Welcome Toronto Blue Jays fans to the first Saturday of March, where we comfortably start counting down our march to Opening Day, which stands just 30 days away. Of course, before we can get there, we have some of those pesky Spring Training games to play and a fifth starter competition to resolve.
Toronto has looked good so far, winning all three of their games to start the spring. However, there are some mixed results in the works, as Shi Davidi at Sportsnet points out. Most notably were the appearances of Mark Buehrle and Brandon Morrow in Friday’s game against Pittsburgh, where Buehrle gave Toronto 2 innings of 1-run ball on 43 pitches and Morrow surrendered a run of his own in 1 inning of work. The concern of course if that Morrow is going to provide the Blue Jays with a big lift, but he’ll need to fool a few more hitters (and stay healthy) if that’s going to be the case.
Speaking about the guys that Toronto will rely heavily on in 2014, Jayson Stark at ESPN has a great look at Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes, who is healthy and ready to put 2013 behind him. The speedy Blue Jays shortstop, who was bothered by a freakish ankle injury last season, is looking to put his wheels back in motion this season, stealing bases and legging out triples, both things that Blue Jays would love to see from the guy at the top of the order.
Hitting directly behind Reyes in the line-up will be Melky Cabrera, who The Star’s Richard Griffin relays is feeling better than ever after having a tumor removed from his spine last September. Jays fans are hoping that with healthy legs underneath him, that Melky can return to his 2011-2012 form, albeit without the chemical aids.
On a completely unrelated note, Yahoo Sports Big League Stew has kind of a cool note. Apparently Han Solo himself sent a shout-out to R.A. Dickey during an interview. Dickey, who is a big Star Wars fan, was ecstatic. I personally like the Indiana Jones tie-in to Dickey’s climbing of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but you can’t go wrong with a Star Wars tie-in either.
Our buddy Brock Picken at The Blue Jays Dugout takes a moment to talk with Jamie Campbell of Sportsnet on his latest podcast. In this new episode, the pair discuss the new collision rule at home plate and Toronto’s 5th starter competition, among other things.