Blue Jays' spring record has deeper meaning

Blue Jays' spring record has deeper meaning

Blue Jays' spring record has deeper meaning
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Results in Spring Training always have to be taken with a grain of salt, but there are at least a couple of positive things to take out of Toronto's current nine-game unbeaten streak.

Exhibition play is more about getting ready for the start of the season than it is about final results. Starting position players often leave games early or take days off while pitchers gradually build up arm strength over a period of time.

That's why the Grapefruit League season isn't necessarily an indicator of things to come, but for Blue Jays manager John Farrell, it does paint a clear picture about the current state of the franchise.

"I think what it shows is that the quality of depth in players in this organization is growing by the year," Farrell said. "What's really impressive is that the drop-off to the next level of talent is not drastic. That speaks to the overall health of the organization.

"I think guys have had a great camp in terms of their attentiveness, their awareness and what we're trying to get done and that has played out on the field."

March has been a time for the club to showcase some of its upcoming prospects. Travis d'Arnaud, Anthony Gose, Adeiny Hechavarria, Mike McDade and others have all taken center stage at multiple times this spring, and Farrell is optimistic about what he has seen so far.

"These are all guys that have had good years in the Minor Leagues, but they've won," Farrell said of those players, who all spent at least part of last season with the Eastern League champions, Double-A New Hampshire. "There's an overall expectation that is being fostered and developed that a player coming to us at the big league level ... we're hopeful not to just develop a Major League player but a winning Major League player and that takes a different mind-set.

"We can't just expect a young player to come to the big leagues, and now all of a sudden there's a sense of urgency where development was the priority leading up to the big leagues and now all of a sudden they're expected to win. I think those have to go hand in hand and we're starting to see that."