DUNEDIN, Fla.-For the second time this spring, the Jays were rained out of a home date at Dunedin Stadium. With a sellout already in hand on Sunday for the only spring visit of the Red Sox, the Jays waited through a downpour, finally making the decision to call the game at 2:18 p.m. just as the rain subsided and the skies began to brighten.
Manager Cito Gaston and members of the stadium grounds crew took a walk across the outfield to second base and determined conditions were unsafe for play. Scheduled Jays starting pitcher Shaun Marcum went indoors to the cages behind the right field fence and threw his 80 pitches to minor-league catcher Kyle Phillips, trying to match game conditions with breaks to simulate innings.
The sellout crowd, many of whom had been in hand since late morning, were restless when the rain stopped and the game was cancelled. They were briefly entertained by Aaron Hill and Vernon Wells who took turns sliding head first on the rain-soaked tarp.
The Red Sox had a split squad scheduled, so only three major-leaguers had even made the trip, J.D. Drew, Bill Hall and Adrian Beltre took the long bus ride up from Ft. Myers, but manager Terry Francona did not. The Jays continue the Grapefruit League schedule Monday with a home game against the Tigers. Lefthander Brian Tallet starts for the Jays against lefty Nate Robertson.
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With Shaun Marcum pitching indoors after the Red Sox game was cancelled, the four relievers set to relieve him on Sunday – Josh Roenicke, Casey Janssen, Jeremy Accardo and David Purcey – will now follow Brian Tallet in the Tigers game, while those originally scheduled to back up Tallet will take the short drive over to the Bobby Mattick Training Centre to pitch for AAA-Las Vegas. They are Jason Frasor, Scott Downs, Kevin Gregg and Shawn Camp.
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Righthander Brandon Morrow will miss one more start after pulling himself out of Friday's game in Kissimmee with soreness in his right shoulder. His next mound appearance will be a bullpen session on Friday followed by what would have been his scheduled start on March 29.
Morrow was examined at the ballpark on Sunday morning by Jays' consulting orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Steven Mirabello.
“I could have thrown on Friday,” Morrow insisted. “I'll have two more starts and as we have it scheduled, I'll be ready for the season. I'll get three (innings), if I don't reach the pitch count.”
By the time Morrow makes his next start, every other Jays' starting pitcher will be stretched out to six innings. There may have to be early adjustments to the rotation when the season begins.
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Lefthanded reliever Jesse Carlson will throw from a mound on Monday for the first time in 12 days. He has been sidelined with discomfort in the medial collateral ligament (MCL) of his left knee. Carlson has made one game appearance thus far in Grapefruit League play.
Versatile utility man Mike McCoy, this year's answer to Joe Inglett, has been hobbled by an injured right shoulder. McCoy, who is batting .615 in eight games, may be ready to play a game at minor league camp early next week.