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Spring Training Notes: Opening Day... I can see it!!!

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Folks, with two games left in the Jays Grapefruit League action and two more agains their AAA affiliate Syracuse Sky Chiefs, the Jays will wrap up their excitingly quiet  training camp. Although Grapefruit League standings doesn't mean a thing, it is interesting nonetheless as it may be a while before you see Florida on top of the league standings or lead the league in any positive statistical categories:

Latest Notes:

  • In today's game against the Twins, Scott Downs left during the warm up for the third inning, citing discomfort on his right knee. According to the team doctors, the injury is very minor and Downs left the game just as a precaution. Downs should be ready to take his spot start in the rotation in place of A.J. Burnett comes the regular season

  • In the case that Downs knee does not cooperate, Dustin McGowan or Shaun Marcum are the likely candidates to take his turn in the rotation.

  • Gregg Zaun's right calf, which has kept him out of any spring training action since the 16th, will likely force him to start the season on the DL. In the unfortunate event that Zaun is unavailable, either Guillermo Quiroz or Jason Phillips will take his place on the roster as the backup catcher. Given Phillips' hot bat this spring (1.042 OPS in 35ABs), he should be the odds on favourite to get the backup job. However, since Quiroz is out of options and there is a risk of him being claimed off waivers, there is a small chance that the Jays will give him another chance to succeed, although I am not overly optimistic about this scenario happening.

  • A.J. Burnett made great strides in his recovery today, as he threw 55 pitches in a bullpen session at about 80 percent. Burnett said he felt great during his session and it was a huge step towards his recovery.

  • With Alex Rios and Eric Hinske both swinging hot bats this spring (OPS of 1.099 and 1.276 respectively), it will be interesting to see what happens in RF for the Blue Jays. Could they carry their performance to the regular season and live up to their lofty expectations? Also, where would they find the at-bats to do so? I can't wait to find out.

Seven days until Johan Santana squares off against Roy Halladay in the Skydome, err... Rogers Center.