Here’s a bunch of notes about how a few key guys looked in the field. During a spring game. That’s where we’re at right now.
- At the very beginning of the game, Devon Travis’ knee was tested. He hadn’t played second base since Friday afternoon’s game, but Caesar Hernandez smacked a ground ball that Travis took a very Tulowitzki-esque loop to and snagged before gunning the speedy Hernandez out at first. Before the game, I watched Travis shag fly balls in the outfield and practice defence in the infield for quite some time, so it’s a good sign he was able to make such an athletic play after a busy day of practice. In the fourth inning, Travis’ knee was tested again in the fourth inning as he chased down Freddy Galvis who was caught in between first and second after driving in two runs with a single. Sooooo, overall, it was a good day for the #DevonTravisKneeWatch, and it appears he’ll be ready to go for the beginning of the regular season in Baltimore, though he won’t join the team in Montreal, because I’m fairy certain the ground there is just concrete spray-painted dark green.
- I feel like I’m making things out of nothing here… But fuck it! There weren’t many positives to draw from this spring game, so let me dig deep into the bag of bullshit here. Jose Bautista was given the start in right field today, and in the first inning, Galvis smashed an Aaron Sanchez offering off the mesh net in right field. Why is this important? Because Bautista, who had his arm turn into somewhat of a noodle in 2016 due to injury, gunned it back into the infield all the way from the wall without needing to use a hop, keeping Galvis at first for a single. That’s a great sign for Bautista, because his cannon of an arm used to be his best asset in the outfield, and with the Jays abundance of first base/designated hitter types, he’ll be spending virtually all of his innings out there this season, barring injury.
- Aaron Sanchez got the start (his last of the spring), and allowed four earned runs on five hits and three walks while collecting two strikeouts. The numbers don’t seem very good, but Sanchez said after the game that he was happy with the outing. Also, John Gibbons said after the game that Sanchez popped a blister and that was a reason for the command issues. The key for Sanchez, he said, was getting swings and misses on his secondary stuff, like his off-speed and breaking pitch, considering he replied heavily on the fastball last season. He threw 71 pitches, and hoped to get into the fifth or sixth inning, but ran into some trouble and was yanked sooner than he would’ve hoped. That said, he said he’s on track for the start of the season, and feels ready to go despite having a slower, careful spring due to his career-high in innings last season. Overall, Sanchez said he’s excited for the season to start and for the games to actually mean something. I think we can all agree with that, holy fuck.
- What else to talk about? Hmmmmm. Justin Smoak had a pair of doubles, which is great, because his spring has been not-too-hot so far. If it’s any consolation, I watched Smoak man first base during today’s batting/fielding practice thing, and he made a bunch of really fucking incredible scoops on balls just kind of gunned in his general direction. He’s as good at first with the glove as it gets, really.
- Russell Martin clubbed his first homer of the spring, Jose Bautista missed one by about a foot, Devon Travis had a single, Josh Donaldson had a couple of walks, ho-hum. Let’s get the goddamn season going.