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Jays Beat Sox in Grapefruit League Opener

The Jays defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-1 yesterday afternoon in Dunedain. Before a big crowd well stocked with Sawx fans, Doc Halladay started the spring off right, pitching two scoreless innings and allowing only one hit to old friend Eric Hinske. Only about half of Boston's players were major league types, and they managed only 4 hits (two by Willy Mo Pena) against Halladay (2 Innings), Ryan (1), Frasor (1), Downs (1), Tallet (2), Taubenheim (1), Houston (1). Boston did score a run off Tallet, but it was unearned as Ray Olmedo, playing second base, was charged with a fielding error.

Hopefully previewing the season, Doc got 6 ground ball outs during his two innings of work, allowing only Hinske's double, when a vigorous wind caused his flyball to tail away from Adam Lind in LF. The only walk for the Jays was issued by Tallet, and Aaron Hill hit a 2-run, 1 out HR in the 4th inning off Devern Hansack. Lyle Overbay made an absolutely fantastic backhanded stab, causing Halladay to muse that he wouldn't mind Overbay "saving those for the season." The Big Hurt did not feature, as Rios DHed to begin the game (resting his sore shoulder) and Matt Stairs started at RF. Other non-participants were Russ Adams (Clayton and Ryan Roberts split time at SS while Hill started at 2B before making way for Olmedo) and Reed Johnson, as Adam Lind and John Ford-Griffin split the time in left.

Here are some fun spring training pictures from Jays camp. Has anyone ever made it down to Florida or Arizona for Spring Training? It is a great time.

Also of note, Jerry Howarth said that Toronto's plan was to have Russ Adams start the season as the regular second baseman at Syracuse and, if all goes well, start at second for Toronto sometime this season, with Hill moving over to SS. Toronto believes that Hill has a SS's arm, while Adams does not. I thought this was interesting as everything (and I mean everything) else that I have heard was that while Toronto was planning on using Adams at 2nd at Syracuse, they had no plans at all to move Hill to SS and in fact were intent on leaving him at second to continue to develop.

It is pretty clear that Adams-Hill, of the Jays' options at the moment, offers the best possibility for league average production around the keystone.

Finally, Pat Gillick was in town recently, and discussed his liking for Rios and McGowan and his willingness to trade Jon Lieber. Can I be the first to say, ugh?! While Lieber is not horrible and would surely benefit from getting out of Citizen's Bank Park, he had his worst season last year, has conditioning issues, and is not that great to begin with. I think he would be a fine mid-back rotation starter, but the Jays will have plenty of time to see whether they will need someone like Lieber at some point during the season, but doing so for Rios or even McGowan (who it's way too early to give up on) at this point would be sheer madness.

Yes, I am off from work with my two-week old, Anna, and have nothing to do but change diapers, listen to spring training games on MLB radio, and work my way through the Wire on DVD. Life is sweet in the US capitol city...