Ricky Romero starts the season on the mound for the boys in blue today but don't read anything into that. AA was on the Fan 590 yesterday and said that Romero starting game one did not mean anything in regard to opening day. AA was also heavy on the hopeful side of the ledger in this interview, he believes the team feels they are underappreciated and no-one believes in them. He thinks they will come out with all systems blazing to prove the doubters wrong. He mentioned how Vernon Wells is taking more of a leadership role, as is Aaron Hill, and he sees that as a difference this year to keep the clubhouse in line.
The Jays brain trust met with all the players individually this spring to discuss their roles. Frasor, Downs and Gregg will have to battle for the closers job. Kyle Drabek is headed to AA unless something unexpected happens. However he did mention that the staff were really excited about Drabek when AA came to camp. AA downplayed McGowan somewhat, he mentioned that Casey Janssen looked great last spring training but later regressed, so he is cautious.
The only position player battle is whether Randy Ruiz is the DH with Lind in leftfield and Bautista in right, with Snider in the minors, or if Snider makes the team then Ruiz might be a bench player. AA basically said Ruiz can't play defense so disregard the early spring training stories about Ruiz losing weight and taking balls in left field. Edwin Encarnacion is recovering from wrist surgery and will have a slow start to the spring.
But back to the games. Courtesy of Jordan Bastian, here are today's players:
The first Jays lineup of 2010:
1. Jose Bautista, 3B
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, DH
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. John Buck, C
7. Jeremy Reed, RF
8. Alex Gonzalez, SS
9. Travis Snider, LF
Pitching: Ricky Romero, Dana Eveland, Josh Roenicke, and also listed for possible appearances are Willie Collazo, Merkin Valdez, Zech Zinicola, Zach Stewart and Daniel Farquhar
Remember that in the first week to ten days of spring the pitchers are getting their arms in shape and throwing a lot of fastballs down the middle so don't get too excited if some hitter unexpectedly starts tattooing the ball all over the field. It likely is a spring training surpirse, destined to fade in April.
Jesse Carlson pitched the second half of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, sounds sore to me.
Jason Frasor battles for the closers job.
Adam Loewen is featured in fanhouse and says he now knows how to hit off-speed pitches.
Another Jason Frasor story.
Brett Wallace is ready for prime-time.