FanPost

Interesting stories developing in early ST

I can't find much interesting Jays-related reading material tonight (I've already read it all!), so I figured I'd put up a post, mostly to get some discussions going about the different things going on in Jays Spring Training.

The 4th and 5th starter:

Jo-Jo Reyes:  It's early, but I really think he needs a good outing tomorrow to stay in the race.  Pitchers are starting to build up their innings and there may not be enough available innings to give him soon if he doesn't show that he's a true contender.  I was never terribly excited about the prospect of having him head North as the 5th starter anyway.  Regardless, he still has a shot at LH BP role too.

Scott Richmond:  Basically, same as above.  However, he stood even more of an outside chance than Reyes, given the fact that he has options.  I'm pulling for him and have faith in him (I think his 09 2nd half results were a combination of fatigue and injury).  However, at this point it looks as though he will be an insurance policy working out of Vegas.

Drabek:  Hasn't pitched in a Grapefruit game yet (tomorrow).  It's hard to say what the front office has in mind for him.  Do they want him to stay in the minors for a few weeks to keep him under control for an extra season?  If that's not in the plans, I'd have to think he holds an edge on the 4th or 5th spot.

Zep:  It might very well come down to what the Jays want to do with Drabek.  He hasn't started out very well.  Of course, it's extremely early, and all we see are game boxscores.  The Jays are obviously watching him under different situations also (e.g. bullpens, etc).  Still, at this point, if I were to guess, I'd say he's probably at risk of not making the cut.

Litsch:  He's had a great start to pre-season.  He also has longest and best track record out of the candidates.  It would seem that he is now fully healthy and we're hearing good things about him from the coaching staff.  It also sounds as though he brings a great attitude with him to work.  I would be very surprised if he didn't make the team, and I hope this is an early indication that he's going to perform like 2008, because that'd go a long way toward replacing the loss of Marcum.

The reserves:

Nothing much to say here.  Patterson is getting lots of AB's, which is expected.  However, both he and Mastro have not hit particularly well yet.  McCoy has hit better, but the sample size is extremely small in any event.  It's too hard to venture a guess either way.  Podsednick is still recovering from his foot injury and we can add him to the mix soon of bench candidates.  I'd be surprised if Patterson didn't get a job, but the other one is a toss-up.

Surprising performances:

Eric Thames and Brett Lawrie are really turning heads.  Both are likely heading for AAA, but it is not impossible that:

1) Eric Thames gets the starting job in the OF and Rivera becomes the 4th OF (or is traded)

or

2) Brett Lawrie gets the starting job at 3B, pushing Bautista to RF.

Again, these are very unlikely scenarios, but if they both continue to impress, there is an outside chance that they could force someone's hand.

What do you all think?  Any other interesting stories you think are developing?

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