Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. I love that picture of the two Blue Jays, it looks so much like they are talking to one another. I figure what better picture for a Saturday morning installment of Jays Talk.
B.J. Ryan, about whom the Jays have shown concern amidst the drop of velocity in his pitches, managed a scoreless inning yesterday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. That said, Ryan was again clocked in the mid 80s and topped out at 85 m.p.h. Ryan didn't have anything to say after the game, but Cito Gaston said he was happy with Ryan's performance:
"I thought he did well," said Gaston, who had yet to see Ryan's pitch readings. "I'm encouraged by it. I'm glad to see him get out of that inning, and it can't be anything but confidence for him. Like I've said about B.J., I really like him in the sense that, when he goes out there, he gives you everything he has no matter what happens. He never quits on you."
I'm just hoping this works itself out. Ryan has never been a flamethrower, but there aren't many closers that throw 85.
Matt Clement has decided to accept the Jays' assignment to AAA. As I discussed earlier this week in a Pixies-inspired post, I think it's a good move both for Clement and for the Jays. Clement has a very good chance of pitching in the majors this season, and the Jays get some much needed depth who can protect their young arms if things don't develop as expected or hoped.
Jeff Blair has a nice article in today's Globe about Lyle Overbay's hitting. It may just be spring feel-good stuff, but a good season from Overbay at the plate would go a long way this season, as Blair notes. Blair mentions that, at the moment, both Overbay and third basemen Scott Rolen are showing a lot of cause for confidence. I agree.
Richard Griffin, on the other hand, pins the Jays' chances on Vernon Wells in an article where Wells acknowledges that he is trying to play the role that Carlos Delgado played on the 2003 Jays, anchoring the lineup and forcing pitchers to go after the players hitting above them in the lineup.
Scott Richmond starts for the Jays this afternoon against the Tigers. Richmond has a good chance of making the team, but he still needs to go out and pitch well. It should be interesting.
Only 9 days left until the real games begin!