GDB -29.0: Toronto Blue Jays close out Spring Training against Pirates

Photo credit:Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
3 months ago
They came, they saw, they conquered.
It’s the time of year when everybody is ready for the real games to start, and for the Toronto Blue Jays, they’re only days away from that happening.
The overall record isn’t what to watch, but the numbers beyond that start to paint a picture of where the organization is at. For example, the Jays scored the fourth most runs, 178, with a team OPS of .806, the fifth best number in all of baseball.
It came amid a time when Don Mattingly took a larger role in the hitting game with a fresh title offensive coordinator.
Prior to Spring Training, Mattingly said he wanted to put players in positions to succeed.
“We just want to keep more of a simplistic view of how we’re going about our business, making sure we’re thinking right, our approach is good in how we’re going after pitchers and attacking them,” said Mattingly, via Sportsnet. “And that can’t really be one way.
“What do you want to do with this guy? What are you trying to do? How are you trying to get him there? And then sticking with that.
“Certain guys out there, you’re not going to cover the whole zone, every area of the plate or every pitch. It’s really hard to do. So we’re going to try to minimize where we’re trying to handle.
“We’re going to try to hopefully cover the areas of (a hitter’s) strengths, try to get the ball in those areas and go to work.”
The Jays have managed to do just that, looking no further than Ernie Clement, whose tremendous Spring earned him a spot on the opening day roster.
Now, the challenge will be for the team to translate that to the regular season, and the playoffs.

First pitch: 1:05 p.m. EST. TV: Sportsnet.
Odds via Betano:
Moneyline: TOR -118; PIT –102.
Spread: TOR -1.5 +150; PIT +1.5 -182.
Over/Under: o6.5 -133; u6.5 +107.
*Odds available at the time of writing. Odds subject to change.

Starting pitchers:

TORONTO — RHP Kevin Gausman
PIRATES— RHP Marco Gonzales


  1. G Springer (R) RF
  2. B Bichette (R) SS
  3. J Turner (R) DH
  4. D Varsho (L) LF
  5. K Kiermaier (L) CF
  6. I Kiner-Falefa (R) 2B
  7. C Biggio (L) 3B
  8. B Serven (R) C
  9. D Palmegiani (R) 1B
  1. O Cruz (L) SS
  2. C Joe (R) 1B
  3. K Hayes (R) 3B
  4. J Suwinski (L) LF
  5. H Davis (R) C
  6. R Tellez (L) DH
  7. M Taylor (R) DH
  8. E Olivares (R) RF
  9. J Triolo (R) 2B

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.


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