Jays Jots: Spring Training Game 8


Feb 28, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (13) against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at George Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThe Toronto Blue Jays are officially a .500 team again. That’s right, after all the hoopla and excitement of the offseason, the massive make-over has delivered a team with as many wins as losses. It is an improvement yes, but not quite the one we were looking for.

Oh wait, it’s only Spring Training? These games don’t count?

Well that is a relief. I can climb back from the ledge now.

Anyway, the Blue Jays played their eighth game of the spring, this time a home match-up against divisional foe Tampa and took a 5-4 win from the visiting Rays. It wasn’t a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination, but a win is a win.

– The Blue Jays once again played sloppy defense in this one, with the team committing three more errors in the game. Two belongs to Emilio Bonifacio (his third of the spring) and both were on throws while playing second base. His competition this spring, Maicer Izturis, made the third error (his second of the spring) while playing shortstop. Kids, if you are keeping track of this at home, Toronto fielders have now made 14 errors in 8 games. Maybe Gibby has to start instituting a lap program.

Mark Buehrle got the start and went two innings on the afternoon, surrendering a single run on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out a pair. While the control will improve for Buehrle throughout the spring and into the season, Jays fans will need to get used to these types of outings from the lefty, as he is a master of keeping things in check but not shutting down offenses.

Darren Oliver, Michael Schwimer, Neil Wagner, Dave Bush, and Juan Perez all tossed scoreless innings of relief. The same could not be said of Sean Nolin and Mickey Storey. Nolin got roughed up for the second straight time and has now surrendered 5 hits and three runs in just 3 innings in his first spring training.

– The offense got a solid all-around contribution, with the team notching 10 hits on the day.

Anthony Gose once again looked good at the plate, collecting a pair of singles in four trips. He also stole his second base of the spring, but was erased later in the inning while trying to take third base as well. Aggression is good, stupid aggression is bad.

Brett Lawrie and Ricardo Nanita got the real fireworks going, with both players hitting home runs on the day. The Blue Jays and their fans will be looking for more of that from Lawrie, who hit a two-run shot in the second inning off of Jake Odirizzi. Nanita followed one batter later for his solo shot.

Andy LaRoche and Adam Loewen also added RBI’s on the day, both with 2 outs. Toronto also got doubles out of Moises Sierra and newcomer Lars Anderson, while Adam Lind once again collected a hit, his sixth in 13 at-bats this spring.

R.A. Dickey will make his second start of the spring on Saturday versus the Philadelphia Phillies in Dunedin. Dickey gave up two runs in his first outing against Boston on February 25th. We will update with today’s line-up once it gets posted.