The good news is that Spring Training game action is underway. The bad news is the Jays lost their opener this afternoon to Detroit, 4-0. On the flip side, it means very little, aside from the fact Jose Bautista did absolutely nothing to live up to his contract in his first three plate appearances since signing a five-year, $64 million contract last week.
This one wasn’t on TV and I didn’t catch on the radio, so here’s what can be gathered from the boxscore at MLB.com: Brett Cecil got the start, giving up three hits and a run in two innings. Robert Ray gave up another in two innings of relief, and Jesse Carlson gave up two on a pair of walks and a double in the fifth. The Jays managed just five hits off seven Tigers pitchers, with Yunel Escobar and John McDonald each picking up a pair of singles and Juan Rivera doubling off some guy named Duane Below. Bautista went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts while starting at third, and an Adam Lind start at first yielded an 0-for-3 of its own. Rajai Davis, Edwin Encarnacion, Corey Patterson and J.P. Arencibia also started and went hitless for Toronto, though none of the four played a full nine innings.
So with one down, it gives about 29 more spring games for these guys to carve out spots on John Farrell’s Opening Day roster. Bautista, your work is cut out. Yours too, Lind. And come on, Carlson – I need you up there this year. The Jays and Tigers shift from Dunedin to Lakeland for Round 2 tomorrow, with Marc Rzepczynski scheduled for a two-inning start.