Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Canada junior team enjoys facing Blue Jays

FOND MEMORIES: Ex-Ray Dan Johnson is in his home-run trot after hitting his third spring homer for Toronto.

Associated Press

FOND MEMORIES: Ex-Ray Dan Johnson is in his home-run trot after hitting his third spring homer for Toronto.

ST. PETERSBURG — The Canadian junior national team is getting a rare opportunity this week to see what it is like to play against major-leaguers.

The team faced a Blue Jays split squad Tuesday at Al Lang Stadium, falling 12-2. It will play split-squad games against the Braves today, the Tigers on Saturday and Pirates on Sunday, also at Al Lang.

"To have the opportunity to come out on the field and play against players that you watch on TV and inspire to be like is incredibly special. Especially when it's Canada's team," manager Greg Hamilton said.

Gareth Morgan, 17, one of the top outfield prospects for the June amateur draft, singled off Toronto RHP Brandon Morrow in the first. He said it was a "cool and humbling" experience, especially getting to play against his favorite player, Jays 3B Brett Lawrie, a Canadian.

"It's an honor to be a part of this team and get an opportunity to do this," Morgan said. "It's not every day you get to put a uniform on and play against big leaguers."

MORROW LABORS: Morrow, working exclusively on his fastball and splitter, was unhappy with his efficiency. "My fastball command was terrible," said Morrow, who walked four in three innings. "I was getting frustrated with myself out there."

EX-RAY STARS: 1B Dan Johnson hit a two-run homer off Tigers RHP Joba Chamberlain in Toronto's other split-squad game, a 3-2 10-inning win. Johnson, a Red Sox killer with Tampa Bay, has three home runs in 14 spring at-bats.

Yanks: CC experiments

VIERA — Yankees LHP CC Sabathia gave up three runs in three innings while working on a new pitch.

Sabathia tested a cutter in the 3-2 loss to the Nationals, throwing eight or nine of the pitch taught to him by former teammate Andy Pettitte.

"They felt pretty good," Sabathia said. "They either yanked it foul or took it. I don't know how hard it was, if it was the same as my slider."

Sabathia said his slider has actually been much tighter this spring now that he has been throwing a cutter. He plans to use the cutter along with his four-seam fastball to go in on right-handed hitters, and also to give them a different look.

TANAKA SHARP: Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka made his third start for the Yankees, this time in a simulated game. The right-hander struck out nine of 18 batters in four innings and threw 49 of 63 pitches for strikes.

Phils: Making his case

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Justin Upton popped a David Buchanan sinker into the sky, and the Phillies right-hander shouted as he descended the mound. Freddy Galvis caught the lazy fly. Buchanan, an improbable entrant in the fifth-starter competition, completed three scoreless innings against a stacked Braves lineup.

He was disappointed.

"You never like falling behind (the hitters) because you never want to get hurt," Buchanan, 24, said. "I was just probably trying to overdo some things instead of keeping it simple. I wasn't too upset, just telling myself to relax and stay smooth."

Buchanan was the last minor-leaguer invited to camp. His spring resume is six innings long, enough to warrant consideration for a job on a thinned staff.

The Braves were scoreless with Buchanan on the mound. They exploded for nine runs in the next six innings of a 9-1 victory.

"He's probably the only bright spot," manager Ryne Sandberg said.

Blue Jays

Games: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Tickets: (727) 733-0429; bluejays.com

Today: vs. Rays, 1:05

Phillies

Games: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Tickets: (727) 467-4457; phillies.com

Today: at Orioles, 1:05, Sarasota

Yankees

Games: Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive (corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Dale Mabry), Tampa

Tickets: (813) 879-2244; yankees.com

Today: vs. Tigers, 1:05

Canada junior team enjoys facing Blue Jays 03/11/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 9:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays agonize over which prospects to protect on 40-man roster

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — That the Rays went right up to Monday's 8 p.m. deadline in deciding to add seven players to the 40-man roster, and that a couple they left off seem to be potential Rule 5 draft losses, was apparently a good thing.

    Brent Honeywell, who was a standout at the All-Star Futures Game and impressive in his Triple-A stint, was added to the Rays’ 40-man roster and could compete for a major-league job in spring training.
  2. Florida A&M football coach Alex Wood resigns

    Sports

    TALLAHASSEE — Alex Wood resigned as Florida A&M football coach Monday, two days after the Rattlers completed their season.

  3. Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Doug Martin's not at fault for struggling running game

    Bucs

    TAMPA — RB Doug Martin had just 38 yards on 19 carries in Sunday's win against the Dolphins, but coach Dirk Koetter said his team's struggles running the ball shouldn't go squarely on his running back.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) warms up before the start of an NFL game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017.
  4. UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

    College

    GAINESVILLE — At last, there's some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.

    Chip Kelly wasn’t so great in the 	NFL, but in his four seasons at Oregon, the Ducks were 46-7 while averaging at least 36 points every season.
  5. Lightning impressed with improved offense from defensemen

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — At one point during Saturday's game against the Islanders, the Lightning was first in the NHL in points and second in points scored by its defensemen. That's one reason the team is off to the best start in franchise history.

    Lightning defensemen such as Victor Hedman (77) and Jake Dotchin (59), shown celebrating with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn, are playing bigger offensive roles this season.