Bad bounce for Blue Jays against Tigers
DUNEDIN, Fla.-Brian Tallet swore he wasn't going to bounce his first-inning changeup to Brandon Inge. The next bounce it took was towards the school located behind the fence in left centre field at Dunedin Stadium. The Tigers were on their way to an 8-2 win over the Jays that dropped the Grapefruit League record to 9-7, with an off-day on Tuesday.
“Probably two pitches and one of them wasn't that bad,” Tallet said. “The home run that (Ryan) Raburn hit he just went out and ambushed an early-count fastball. Then it was the changeup that Inge hit. Through the first part of camp I've been bouncing so many changeups, I just told myself I'm not going to bounce them anymore. It's not going to get any better by bouncing it. I've got to be able to get that pitch in the (strike) zone. I was working on getting that pitch up and got it up a little too much.”
HITS: Jose Bautista doubled in three at-bats, keeping his average at .519, but good news is that regular third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was able to get five at-bats in a minor-league game and play the field over at the Mattick complex...Randy Ruiz was 2-for-2 and slammed his third homer of the spring...Travis Snider continued his torrid streak, raising his average to .306 with a pair of hits.
MISSES: Aaron Hill was hitless and struck out for the first time in 26 plate appearances this spring...Ryan Goins, filling in at third base, cut off a throw from Jeremy Reed in left that would have nailed a runner at the plate. He looked to throw to third but realized he was otherwise occupied...Adam Lind was hitless in two at-bats, dropping his average to .240...Righthander Josh Roenicke's running out of time to make an impression. He allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in 1-2/3 innings.The Jays have their third scheduled off-day of the spring on Tuesday. Lefthander Ricky Romero will start at the minor league complex in a Class-A game, scheduled for five innings. Then on Wednesday, the Jays travel to Port Charlotte to face the Rays, with Dana Eveland facing Jeff Niemann.
* * * * * * *
The remainder of the Jays' rotation after Shaun Marcum in Texas remains up in the air because of the uncertainty of righthander Brandon Morrow. Acquired from the Ms, Morrow was originally slated to start the third game of the Rangers series, April 8. Morrow will miss a total of two starts, including what would have been Wednesday at the Rays, with soreness in his right shoulder. He will next throw in a game on Monday, March 29, scheduled for three innings.
“We're going to wait and see and if he looks okay. That could make a difference in our rotation, too,” manager Cito Gaston said. “If he feels good, he's got a chance. If he doesn't feel good, he probably won't make it.”
* * * * * * *
It was a busy Monday for Jays' major-leaguers over at the Bobby Mattick. Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion saw his first game action, going 1-for-5 for AAA-Las Vegas. Also returning to action was utility infielder Mike McCoy, who was 1-for-4 with a walk and a pickoff. Jose Molina, who drove over to catch the Jays' relievers, was 0-for-3 with a walk.
Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor, Scott Downs and David Purcey each pitched a shutout inning. Shawn Camp allowed a run in his inning of work. The relief pitching had been backed up in their work by the rainout on Sunday against the Red Sox.
* * * * * * *
Lefthanded reliever Jesse Carlson threw from a mound on Monday for the first time in 12 days. He had been sidelined with discomfort in the medial collateral ligament (MCL) of his left knee.
The session took place before regular batting practice and ended with trainer George Poulis, Carlson, manager Cito Gaston, and two P.R. men huddled with the lefty in the bullpen.
The club announced that Carlson will throw in the bullpen again on Wednesday. Gaston indicated that Carlson still has enough time to prove he is healthy and break camp with the Jays. He has made one game appearance thus far in Grapefruit League play.