A few items of note being tweeted from camp by the various beat reporters down in Dunedin on this last Monday morning of Spring Training, with the biggest news being that the Jays are taking the cautious– read: smart, albeit frustrating– approach with Brett Lawrie, and will not have him on the roster for Opening Day. He will start the year on the Disabled List in order to take more time to recover from the rib injury that he picked up during the WBC, in the hope that it doesn’t turn into something that nags him throughout the year.
Want proof? Shi Davidi of the Rogers-owned Blue Jays’ Rogers-owned TV broadcaster, Sportsnet, appears to be the first of several to have tweeted this piece of information:
Brett Lawrie to open season on DL. #Bluejays likely to go with 8-man pen out of gate
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) March 25, 2013
So, that’s not great, though it will allow the club to carry an extra pitcher– which, while slightly ridiculous, gives them just a bit more time to make a decision on one of their out-of-options guys, and maybe lets them use a bit more strategy in timing when they try to send the odd man out through waivers.
John Lott of the National Post tweets that “with Lawrie out, Gibbons says he’ll use ‘platoon’ at third. DeRosa and perhaps Izturis, although Gibbons didn’t specify.” (Update: Gibbons has now specified, as Lott tweets that it will be Izturis against right-handers and DeRosa against lefties– which makes sense, as, except for last year (in a small sample), Izturis has fared better against right-handed pitching over his career, while DeRosa has a platoon split favouring lefties).
And hey, at least the WBC will be paying Lawrie’s salary, right? Or… I think they will– though I’m not entirely sure, since he wasn’t actually injured in the tournament itself. Not that it matters, given that the dollars he makes are pretty insignificant regardless.
In other news, Barry Davis of the Rogers-owned Blue Jays’ Rogers-owned TV broadcaster, Sportsnet, tweets that R.A. Dickey will not have a personal catcher– that J.P. Arencibia, who did a wholly decent job of catching the knuckler during the WBC, will catch him occasionally, including on Opening Day. Arencibia is a big boy and surely could have handled not being in the Opening Day lineup, but… sure, OK.
In other news still, Davis tweets that Brad Lincoln has been sent down, while Davidi points out that Lincoln has been slowed this spring by shoulder inflammation, and Mike Wilner adds that Anthony Gose has been sent out to minor league camp as well, along with Dave Bush and Josh Thole. On a related note to Thole’s demotion, catcher Mike Nickeas is still with the team, but Wilner tells us that he’s been informed that he’s not making the team, but is at this point just an extra catcher for the remaining Spring Training games.
There also happens to be some positive news coming out of camp this morning, as according to John Lott, Gibbons says that he’s “got no doubts” that Casey Janssen– who will get in an inning of work today– will start the season as the club’s closer, and Mike Wilner tells us that the Jays are hopeful that Edwin Encarnacion can get into a game in the next day or two, and that there is no imminent threat of him going on the DL.
So you’re telling me there’s a chance?
Whatever. I think a little too much is often made of what the club looks like on the first day of the season, when obviously the long haul is by far the most important thing, and it looks as though the Jays are keeping that firmly in mind. The roster on April 2nd may not look ideal, but having guys like Lawrie– and Janssen or Encarnacion, if it should come to that– healthy for more games over the course of the year is obviously paramount.