Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts from Spring Training: Day 2 & 3

            Well that went to fast. After 2 nights, 3 days, and 3 games, my trip to Dunedin has come to an end.  It was filled with insane experiences, from the everyday mundane task of deciphering what John Gibbons is saying, to meeting most of the Jays team in their cafeteria and clubhouse all thanks to Adam Lind! On to the stuff you guys want to read, my thoughts on different player performances.

On Ricky Romero
Romero was awful on Tuesday, and after his start, he told the media that he was throwing 90% sinkers because he wanted to get back to using that pitch like he did in 2011(Click here for article link). If this is true, it would explain his lack of velocity, which sat in the range of 86-87 all day, and only touched 90 a few times. Of course this is going by the Dunedin radar gun, which, might not be too accurate. But what is more of a problem than just his lack of velocity was his lack of control. My seats while I was in Dunedin were 4 rows up right behind home plate, and it was quite obvious that he had no idea where the ball was going. The sinker didn’t sink, and if Romero is going to try to get back to his pre-2012 self, he needs to make his sinker “sink”, and control his other pitches. Of course, he has a month to work on all of this before games actually count, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

On Steve Delabar
Delabar stole the hearts of Blue Jays fans last summer after coming over from Seattle in the Eric Thames trade by using his dominating splitter as a crazy out pitch that had him rising to the top of the league in K/9. The splitter wasn’t 100% on Tuesday, but I totally expect him to start getting the feel back for that pitch in the coming weeks. He sat around 88 MPH on that. He did have good fastball command at around 94 MPH, so that was nice to see.

On Emilio Bonifacio
All I can say about Boni is that he looked terrible at short on Tuesday making countless mistakes such as a bad DP flip, a high throw to Lind at first, a low throw to Lind, and a wide throw to Lind. As with all spring performances, don’t expect him to be this bad at shortstop during the regular season as he just needs to get some reps playing there, a position he hasn’t played in a regular game since 2011.

On Wednesday he looked good at second, and I love him at the plate as his speed brings so much to the game.I still don’t expect him to win the starting second basemen job from Maicer Izturis, but as a super utility guy playing 3-4 times a week, he could be great!

On Adam Lind…
I might be a little bias now when it comes to Lind because of what he did for me, but he has looked great the past few days. He launched a ball over 400 feet on Tuesday for a home run, and continued to look solid at the plate yesterday. Of course this was all against righties, but hopefully that is all he has to play against because of Mark DeRosa, who in a very small sample size of 5 at bats has been showing that he truly can hit lefties like he did before he broke his wrist and every other bone in his body like 64 times.

Rogers really impressed me at the beginning of his performance on Tuesday, but he started to lose his command after the first couple of batters, which led to multiple balls out of the zone and balls left up to the batters. His fastball sat between 94-95, which is great to see this early in soring training, and his slider had great movement both horizontally and vertically, tailing out and down to righties, and in and down to lefties, while being thrown in the high 80’s.

The newly acquired Schwimer has a great mound presence coming in at 6”8, and throws his fastball in the low 90s(well at least he did on Tuesday). He didn’t have good command of it at all, which is totally expected during spring training. He did have his off-speed pitches working well in the low to mid 80’s with some nice late movement. He’ll be a nice player for the fans down in Buffalo to watch this season.

Germano was the lone bright spot on the pitching side of things for the Jays on Wednesday. His stuff was crazy good, and I couldn’t believe how much movement he had on his curve. It must have froze batters 5 or 6 times. Just crazy. He’ll be in the Bisons rotation somewhere and it looks like he was a good get on a minor league deal by Alex Anthopoulos.

As always, don’t read so much into spring training performances as players getting into the mix of things, and competition skew them. 34 days until opening day!!!

Our 30 Teams in 30 Day series starts tomorrow, so make sure to check BJP daily for our previews!


Brett Lawrie warming up, or dancing, either one.

Mark DeRosa continuing his torrid spring...

Jamie Campbell sitting down with Justin Morneau to ask him some questions...

The grounds crew taking the tarp of the field in preparation of Tuesday's game...

Gibby waving to the crowd before the game...

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