Happy Friday everyone!
Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com writes that R.A. Dickey is working towards building his velocity during spring training. You rarely here a knuckleball pitcher talk about their velocity but Dickey as not your average knuckler. He entered last season with nagging back and neck injuries but for now Dickey says he’s “feeling good, body feels great.” Blue Jays fans are hoping a healthy R.A. will pitch more like he did in the second half of last season instead of the first.
John Lott of the National Post talks about the crash course new catcher Erik Kratz received yesterday catching Dickey for the first time in a live game. Kratz, for the most part, looked good and should only continue to get better as he gets more experience with Dickey duty.
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes about Josh Thole, who has found himself on the outside looking in yet again in spring training. As Thole reminds us, last year it was Henry Blanco who kept him in Triple-A Buffalo. I like Thole and I’m cheering for a comeback from the kid but even he admits he’ll have to show “he has his swing back” in order to make this year’s team.
Colby Rasmus sounds like he’s playing it cool as he enters the final year of his contract before free agency. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet writes that Rasmus has thought little about his upcoming contract situation and I think that can’t be anything but a good thing. Keep thinking about trucks, Colby, or whatever it is that makes you hit 460 foot home runs.
Derrick Chung is a name to remember, writes Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. I was extremely impressed with Chung during the time I was able to watch him in the Arizona Fall League. He’s a defense-first catcher with a somewhat surprising ability to handle the bat. If he can hit enough I think he has the skills to play catcher the MLB level (I actually sneaked him in at No. 30 on my own Top 30 prospects list) and although he’s 26 could be a late bloomer to keep an eye on this year and going forward.
Jays Journal staff writers Jeff Morten and Jason Ramnauth spoke with Ricky Keeler on the Yanks Go Yard podcast and talked about the Blue Jays as part of YGY’s AL East preview.
And closing out, Brenden Kennedy of the Toronto Star writes about all the cool (albeit, illegal) Blue Jays merchandise you can buy outside of official team stores.