So Casey Janssen, who was considered one of the frontrunners to land a rotation job, will be examined today after leaving yesterday's game with shoulder tightness. Janssen didn't look like he was in extreme pain on the mound, but definitely something was wrong. He doesn't think it's too serious, and his shoulder passed some trainer tests, so no MRI has been scheduled yet, but you have to figure that even if it's not a big deal, the Jays will be cautious in getting him throwing again given his injury history and that means he won't be ready to start the season in the rotation.
That, coupled with the fact that Scott Richmond is also behind given the WBC, creates an opening for Matt Clement and Brad Mills, today's starter for the game against the Rays. The Jays seem to love Mills and it looks like he's got a decent chance of breaking camp in the rotation, despite the fact that the 24-year old only has a few starts in AA and nothing above that. 2008 Jay-slayer Matt Garza starts for the Rays.
In back from injury news, Vernon Wells is set to DH today in his first Grapefruit League game after straining his hamstring a few weeks ago. Barring any setbacks, if Vernon is DHing today and the start of the season is still over 2 weeks away, you have to figure he'll be ready to start the season in centrefield, though perhaps not on an everyday basis. That means Joe Inglett is a bit of a long shot to make the team out of camp, given that he still has an option year and the Jays seem happy with Bautista and Millar to spell the lefties and Lane is playing well also. Of course, there's a reason Gibby called him "Voodoo Joe," so he may yet find his way onto the team.
Rod Barajas and Alex Rios are also back from the WBC, and Rios had some stuff to say about the event and the differences between the Carribean and Latin Countries and the US:
Rios believes the Caribbean and Latin countries have more fun and more emotion at these events. "When there's a uniform that says the name of your country, we're really more passionate about it," Rios said.
Fun and passion, however, didn't turn into semi-final births for the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, or Mexico. Also, ever since I found out that Rios refuses to change his baby's diapers due to what I can only assume is some Latin macho thing (made even worse by the fact that he apparently wouldn't mind changing them if only he had a baby boy instead of a girl), I've lost a lot of respect for the man. Just play the game, Alexis. Also, by the way, your "country" is the US of A.
Anyway, lineups before the game if we get around to it. Today's title from the great Tegan and Sara song "the Con" - the Janssen situation made me think of the line.
[Note by hugo, 03/20/09 12:28 PM EDT ] Here's the Jays' starting lineup:
Russ Adams, LF
Jose Bautista, SS
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, DH
Kevin Millar, 1B
Jason Lane, CF
Rod Barajas, C
Brad Emaus, 2B
Kevin Ahrens, 3B