Photo Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Spring is in full-ish swing, and today the Blue Jays and the Pirates play the second half of a spring home-and-home, as the Jays head across the Sunshine Skyway to Bradenton and the former McKechnie Field.
The Pirates’ facility is apparently now called LECOM Park. I’d snark them for this, but… y’know… let he who is without an embarrassing name for his team’s Spring Training park cast the first stone.
The Jays will be back at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium *COUGH* for three straight, against the Tigers, Phillies, and Yankees, starting tomorrow.
Some thoughts on what to expect from this one:
- It’s a little ridiculous of me to mention Rowdy Tellez in the title of this piece, but he’s certainly a guy a lot of people want to talk about right now. I think mostly those are people who don’t realize that the Jays have a first baseman much more viable than Smoak in the form of Steve Pearce (and another in José Bautista), and that the club surely (hopefully?) is going to recognize that. But in the meantime, let the hype train roll!
- Lucas Harrell gets the start for the Jays this afternoon, which should give us a nice idea of what to expect from 1/5th of the Buffalo Bisons rotation this year.
- The Pirates’ lineup has some actual big leaguers in it, unlike the Jays’, as they’ve only brought Kendrys Morales, and — if you really want to count him — Ezequiel Carrera.
- Reese McGuire starts behind the plate for the Jays, and it will be interesting to see how he looks, given his vaunted reputation as a defender. Or… y’know, it will be interesting to hear how people seeing him think he looks
- I’d say that we’d be seeing a couple of good prospects in centre field today, with Anthony Alford going for the Jays and Austin Meadows for the Pirates, but actually the Jays have ol’ Zeke in centre. They really need to do better.
Josh Donaldson (calf strain) took outdoor batting practice today for first time, felt good. Next step: running. Says every day feels better.
— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) February 28, 2017
I had a blast last night chatting with Eric Roseberry about writing, the old days, my career, the industry, and a bunch more of that kind of stuff on his podcast On Baseball Writing. It’s a great series, and I’m probably the least notable person to have joined him so far, so check out his Soundcloud page for all the other episodes…
— Eric Roseberry (@ericroseberry) February 28, 2017
Next game: Wednesday, 1 PM ET, vs. Tigers
And now, the lineups…