Sanchez struggling, dealing with blister

Sanchez struggling, dealing with blister

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Aaron Sanchez's numbers this spring look a little jarring, but the Blue Jays don't seem concerned and the reigning American League ERA leader believes everything is going according to plan.

Sanchez declared himself ready for the regular season following Monday's 7-1 loss to the Phillies, in which he allowed five runs and threw 71 pitches over 3 1/3 innings. He has allowed 10 earned runs over 10 2/3 innings in the Grapefruit League season, but those spring numbers can be a little deceiving.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Martin's first spring homer lone offense for Jays

Martin's first spring homer lone offense for Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- First baseman Tommy Joseph hit a two-run homer and right-hander Vince Velasquez struck out seven over five strong innings in the Phillies' 7-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday night at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Joseph went 4-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and two RBIs. His big blow came in the top of the fifth, when he unloaded on a pitch from Toronto closer Roberto Osuna and sent it well over the left-center-field wall for his third homer of the spring. Freddy Galvis added a pair of hits and two RBIs, while Howie Kendrick scored both times he reached base.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Win-now Blue Jays likely buyers at Deadline

Unless season takes unfortunate turn, core, prospects will remain intact

Win-now Blue Jays likely buyers at Deadline

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- People have been saying this for at least the last two years, but the Blue Jays are about to enter another make-or-break season with their aging core of position players.

Toronto has every intention of contending for a spot in the postseason, and Blue Jays fans will have to hope that comes to fruition, because if not, some pretty big changes could be coming in the not-so-distant future. With six pending free agents, including some prominent names, the time to win is now.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Schultz visiting specialist for sore right elbow

Latos won't make team; Loup, Bolsinger favorites for bullpen spots

Schultz visiting specialist for sore right elbow

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays right-hander Bo Schultz is scheduled to visit a specialist in New York on Tuesday to have his sore right elbow examined.

Schultz was a candidate for one of Toronto's final two spots in the bullpen. The injury rules him out for Opening Day, and he'll have to start the year on the disabled list. However, the hope is that the injury isn't serious.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Estrada named Opening Day starter

Estrada named Opening Day starter

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- One of the worst-kept secrets in all of baseball was made official on Sunday afternoon as Blue Jays manager John Gibbons announced veteran right-hander Marco Estrada will be his Opening Day starter.

Estrada will start the season opener on April 3 in Baltimore. J.A. Happ will pitch the second game of that series, and he will then be followed by Marcus Stroman, Francisco Liriano and Aaron Sanchez.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Liriano continues to rack up strikeouts

Liriano continues to rack up strikeouts

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Spring Training numbers often have to be taken with a grain of salt, but even so, it's almost impossible to ignore what Francisco Liriano has accomplished over the past several weeks.

Liriano has been overpowering and borderline dominant in a spring that has seen him pick up 25 strikeouts over 14 1/3 innings. This isn't a rookie with a questionable track record. This is a proven big league arm that has enjoyed plenty of success in the past but looks better than ever right now.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Travis on track to be ready for Opening Day

Travis on track to be ready for Opening Day

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Devon Travis has passed another big test and all signs now point to the third-year second baseman being ready for Opening Day.

Travis missed most of Spring Training as he continued to recover from surgery on his right knee last year. He began appearing in Minor League games last week and made his debut with the big league club on Thursday, which means he should be good to go.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McBroom, prospects dial long distance

McBroom, prospects dial long distance

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Alex Monsalve and Christian Lopes belted solo homers off Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning to give a split-squad Blue Jays club a 4-3 victory Sunday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Nicholas Castellanos homered for one Tigers run and hit an opposite-field double to set up another, supporting Jordan Zimmermann over his 5 1/3 innings.

Continue Reading

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Liriano yields just one run against O's

Liriano yields just one run against O's

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Ryan Flaherty tripled and came around to score the go-ahead run on Cedric Mullins' sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning to give the Orioles a 2-1 victory over a split-squad Blue Jays club on Sunday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Francisco Liriano got the start for Toronto and had yet another solid outing. The left-hander struggled with his control in the first inning, but he quickly settled down and allowed just one run over 4 2/3 innings of work. In his second-to-last start of the spring, Liriano scattered a pair of hits and walked two while striking out seven. The 33-year-old has now fanned a remarkable 25 batters over 14 1/3 innings this spring.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoulder OK, Upton returns to lineup

Shoulder OK, Upton returns to lineup

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. made his return to the Blue Jays' lineup on Sunday afternoon after missing 10 days because of a sore right shoulder.

Upton received final clearance to play after he went through a full round of batting practice Saturday and came away feeling fine. He is expected to be ready for Opening Day barring any last-minute setbacks.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pearce gets outfield reps, embraces 'process'

Pearce gets outfield reps, embraces 'process'

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Steve Pearce is one step closer to being ready for Opening Day after he made his first spring appearance in left field during a 16-0 victory over the Canada Junior National Team on Saturday afternoon.

Pearce played five innings in left and didn't see much action, but he caught a lazy fly ball and fielded a clean single. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate during a stress-free afternoon, which is perhaps a good thing for someone still easing into a regular workload.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goins, Salty power Blue Jays vs. Yankees

Goins, Salty power Blue Jays vs. Yankees

TAMPA, Fla. -- Toronto's hitters got to New York starter Adam Warren before the Yankees rallied for a 6-5 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

The Blue Jays struck in the top of the first when free-agent acquisition Kendrys Morales singled in Devon Travis, and they pulled out to a 3-0 lead in the second when Ryan Goins cranked a two-run homer to right field.

Continue Reading

Greg Zeck is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Donaldson talks hitting with Mr. October

Hall of Famer approached Blue Jays slugger before spring game

Donaldson talks hitting with Mr. October

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Josh Donaldson spends a lot of time before every game talking hitting to anyone who will listen. Whether it's in the clubhouse, or on the field, players will come and go as they exchange information on opposing pitchers, mechanics and overall philosophy.

That's not unusual, but Donaldson's audience during batting practice on Saturday morning certainly was. It was none other than Yankees Hall of Famer -- and Mr. October -- Reggie Jackson. Normally it's the current players picking the brains of the all-time greats, but this time it was the other way around.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Greg Zeck also contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Travis clears big hurdle playing 5 frames vs. Sox

Recovering second baseman moves well on defense, hits RBI double

Travis clears big hurdle playing 5 frames vs. Sox

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- As Devon Travis took his familiar place in the infield on Friday, the Blue Jays' second baseman had a feeling that the first major fielding hurdle of his Grapefruit League debut was going to come swiftly.

Boston's Brock Holt wasted no time affirming that, sending a sharp grounder up the middle on the game's second pitch. The play forced Travis to range to his left and test the bone bruise on his right knee before making the throw to first baseman Steve Pearce in time for the out.

Continue Reading

Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

New data shows Morales could thrive in Toronto

Veteran designated hitter was first Royals slugger to hit 30 homers since 2000

New data shows Morales could thrive in Toronto

A mere nine days after the World Series ended, the Blue Jays made the first splash of the offseason, signing designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a three-year deal. Given the fact that Toronto seemed to be rushing to fill a spot that made it less likely that both Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista could return, and that Encarnacion later signed with Cleveland for a sum far less than most expected, the initial reaction by many was that the Blue Jays had been too aggressive in paying for a nearly 34-year-old bat-only player who contributes little on the bases or on defense.

Perhaps the Blue Jays did. But using our new Statcast™ Hit Probability tools, one can easily see what they are hoping for here. In 2016, Morales hit 30 homers for the Royals, with a solid enough .263/.327/.468 line. By itself, those are impressive numbers. Based on the skill Morales actually showed at the plate, he deserved better -- and that's what Toronto is banking on. 

Continue Reading

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Another strong outing has Happ confident about '17

Lefty gives up 2 runs (1 earned) vs. Sox, owns 1.59 spring ERA

Another strong outing has Happ confident about '17

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Take away one bad pitch from Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ's third start of the spring, and Friday's 3-2 victory over the Red Sox would have been practically pristine.

Alas, that one pitch came in the fifth inning and wound up being turned into a towering two-run drive by Boston's Bryce Brentz that landed atop Florida Auto Exchange Stadium's bullpen net in right field, putting a dent in Happ's otherwise-scoreless afternoon.

Continue Reading

Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bautista, Travis back Happ, lift Blue Jays in return

Bautista, Travis back Happ, lift Blue Jays in return

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Jose Bautista hit an RBI double in his first Grapefruit League game since returning from the World Baseball Classic, and J.A. Happ struck out five in 5 1/3 innings to lead the Blue Jays to a 3-2 victory over the Red Sox on Friday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

After Troy Tulowitzki opened the bottom of the first with a double to center field off Boston starter Drew Pomeranz, Bautista followed with a line drive to left for his seventh RBI this spring. The six-time All-Star returned to camp on Wednesday, but took an extra day off to fully recover from a stiff lower back that kept him out of the Dominican team's loss to the United States in the Classic semifinals last weekend.

Continue Reading

Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Toronto excited about Morales' power, versatility

Toronto excited about Morales' power, versatility

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays have no qualms about Kendrys Morales supplying the middle-of-the-order power to fill the gulf left by three-time All-Star Edwin Encarnacion's winter departure.

As for their plans on how to use the switch-hitting slugger in the field? That remains to be seen.

Continue Reading

Jeff Odom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stroman dazzles en route to Classic MVP

Stroman dazzles en route to Classic MVP

LOS ANGELES -- Marcus Stroman prides himself on being a big-game pitcher, and pitching Wednesday on one of baseball's biggest stages, he dominated.

Stroman dazzled for Team USA as it secured its first World Baseball Classic championship with an 8-0 victory, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning and stifling a Puerto Rican lineup that had slugged its way through the tournament with a plus-37 run differential and a perfect 7-0 record. His performance earned him Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament as well as a spot on the 2017 All-World Baseball Classic Team.

Continue Reading

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Pipeline report: Prospects in Blue Jays' camp

Pipeline report: Prospects in Blue Jays' camp

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the season ahead. Some are competing for jobs in big league camps, others are prepping for the season as they vie for spots at Minor League affiliates up and down a team's system. MLBPipeline.com is visiting all 30 camps this spring. Today we check in on the Toronto Blue Jays.

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Perhaps the best way to ensure an organization recommits itself to developing homegrown players is to have decision-makers in the front office who have player development backgrounds. In that regard, the Blue Jays, who are seeing a resurgence in their system, are way ahead of the curve, with a president/CEO, a general manager, an assistant general manager and a vice president of baseball operations who all have that experience on their resume.

Continue Reading

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Estrada dominant, Opitz hits walk-off vs. Tigers

Estrada dominant, Opitz hits walk-off vs. Tigers

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Dominic Ficociello crushed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to put Detroit ahead, but fellow Minor Leaguer Shane Optiz did the same for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the frame to lift Toronto to a 5-4 Grapefruit League win on Wednesday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

The knock capped a big day for the Blue Jays, who got a strong start from Marco Estrada. The right-hander settled down to retire the last 14 batters he faced over his five-inning outing.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Q&A with Blue Jays prospect Sean Reid-Foley

Q&A with Blue Jays prospect Sean Reid-Foley

As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Blue Jays camp, it was No. 2 prospect Sean Reid-Foley.

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Sean Reid-Foley was the Blue Jays' second-round selection out of the Florida high school ranks in the 2014 Draft. He repeated Class A ball in 2016 and took a big step forward, leading the organization in WHIP and batting average against, while finishing second in ERA and strikeouts. Reid-Foley is now the organization's No. 2 prospect and No. 64 on the overall Top 100 list.

Continue Reading

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stroman among All-Classic Team standouts

Along with Hosmer, pair selected unanimously to field of 12 honorees

Stroman among All-Classic Team standouts

Following a thrilling World Baseball Classic that culminated in the United States winning its first title thanks to Wednesday's 8-0 win over Puerto Rico, World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) announced the All-World Baseball Classic Team.

From the champions, tournament Most Valuable Player Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays (2.35 ERA, six-plus scoreless innings in final), Eric Hosmer of the Royals (unanimous choice) and Christian Yelich of the Marlins were selected. Stroman, as WBC 2017 MVP, joined Japan's Daisuke Matsuzaka ('06 and '09) and the Dominican Republic's Robinson Cano ('13) as MVPs in Classic history.

Continue Reading

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Donaldson plays four innings in return to field

Donaldson plays four innings in return to field

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Leading off the top of the second inning during the Blue Jays' 5-4 win against Detroit Wednesday, Tigers catcher James McCann was retired on a routine grounder to third. The crowd at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, however, responded with an enthusiastic round of applause.

That's because the defensive play was made by Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was making his first Grapefruit League appearance in the field after his spring debut at designated hitter Monday. He had been sidelined by a strained right calf.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gibbons' reported contract puts unknowns to rest

Gibbons' reported contract puts unknowns to rest

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was asked before Wednesday's Grapefruit League game against the Tigers if it was time to congratulate him on his reported new contract. Gibbons demurred, noting that no official announcement had been made.

"But you can congratulate me all you want," he added with a grin.

Continue Reading

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pillar stars in four-run fourth in win over O's

Pillar stars in four-run fourth in win over O's

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Aaron Sanchez pitched into the fourth inning in his third Grapefruit League outing, allowing just one hit as the Blue Jays beat the Orioles, 5-2, on Tuesday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

Sanchez, who was a sparkling 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA for Toronto in 2016, walked four and struck out two over 3 1/3 frames. Chris Davis knocked his first home run of the spring in the fourth, the lone blemish for Sanchez.

Continue Reading

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Blue Jays, Gibbons finalizing extension

Two-year deal would include club option for 2020

Source: Blue Jays, Gibbons finalizing extension

Back-to-back appearances in the American League Championship Series have resulted in a two-year contract extension for Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. Gibbons' contract was set to expire at the end of this season, but the two sides are in the process of finalizing a new deal, a source has told MLB.com. TSN's Steve Phillips was the first to report the framework of the deal, which includes a club option for 2020. The Blue Jays have not confirmed the agreement.

The 54-year-old Gibbons began his second stint managing the Blue Jays in 2013. Toronto has since gone 339-309, including 271-221 in the last three years with one AL East title.

Continue Reading

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Corey Long contributed to this report.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.