Griffin: Blue Jays notes Game 19
The Blue Jays on Tuesday night defeated the Red Sox 9-2 at JetBlue Park to run their Grapefruit League record to an impressive 14-4-1. Lefthander Aaron Laffey, with an outside shot of starting the season with the major-league team, allowed a two-run homer to Kelly Shoppach as the only two runs scored against him in five innings.
The left field battle continued for the Jays with both Eric Thames and Travis Snider having good days at the plate. The DH Snider was 2-for-5 with a run, two RBIs, a double and a stolen base, while Thames, in left field, was 2-for-3 with a double and two walks.
Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and first baseman David Cooper each had two hits and a double. Cooper is having another solid spring with nowhere to play in the majors. Adam Lind is the starter at first base and DH Encarnacion has played well when given the chance.
The Jays play in Sarasota against the Orioles on Wednesday, with Kyle Drabek getting his chance to make an impression.
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Third baseman Brett Lawrie took a full round of batting practice and ground balls with no restrictions on Tuesday morning with teammates that were not taking the long bus ride to Fort Myers. Lawrie will get the Sarasota game off Wednesday and likely play Thursday. Lawries is recovering from tightness in his left groin suffered on the bases last Friday.
“ He feels improved, that's been the case for each day," manager John Farrell said. "If everything goes well, with those two first phases, we might even see him do a little running in the outfield. Fact is, we're going to be on the cautious side here."
The six days should not affect Lawrie's readiness for opening day. He's been having an outstanding spring and, after all, is only 22-years-old.
“Given where we are in camp, if he just got the last five days in camp that's going to be ample time," Farrell soothed. "He got out of the gate early for us, he's in great physical shape, his timing seemed to be spot-on in the first week, 10 days of games that he played, so I think he'll get right back up to speed relatively quick."
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Catching for Dustin McGowan at Jays' minor-league camp at Mattick on Tuesday was J.P. Arencibia, who avoided the long bus ride to Fort Myers. Arencibia will be in the group that heads to Sarasota on Wednesday morning to face the Orioles. He will catch Kyle Drabek, while Jeff Mathis will catch Ricky Romero's five-innings of work at the main stadium in Dunedin, facing a group of Jays' minor-leaguers in a game specially scheduled for Romero. Closer Sergio Santos will also work an inning.
A number of the Jays' players and coaching staff stayed over in Sarasota at a hotel after the Red Sox game farther down the coast. It was the first time in years the Jays had an overnight trip.
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The Jays were much deeper in terms of competitive talent at training camp this year than in manager John Farrell's rookie year. The results sow in the W-L record.
“ Our pitching depth, our position players, every aspect of our roster, those that are in camp that are non-roster, has taken a step forward," Farrell said. "A lot of that is the growth of our drafted and signed players that are developing. I think Alex has done a great job with the claiming of other pitchers, whether it's James Hoey, whether it's Drew Carpenter, the signing of him, Robert Coello, Rick Vandenhurk, who's here. I just think the overall depth is vastly improved, setting aside the names of a year ago.”