career,” Frasor said about his change up. “It
changed my life.”
“How many hitters can recognize that?” he said with a shrug.
“I don’t know.”
“I was just telling somebody that I don’t feel like last year was just
a string of good luck,” Frasor said. “I feel like, with the changeup,
I was much more consistent, and I can carry that over to this year and the next
year and the year after that. If you have a changeup, you can pitch
“It’s been on and off — mostly off — for the first five years,”
Frasor said. “But I just kind of simplified it.”
One weekend did the trick.
“That’s all it took,” Frasor said with a smile.
“Last year, I figured it out, simplified it, and really have a good feel for
it,” he said.
“I got a lot of outs with it.”
“It’s funny,” Frasor said with a laugh. “When you walk
through his pitching clinic, there’s always high school kids, and [Bochtler]
walks around giving everybody the middle finger, because that’s the finger for
the changeup. It’s not meant to be, ‘Screw you,’ it’s, ‘That’s all you’ve got
to worry about is that one finger. That’s it.'”
“It’s the best role,” Frasor said about closing. “If I had
that role again, I’m honored to have that, because there’s some pretty good
pitchers on this team.”
“I don’t think you’re going to see any one guy get
absolutely worn out because I don’t think Cito has to [overuse anyone],” Frasor
said. “He can go to anybody.”
“It really didn’t matter [last year] what role I was in,” he said.
“Granted, the ninth inning does have a different feel, there’s no doubt
about that. Anybody that says the ninth inning doesn’t have a different feel
must be numb or something. The closer’s role is the best job on the team if
you’re good at it. If you’re shaky, it’s very stressful.”
“I can’t believe I’m here,” he said. “I was supposed to be released
from the Blue Jays many, many times from what I hear, from what I’ve read. All
of a sudden, I’m going on my seventh year with these guys and I love it
“It’s exciting,” he said. “I feel as good now and as
confident as I’ve ever been in my stuff. I don’t think I throw as hard as I did
in ’04 or ’05, but that’s all right. I have a changeup.”
“It’s a lot easier to pitch with three pitches than two. It quickly
became my best offspeed pitch — no doubt about it. My slider’s not really a
strikeout pitch. It’s just a third pitch almost. But the changeup,
especially going through the AL East for a sixth year, it’s nice to have that
third pitch against those lineups. I got a lot of outs with it — a lot of outs
with it. It was my go-to pitch, man. Whenever I needed an out, if I was ahead
in the count, here it comes.”
“One through seven, I think this is the best bullpen we’re going to
have since I’ve been here. We don’t have a healthy B.J. [Ryan] closing it
out, but I think one through seven this is as solid as it’s been. Lefties.
Righties. Gregg. Accardo. Come on. I mean, who do you want to put in? Camp?
“We don’t have that every fifth day off with Doc, that guaranteed eight
innings or nine-inning complete game. But that’s OK. That’s OK. We’ve got a
couple long guys down there and that’s fine, too. That’s fine, too. We’re not
going to get worn out, even if the starting guys are going five or six, because
our bullpen guys are so deep.”
“I think the key to last year was I got off to a good start and I was
confident. It was like, ‘Oh, OK. This changeup works. Then I just kind of
rolled that all the way through and it didn’t really matter what role I was in.
“I came up as a starter. I got sliced open, elbow surgery. After
surgery, it was really the first time I ever worked out. I never really worked
out. I just kind of showed up and threw. I always had a good arm, but once I
got moved to the bullpen… I got traded to the Dodgers and I wasn’t 6-foot-4.
I wasn’t good enough to start for them. Everybody was [tall]. That’s when I
gained my velocity, when I started to workout and I when I got moved to the
bullpen. The velocity came.
“I was 89-92 guy as a starter and then I moved to the bullpen and all
of a sudden it’s 95-96. You blow it out for one inning. And with the Dodgers I
felt like I was in trouble. I felt like I was going to be released, because I
was just kind of a throw in with that trade. So I was told, ‘Air it out, let it
rip.’ With them, if you hit the radar gun and you make it pop, they’ll keep you
around. So, let it rip. I did and I’ve been able to maintain that
“Honestly, yeah, I am surprised. I don’t know what else to say. I’m
just surprised that I’ve lasted. I started out good. The middle years, where
did I go? You’d think somewhere in there they [would have got rid of
me]. Coming off mediocre years, you never know.”
“Two days later I’m sitting in the bullpen, it just felt like I had a knife
up my arm,” Carlson said from the Toronto Blue Jays spring training camp Tuesday
morning. “It was bad.”
“I’m not going to say it did, I’m not going to say it didn’t,” Carlson said.
“It was uncomfortable on a daily basis. Obviously when I was out there pitching
I didn’t think about it. “
“But throughout the day and when I was done it was definitely sore. I was
getting treatment for it every day and it just never went away.”
“So far so good,” he said.
“Going through the [American League] East, facing the same hitters – Boston, New York
– and coming up with something different, that helped,” Frasor said. “I got a
lot of outs with it because, with those lineups, they’re looking for a lot of
“I was getting on
him(Bautista)” Romero said. “He hit a line drive right back at my shin. That’s
not a very good thing.”
“It’s going to finally be good to go out there and face a different team,
see where you’re at when they’re swinging at you,” Romero said. “I’m always
going to be competitive whether it’s a practice game, an intrasquad game or a
“You’ve still got to go out there and prove yourself and continue to so
good,” he said Tuesday. “As long as I’m part of the rotation and I’m part of
the 25 guys going out there and competing, I’m fine with that.
“It’s going to finally be good to go out there and face a different team,
see where you’re at when they’re swinging at you,” Romero said. “I’m always
going to be competitive whether it’s a practice game, an intrasquad game or a
“You can get a lot out of that, the whole control thing,” Romero said. “You
can tell where you’re at and what pitches need a little work, what kind of
swings the hitters take on you.
“Everything works off your fastball so I’d say that’s my best pitch. The out
pitch has always been my curveball but this early, it’s probably my changeup.
I’m comfortable with all my pitches.”
“It’s 3-1, I’m thinking don’t walk this guy, make a good pitch,”
Romero said. “Obviously, it stayed little up.
“That’s where the wind works against you.”
“I feel like we have to create our own identity as young guys,”
Romero said. “Halladay is gone and no one is going to be Halladay, no
one’s going to be Roy
“We’ve got to create our own identity and be our own people. I feel if
we do that and look out for each other we’re going to be good.”
“I try not to think about where I might end up in the rotation,”
he said. “My one and only job is to go out there and give my team the best
chance to win and give us as many innings as possible.
“I don’t think anyone in our rotation or anyone that’s battling for a
rotation spot is thinking about who’s going to be the No. 1 or who’s going to
be No. 2. Wherever we stack up at the end, we’re going to be happy and go out
there and battle.”
“Oh, definitely,” Romero said with a smile. “I feel more
“I’m thinking, ‘Don’t walk this guy, make a good pitch,'” Romero
said. “Obviously, it stayed a little up. It just goes on to prove that any
time you’re down in the count to any hitter, he’s going to make you pay,
especially if it’s down the middle.”
“I was feeling pretty good,” Romero said of his first outing.
“Talking to one of the trainers, they were like, ‘You look like you
could’ve probably gone eight innings today.’ That’s just the way I feel right
now. Everything feels good. I feel right where I need to be conditioning-wise.
I’m feeling good.”
“I want to be known as a strike-thrower,” said Romero, who threw 17 strikes
among 29 pitches Wednesday. “I told (pitching coach Bruce Walton) in the dugout
that I could care less about strikeouts. If I can get pop-ups and one-two pitch
outs, that cuts down on my walks…and I can go further into a game.”
“I felt like I threw strikes, that was the biggest thing,”
“That’s what I’m working on this spring: Throwing strikes and refining my
pitches,” he said. “I feel like I’m right where I need to be.”
“I feel more relaxed,” he said. “When I got behind in the count, I was able
to slow the game down to my pace and tell myself: ‘All right, I need to gather
myself here and make a good pitch.’ “
“Never, never, never,” Ruiz said from Toronto Blue
Jays camp. “I’m not a quitter. I have a very supportive family. We’re not
“[Sheesh], that’s a lot of home runs,” Ruiz said.
“I tell you what, I’m just happy to be up here.”
“This game is weird,” Ruiz said. “You never know; I could be
here one day and the next with another team.”
Ruiz ended it with a major league cliché — actually, a doubleheader:
“We’re going to leg it out and play it by ear.”
“It’s a building process,” the 31-year-old Gregg said.
“We’re not a $200-million payroll team. We got good money in the team, but
we’ve got a lot of young guys with a lot of potential and upside that can make
a good combination.”
“When you’ve got three guys that can close the door at the
back end, it really helps out the starters and their situation, too,” he said.
“It allows us to shorten the game.”
“I’ve always enjoyed hitting more than pitching,” said Loewen, whose
mound days ended because of a stress fracture in his elbow, “but pitching
took me further. I gave it a shot. I enjoyed it. But now that I’m hitting, I’m
loving it. I couldn’t be happier.
“To have gone through my pitching career and know that I gave it
everything and there’s nothing else I could do, that really gives me peace of
mind that I can keep doing this without thinking, ‘Well, maybe I can go back
and pitch.’ It’s really not an option.”
“I am pretty far away,” he admitted. “Right now I’m just
learning my swing. I have an idea what’s going to make me successful. It’s just
constant repetition and repeating the same swing.
“Last year when I was working with hitting coaches, I thought I knew what
they were talking about. But now that I look back, I really didn’t have a clue,
because I had no game experience to compare things to.”
“At the end I was able to hit offspeed pitches, which I really didn’t do
all year,” Loewen said.
“It’s really learning how to get ready for a fastball. Once you can do
that, put your body in a good position to hit … last year it took me half a
season to figure out how to do that. Just getting my hands ready at the same
time my foot’s down and the ball’s arriving in the hitting zone.”
“I can let it go with no pain. I have to limit my throws and be smart
“It feels like my arm’s slowly breaking,” he recalled, somehow
managing a chuckle
“That was the plan in the back of my head,” Loewen said,
“because I knew I was coming to the end. So I prepared myself for it and I
knew what I wanted to do right away.”
“It seems like an easy choice to me,” he said. “I’m in this ’til
“I really didn’t realize how far away I was until the last year,” he
said. “Pitchers would see this big guy standing in the box [and think],
“OK, it’s [time to throw] junk.’ That’s when I had to learn.”
Said Loewen: “I think my drive’s a lot stronger now. I’ve been there, I’ve
tasted it, I know what it’s like.
“But I’m enjoying myself, right now, in the minor leagues, just as much as
I was when I was pitching in the majors. That’s really a sign for me that it
was the right decision.”
“We know what’s going on obviously,” said Jose Bautista, who
played third base, batted leadoff, singled and was on the front end of a
first-inning double steal. “But I don’t think we can let it affect our
game. We have to go out there with the same goal. That’s to win games. If we
just focus on that, who knows?
“There’s been a couple of teams in the past that have had young
pitching staffs that are very talented like we do and they go out and get
results. I think pitching is the mainstay of the team. If they do a good job
and keep us in games, you never know because I think we’re going to score some
“It was a pretty good day,” said Bautista, smiling at his locker.
“The leadoff guy is very important,” Bautista said. “I enjoy
the challenge. I think I’ve been fairly successful in the past when I have been
in that spot. I like it. I’m looking forward to it.”
“I wish we would’ve had a couple more games,” Bautista said with a
“You don’t feel like you have to necessarily get to second base,”
Bautista said. “You have two great guys that can drive in the runs no
matter where you are on the bases. They hit a lot of doubles and they hit a lot
of home runs. So you don’t feel like you have to push the envelope if you don’t
“There will be times where you can just settle for the walk instead of
swinging at that borderline pitch. Take the walk and let those guys go to
“Knowing that you’re going to be in there gives you a certain peace of
mind,” he said. “It takes a little pressure off of you sometimes in
the games. When you don’t know when you’re going to be in there, and you know
that if you get a couple of hits, it’s going to help your case, you maybe try
to do a little more than you need to.
“Being in there every day gives you the peace of mind that you don’t
have to go to that extent. You can just relax and let the at-bats play out and
just rely on letting your ability take over and just play the game.”
“It’s picking your times to go,” he said. “I know I’m not going to try to
bunt for hits all the time. I don’t have that kind of speed. But there’ll be
times when I think if Cito allows me I’ll be able to take some bags.
“I’m not going to go out there and try to steal 50 bags, but there’ll be
situations and pitches and counts with certain hitters at the plate that I’ll
be able to take it if the situation commands it.”
“They were just throwing a lot of good pitches to hit,” he said with a
shrug. “I was just trying to put the ball in play and getting some good wood.
Can’t complain about that.”
“It is spring training. We realize that. We’ve been around. We don’t let
this get us too excited. Just come in and get your work done and prepare for a
“One of the most important things about last year toward the end was having
consistent at-bats,” he says. “That allows you to make adjustments. My better
years have been the ones when I have been playing consistently. It’s tough when
you are coming off the bench. It’s something you have to deal with when you’re
doing it, but it’s definitely more difficult.”
“I am getting ready for that leadoff role,” he said. “I am working hard on
“It’s a mental approach at the plate. I like to let the guys behind me see a
few pitches before they go up to the plate. Now, if they’re throwing balls over
the plate, I can’t take too many because I’ll fall behind. But other than that,
it’s just keeping the ball in play, especially behind in the count or with two
But, as he says: “I’m not Joey Gathright.”
“It’s a matter picking your spots,” he said. “There will be slow pitchers,
or catchers with sore arms, catchers with a slow release; situations where the
hitter might get a good pitch to hit.”
“I think I have more that type of speed,” he said. “Once I get going, and
I’ve got good judgment and know who’s playing, know where they’re playing, know
what kind of arms they’ve got and dependent on how hard the ball is hit, that
kind of thing.”
“You go quite a few games without hitting one and it’s like,
‘I’ve really got to hit a home run,’ ” Wells said before his Toronto Blue Jays
opened their exhibition season in Dunedin,
Fla., on Wednesday.
“Before you know it, you haven’t hit one for another two weeks and it’s like,
‘OK, maybe I should stop trying to do this.’ ”
“It’s just about trying to undo all the bad habits I formed last year in my
swing. That’s what I’ve been working on every day, just getting back to driving
the ball up the middle and having a more consistent swing over the whole
“I got a text before spring training started,”
Drabek said, ” [asking] if it was all right if I had No. 4. I was like,
“I didn’t care,” Drabek said.
“No. 4. I’ve worn it every year since I’ve been in the minor
“No pressure,” he said of coming over in exchange
biggest start. “It’s still the same sport I’ve been playing my whole life.
“I talked to my dad a bunch and he said, ‘It (changing teams) is going to
happen. It’s a sport but it’s also a business. You’ve just got to kind of run
with it and do what you know how to do.’ “
“I have no idea right now,” he said. “I’m just hoping
everything works out for me wherever I go and try and get [to the big leagues]
as quick as I can.”
“I think it went all right,” he said. “My arm felt good. My changeup worked
real well for me. I was just leaving my fastball up and they were hitting it.”
“A little bit,” Drabek said. “It’s still me doing what I
love. So as soon as I got on that mound, everything kind of clicked in. It just
felt like I was pitching again — no distractions — just what I’ve been doing
since I was a little kid.”
“You know I want to,” said Drabek, who is considered the top
pitching prospect in the Jays’ system. “I just want to come out here and
do the best I can. Wherever I end up, I end up. I’ll try my hardest to make it
up there as quick as possible.”
“I was confused,” Drabek said with a laugh about the trade,
“and everyone was excited.”
“Any time you get that first chance to play for a new team and to play in
front of your new teammates and coaches is fun and exciting,” he said.
“Definitely as an athlete and a competitor you’re always looking for your
next challenge,” he said. “For me I feel like my next challenge is in the big
leagues, so I’m going to work as hard as I can to get better every day.”
“I’ve been working really hard with (hitting coach Dwayne Murphy) …
and, hopefully, they’ll see that and when they think I’m ready they’ll give me
“I’ve played it my first two years in
college so it’s not totally foreign,” Wallace said. “Having a chance to work
with Lyle who’s such a quality first baseman is a great opportunity. He has
taken me under his wing, showing me a lot of stuff.”
“We all the share the fact that we’re in the same trade,” said Wallace. “We
all came in here and took our physicals together, we came to the mini-camp
together and now here we are in camp together. It’s kind of fun to have a
couple of guys who are new together with you and learn everyone else’s faces together.”
“When you’re a young player,” Wallace said, “the thing you dream
about is having an organization that wants to push their youth and kind of
rebuild with that and not go out and maybe sign the big names and stuff, but
give their guys the chance. … It’s fun to just come over and be a part of
that, and I think as we grow together, we’re going to have a competitive team
“As an athlete and as a competitor you always want your next
challenge,” Wallace said. “And for me, I feel like my next challenge
is in the big leagues. I’m going to work as hard as I can to get better every
“For me it’s a great opportunity because John Buck and Jose Molina are here
and I’ve been asking them a lot of questions because they’re so experienced,”
“From the start, I didn’t feel like a loner in the clubhouse,” D’Arnaud
said. “They call us brothers because we’re always hanging out. And the first
day I came (to Dunedin)
for the physical, I met Brett. We’ve become really good friends now.”
“[Having] a lot of young guys [around] makes it a lot more fun than
[just] a lot more serious guys,” said d’Arnaud. “The whole team is
loose. We’re all really close. All of us pretty much have fun and know each
other pretty well. Everyone’s growing together.”
“When I heard it happened,” d’Arnaud said, “I was really
happy, because it’s a great opportunity for me.”
“That helped me a lot,” said d’Arnaud. “I knew someone. I
didn’t feel like a loner, I guess you could say, in the clubhouse. When me and
him are hanging out together, [teammates] actually call us brothers, because
we’re always hanging out, always talking. [The trade] opened us to meeting new
“Obviously, tomorrow I wish I could be in the big leagues,”
d’Arnaud said with a smile. “Hopefully [I’m there] within the next few
years — I’m hoping. I’ll just come out and work hard and hopefully
“[The Phillies] got the best pitcher in the game,” said d’Arnaud.
“You know what? All I want to do is be the player that I am,”
Arencibia said. “Last year, I tried to force their hand, and I was
thinking about trying to make it to the big leagues and that whole thing. I put
too much pressure on myself and it backfired. Whenever they feel that I’m
ready, I’ll be ready.”
“It’s just you’re young and everyone wants to play in the big
leagues,” Arencibia said. “It was more about trying to get to the big
leagues than just learning and taking things day by day and playing and being
myself. I was trying to hit three home runs in a game instead of just just
going out there and playing and letting it happen.”
“Everyone now doubts me,” Arencibia said. “I had a terrible
season supposedly. The thing is, I had a terrible season, but if you look at
it, for having the worst season ever, I still produced a lot more than a lot of
“The biggest thing for me was I improved defensively last year.
Regardless of what I hit, I became a catcher. Now, guys are starting to
recognize that I am a good defender.”
“I hadn’t been 193 pounds since I played basketball in high
school,” Arencibia said with a laugh. “The kidney really didn’t
bother me, as far as physically. But it was more just in the back of my head
knowing that baseball is baseball, but my life is my life. I didn’t want to
lose a kidney, so that was kind of in the back of my mind.”
“Every doctor I talked to said, ‘Wow, you’re playing with that
vision?'” Arencibia said. “So that was my indicator.”
“There’s not only one team — I’ve realized that,” Arencibia said.
“For me, I know when I play to my abilities, I’m an everyday player in the
Major Leagues. I know I can be an everyday catcher in the Major Leagues. It’s
good to have him around, because I want to help him just like anyone helped me.
I’m not a guy who’s going to be like, ‘Oh, I don’t
“They’ve told me I have a good chance to be the guy one day,”
Arencibia said. “But I still need to prove myself and I need to get
better. I need to earn whatever I get.”
“Doc’s one of those guys that everybody looked up to,” Marcum said
recently. “He didn’t talk a whole lot, but you learned just by watching
what he did.”
“It feels like a brand-new elbow,” Marcum said. “I feel like
I’m 10 years old again. It takes me three throws to get loose and, other that
that, I just go out there and throw, and my arm feels great.”
“It’s a lot better than last year,” Marcum said with a smile.
“Last year wasn’t a whole lot of fun. I’m kind of looking forward to
getting out there and doing whatever I can to help this team win games. It’s
important to me. Last year was tough to sit there and watch games and not be
able to help.
“It’s going to be a fun year for us this year, and I’m looking forward
“When I hit the ball off the end of the bat is when I feel the pain,” said
Encarnacion on Friday.
“Hopefully, I will be able to play next week.”
“I tried not to worry about anything except what I do in that circle,” a
relaxed Mills said. “That’s the kind of pitcher I am. If I throw strikes with
the heater, then that’s what you’re going to get. When I struggle, I don’t.
“This kid is mature way beyond his years,” said Jays major-league scout Sal
Butera about Jenkins.
“When I would pitch, there would be, like, 30 fans,” said Perez
about the Dominican Summer League. “Maybe 25.”
“To produce impact major-league players. That’s the primary goal,”
said Tony LaCava, the Jays’ vice-president of baseball operations. “But
there’s definitely a philosophical change (from last season), not to say that
what was done before was wrong.”
“It’s important that our younger players get more time together with
our co-ordinators,” LaCava said. “It’s a little different than
developing NCAA players.”
It was Gaston’s first look at the 22-year-old Drabek, who is the son of
former major league pitcher Doug Drabek. But not so for Leyland, who managed
Drabek’s father many years ago in Pittsburgh.
“The kid’s got a good arm, good rotation on his breaking ball,”
noted Leyland. “I haven’t seen him since
he was that big (holding out his arm).”
“The kid looks good,” Leyland said. “He has
got a good arm and good rotation on his breaking ball.”