The Jays have played ten games under the roof to start the season, that ends tonight with a trip into Baltimore. The Jays face Chris Tillman, Bud Norris and Ubaldo Jimenez. That is one tough match-up and two more favourable ones. Tillman was the O's opening day starter and pitched well last time out. Noriis and Jimenez have not pitched as well and Ubaldo has not lived up to his contract, yet.
The Jays counter with Dustin McGowan, Drew Hutchison and Mark Buehrle. Both McGowan and Hutchison are coming off poor starts and looking to right the ship before Happy Happ shows up.
The affiliates were 4-2 tonight, with double headers for Buffalo, and Dunedin making up postponed games. Dwight Smith continued to be the best hitter for Dunedin with two more strong performances. As well, former First Rounder’s Ricky Romero and Deck McGuire each struggled in their starts tonight.
The Buffalo Bisons were rained out in Lehigh Valley for the Iron Pigs home opener while the New Hampshire Fisher Cats saw their game scrubbed in Reading. The Herd will play a doubleheader in Lehigh Valley on Wednesday while the Fisher Cats game will be made up on May 19.
Hey, these guys lost 111 games last year! This will be a piece of cake! Right?
Last Friday, just in time for the home opener, Ken Rosenthal broke the story that several Jays players were willing to defer salary so that the jays could sign Ubaldo Jimenez. AA and paul Beeston basically confirmed that in interviews. I wondered what impact that freeze had on the off-season. What transactions that we thought the Jays were in on, were they in fact no-where near? I assume AA became aware of his budget shortly after the season ended. As the season was coming to a close he was talking about adding starting pitching. By the winter meetings he was focused internally. But he never made that public, and all winter the fans thought that the Jays were all-in, and could add to the payroll for a playoff push. All off-season the Jays were thought to be waiting on Jimenez and Santana. Were they?
Remember that Rogers appointed a new CEO last year, one who has the reputation of a cost cutter. His arrival could easily have come with a directive, all budgets are frozen until I get to review the operations. I don't remember the exact date but the CEO did not meet with the Jays until early this year.
The affiliates were 2-2 today, highlighted by an extra inning win by Buffalo. Dwight Smith JR had a monster game against a rehabbing Cole Hamels in the FSL with Dunedin, to go along with a strong start by Daniel Norris.
Dickie Thon hit a grand slam home run to give Lansing a 4-0 lead in the first game of a doubleheader. Later in that game, with the scores tied, Thon made an error that allowed the two winning runs to score. Lansing were shut out of the second game and were swept. Some of the young pitchers had tough days. New Hampshire also had a lead that the bullpen let slip away ruining an excellent start by Austin Bibbens-Dirkx. Buffalo were rained out.
The only win went to Dunedin. JA Happ started and was OK. The hitters exploded for 17 hits.
It’s major league baseball time in Toronto, once again.
Dustin McGowan gets the honour of starting the home opener against the New York Yankees. He faces off against Masahiro Tananka, who will be making his major league debut. Blue Jay legend Roy Halladay will throw the opening pitch.
Winners all round to start the season. Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Matt Boyd all pitched well. Anthony Gose, Matt Tuiasosopo, Kenny Wilson, Ryan Schimpf, Kevin Nolan, AJ Jimenez, Dwight Smith and KC Hobson all had multi hit games.
Lansing played in the cross town showdown against Michigan State, details to come later.
The minor league season starts on Thursday but the rosters have been finalized. Teams are flying in to their cities and ready to meet the media and season ticket holders before the games begin.
Two teams have released their rosters so far.