Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training Highlights & Lowlights: Bullpen Falls to the Bombers

Jays From the Couch brings you the Highlights & Lowlights of Toronto Blue Jays late loss to the Yankees

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Jays From the Couch updates you on the exhilarating Spring Training action for your Toronto Blue Jays from Thursday, March 16th 2017. While Josh Donaldson and Devon Travis still hang out on the backfields for some of their first action of the season, the Blue Jays “welcome” the pseudo-Bronx Bombers into Dunedin. $535,000-man Aaron Sanchez starts for the good guys with Luis Cessa tossing the pill for the Jerkies. I mean Yankees.

 

Boxscore

Yankees –  11 R,  14 H,  2 E

Blue Jays –  5 R,  8 H,  1 E

 

 

Lineups

Blue Jays

 

Dangerously un-bearded baseball players:

 

Highlights:

The Jays rallied with two outs in the first after going down 1-0  in the top of the first. Troy Tulowitzki hit a long single over the head of RF Aaron Judge, followed by a double in the same spot by Kendrys Morales. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then followed with a RBI single. Justin Smoak refused to Smoak the inning by himself, and Melvin Upton drove Saltalamacchia in with a single before Ryan Goins ended the inning with a groundout. The hit parade off Cessa continued into the second, when Kevin Pillar “tripled” over CF Dustin Fowler before being singled in by Ezequiel Carrera, who later stole second base.

 

Joe Smith pitched a 1-2-3 fourth composed of a strikeout of Chris Carter, a flyout and a groundout. He brought his spring ERA down to 9.45, in just 4.2 innings of work. JP Howell was solid as well, striking out Dustin Fowler on three pitches and then Jorge Mateo, finishing with a clean sixth inning.

 

Despite a strikeout, Troy Tulowitzki was 2-for-3, his first pair of hits this spring. He was replaced by Richard Urena in the fifth, who the Jays seem to be taking a very long look at this spring.

 

Justin Smoak walked twice. Take that however you want.

 

Lowlights:

Aaron Hicks got into some Aaron-on-Aaron violence, taking the Blue Jays ace deep. Joe Siddall mentioned that Sanchez threw back-to-back change-ups before grooving a fastball to Hicks, which he chalked up to “getting his work in.” Sanchez then quickly fell behind Starlin Castro, and gave up another HR to RF. It’s early. Final line: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR.

 

Other than Joe Smith and JP Howell, the bullpen was…iffy. Jason Grilli quickly gave up a HR to Rob Refsnyder, tying the game at four. Dustin Fowler very nearly took him deep a few pitches later, a strikeout followed, and then a pair of singles. His defense bailed him out, but it was certainly an unpleasant inning to see from the set-up man. Tim Mayza got the Yankees going again with the dingers, quickly giving one up to recently-shorn Clint Frazier. Otherwise, it was a clean inning. Dominic Leone wasn’t good at all, posting two runs on two hits, a walk and one strikeout. That’s just not going to do the job. Lucas Harrell wasn’t much better, but he certainly wasn’t benefiting from misplays by Gunnar Heidt, Rowdy Tellez and Jason Leblebijian. His line of 2/3 IP consisted of 4 hits, a walk, four runs (two earned) before Chad Girodo distinguished the fire of the top of the ninth.

 

Noteworthy News:

  • Kendrys Morales is killing it: he’s now batting .474 this spring with a 1.440 OPS. That’ll do.
  • Justin Smoak is not. Despite his two walks today, he’s hitting just .148 this spring with a .435 OPS, driving in three runs.
  • Ryan Goins hit a triple! He’s still having a mediocre spring, though, batting just .167 so far after today’s triple.

 

Elsewhere

  • Josh Donaldson and Devon Travis both played in a minor league/backfield game this afternoon, hitting only, no fielding or running.
  • That scamp Scott Boras is at it again, trying to get money for his client!

 

 

 

 

 

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Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.

Roy-Z

Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.