Some Thursday links:
First, for those of us going to Montreal:
Yay! I'm getting tickets.
Brendan Kennedy, in the Star, talks about the Top 5 Blue Jays stories going into spring training. I'm already tired of 4 of the 5. Yes, Dalton Pompey is playing CF. Yes, I would like liked them to pick up a second baseman, but I'm willing to see how things go.. Yes, Russell Martin can catch the knuckleball, the real question is 'will Gibby let him catch Dickey?'. Or will Martin allow a passed ball in the first game and then never get another chance? I'm hoping Gibby picked up some patience this winter. And, I don't really care who the closer is, I'm more interested if the bullpen, as a group, improves from last year. I am curious to see if Daniel Norris will get the 5th starter spot.
Shi Davidi has a post up at Basball America (subscription required) telling us that the Jays will be giving Dwight Smith a chance at shot at second base. We knew they were, but I'm putting up the link because I didn't know Shi was writing for BA.
By no means is a position switch set in stone for the 22-year-old, who is coming off a season at high Class A Dunedin in which he hit .284/.363/.453 in 121 games and led the Florida State League in both runs (83) and extra-base hits (48).
Smith appears destined for Double-A New Hampshire in 2015, but his bat may profile better in the infield.
"(Smith) worked closely with (roving infield instructor) Mike Mordecai, and he worked at it religiously," assistant general manager Tony LaCava said. "Mordecai was pleased with how he looked, so we're going to take a look at it."
Vice Sports has a great profile of new Blue Jays pitcher Bo Schultz. It is a fun read. He didn't pitch in high school, he didn't pitch until Junior year of college, where he was studying journalism. This is my favorite line:
"I'd covered Cotton Bowls in high school for a local newspaper and that was the path I decided to follow," says Schultz. "This was pre-Twitter and Instagram, back when Facebook still required a .edu domain. I wanted to write for digital and print because magazines were only a slow decline then, not in freefall like today."
Any time you feel like writing something, Bo, we'd love to post it.
John Lott writes about Steve Delabar's attempt to return to All-Star form. It mentions that Delabar had knee pains last year, which might have caused some of his troubles from last season.
On Thursday, he will start his drive to Dunedin, Fla., for spring training. He says a winter of meticulous conditioning has left him feeling healthy, strong and confident. Of the velocity he lost last year, he says: "The numbers are back up."
Or, to put it another way, he's in the best shape of his life. I would certainly help if he could pitch like it was 2013.