The Blue Jays faced off against Team Canada’s roster for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, and lost to the National team by a margin of 6-1 in Tuesday’s exhibition game.
On Tuesday, the Blue Jays played an exhibition game against the World Baseball Classic-Team Canada roster, and made the Canucks look pretty good. The Jays were bested 7-1 in the afternoon affair, in a highly entertaining exhibition game.
J.A. Happ got the start for Toronto against Saskatchewan native, Andrew Albers. Albers has pitched in the Blue Jays’ system, and also has major league experience with the Minnesota Twins as well, so he’s no stranger in Toronto.
In a game that likely brought conflicting cheers for Canadian baseball fans, it’s probably a good thing that the results don’t really matter, other than for bragging rights of course. Happ wasn’t terribly sharp, as the veteran gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and 2 walks over 1.1 innings.
New acquisition J.P. Howell didn’t fair much better, giving up 1 run, 4 hits and a walk in his first inning of the Spring. The lefty will be counted on to help fill the role Brett Cecil occupied in recent years, and will hope to find his groove before Opening Day. He has plenty of time, but it wasn’t the greatest of debuts.
Dalton Pompey made a great impression, playing centre-field for Team Canada. He picked up two singles, a walk, and reached base on an error, getting on base 4 times. He also stole a base, and made an impressive catch in the outfield.
Pompey has a steep hill to climb to earn the left field job with the Blue Jays, but playing as well as he did on Tuesday can only help his cause. Danny Barnes also made a solid impression, pitching a scoreless inning and striking out two.
As mentioned above, Andrew Albers got the start for Team Canada and looked pretty sharp in his two frames, allowing just one hit. Albers spent most of his season in AAA, but made an appearance with the Blue Jays in 2015, throwing 2.2 innings.
Retired big-leaguer Eric Gagne made a respectable appearance as well, escaping his inning of work allowing a hit and a walk, but no runs.
The Blue Jays are set to play the Orioles tomorrow, and will send Mat Latos to the bump on Wednesday afternoon. Latos is signed to MiLB deal, and is trying to earn a big league job this spring, so he’ll look to keep the Orioles at bay.