MILWAUKEE -- Although the Blue Jays knew on Monday they wouldn't be facing former Toronto pitcher Shaun Marcum on Tuesday because of an injury, it wasn't until just hours before the second game of the series that they found out the Brewers were sending Double-A prospect Tyler Thornburg to the mound.
For the Blue Jays, that didn't seem to matter much. Expecting to face a pitcher he hadn't seen before anyway, second baseman Kelly Johnson said there wasn't much he and his fellow hitters could do to prepare.
And with Thornburg coming from Double-A Huntsville, the amount of video on him to study was limited. So Toronto got a little creative. When Johnson asked advanced scouting and video coordinator Brian Abraham if he had any film on Thornburg, he responded: "I have some stuff. YouTube."
"YouTube sometimes will work for us," Johnson said with a smile. "That's what we got."
Outside of some clips from the Internet, Johnson said the only ways to prepare for a new pitcher such as Thornburg is to talk to an acquaintance who has played him and read the scouting report, which according to manager John Farrell, indicates that Thornburg is an aggressive pitcher with three pitches that have brought him success in the Minors.
For the most part, though, Johnson said Tuesday was mostly about learning on the fly.
"You go up and you have to see what he's doing, see what he does in his warm-ups, watch the first few hitters," he said. "If you go up for your first time, you feel pretty good, then you got a read on him.
"Otherwise, maybe you take some pitches. I think everybody's a little different. It just depends on how you feel and what you're seeing."