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I couldn’t tell you what the final score was, and I couldn’t tell you who half the players that player were without looking at a box score, but holy shit, there was baseball coming from my radio this afternoon, and it was a pretty damned glorious thing.
Nobody needs a paean to a rather dull Grapefruit League affair between the we’re trying to not be too terrible lineup the Barves will likely trot out on Opening Day at their brand new White Flight Park, and a bunch of Jays farmhands, but I still think I can wring some #content out of this one. So let’s try it! Some thoughts…
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Rowdy Tellez isn’t going to have to do a whole hell of a lot this spring to get people howling for him to steal Justin Smoak’s job. And while I don’t think that’s going to have any bearing on whether the front office thinks he’s ready or not, it could at least make for an interesting storyline over the next six weeks. Jays fans haven’t seen a lot of Tellez yet, and Rowdy did his part to make the howls happen today, with a double of Bartolo Colón in the second and taking a walk and scoring a run in the fourth.
- We learned this winter that Tellez is a particularly polarizing prospect, but you’ve got to feel at least a little bit good as a Jays fan about the fact that you hear nothing but praise about his preparation and work ethic and how hard he’s tried to become a better defender at first base. Granted, a lot of that praise is coming from within the organization, but I suppose it’s better than not hearing it.
- There was, understandably, quite a bit of talk about Lourdes Gurriel on the broadcast, and it sounded like he looked pretty comfortable at shortstop, even though nobody seems to think he’s going to stick there. I wish he’d have seen a few more pitches in that first at-bat, but on the other hand… do I? Do I really care about one at-bat in February? No. I don’t. Seeing what he can do against live pitching, though, is kinda critical to understanding just where the hell he’s at after all the time he’s been away from actually playing games for real. And that’s one of the more interesting questions of this whole spring, I think. At least he made some contact!
- Catcher Reese “no ability to hit whatsoever” McGuire played the entire game at DH and ended up doubling off Jon Danks (you’re velcome) and taking a walk. So… either that should tell us how little any of this means, or we should get super excited that there might be something more there than we’ve heard! And the DH thing is interesting, actually. We’d heard earlier in the off-season that someone somewhere within the Jays’ organization seemed to think the club would love it if he went and took the backup catching job. In the big leagues. Even, I’m pretty sure, after they’d already signed ol’ Salty to come in and be Russell Martin’s backup. I have a feeling Ross Atkins would have to pry Salalamacchia from John Gibbons’ cold dead hands to get him off this roster, so that McGuire thing almost certainly ain’t happening, but getting him reps like they did today is maybe a thing — or it’s at least as much of a thing as a thing can be after one spring training game: which is, y’know, not much (if anything).
- Ryan Borucki is a guy that we talked about a little more back before the Jays went out an added a bunch of relievers and reclamation projects — for a while there this winter I enjoyed the theory that, because he’s struggled to stay healthy so far as a pro, and because he’s a decent lefty arm who might not remain a starter anyway, he might be a dark horse option for a lefty relief role in the big leagues. That doesn’t look so much like it’s going to happen now, but Jerry and Joe did at some point mention that he could be a guy who leaps up some levels this season, perhaps even to the big leagues. I’d comment on how good he looked getting out of the mess Jeff Beliveau made in the fourth inning, but… really?
- Glenn Sparkman, everybody! (It’s one game. In February.)
- Drew becoming a Juan Graterol stan is one of the storylines I’m most interested in following this spring. Vitamin G, baby!
- Speaking of guys destined for Buffalo, could Lucas Harrell be a thing? The good money says “no,” but the slightly worse money says “probably not”!
- I had completely forgotten that Brandon Phillips was traded to the Barves, which means that I had completely forgotten one of the best quotes of the off-season, or at least one of my favourites: “I miss Cincinnati. That’s always home. But Atlanta is my home home.”
- Speaking of the horseshit Barves, they still play that fucking tomahawk chop music that was discomfiting way back in nineteen-ninety-fucking-two. On the radio broadcast, Mike Wilner called it the “infernal” tomahawk chop music, and rightly suggested someone remind the Barves that it’s the fucking 21st century. Joe Siddall then, rather diplomatically, declined to touch issue with even a ten foot pole.
- And lastly, though it reminds me maybe a liiiiiiiittle too much of that picture of those lauging post-election Trump bro shitstains (you know the one I mean), this is still a very good use of Twitter-dot-com…
And then I said “height DOES measure heart” pic.twitter.com/afuw4rluTB
— BK (@brendonkuhn) February 25, 2017