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Thursday Bantering and Open Thread for Jays and Phillies Spring Game

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Workouts Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Another game not on TV.

But it does include the most famous non-major leaguer in baseball. Vlad is playing third and batting 5th in the order. And Randal Grichuk gets his first start of the spring after sitting out with a bad case of not Plantar Fasciitis. Or nearly Plantar Fasciitis. Or something.

Max Pentecost is listed on the bench. I’m wondering if he’ll get into game at catcher or DH.

Ryan Borucki gets his second start of the spring. And John Axford will make his first appearance of the spring.

In the Athletic, John Lott writes about the Blue Jays moving away from on the field batting practice. Most of ‘batting practice’ will take place indoors in a batting cage. The Jays have been did this in the minor leagues last year. Why?

Their greater focus is on work in the indoor batting cage, where batters can hit off a tee, take their hacks at short-distance flips from a coach and face high-velocity pitching machines.

New hitting coach Guillermo Martinez launched the initiative in the minors last year when he was the Jays’ hitting co-ordinator, with an ever-increasing accent on use of the pitching machine. New bench coach Dave Hudgens brought a similar approach from Houston, where he was the Astros’ hitting coach.

The story notes that BP is as much a social experience as anything else. Players get a chance to chat and relax before a game. In the cage they can focus on hitting.

Beyond that, Ross Atkins talked to the press, finding better words than ‘not a major leaguer’. I’m hoping baseball sees how stupid this is and comes up with a better way: