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Kayıt Tarihi: 24-Aralık-2014
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Gönderen: 06-Şubat-2015 Saat 04:11 | Kayıtlı IP Alıntı yuguhun

. PETERSBURG, Florida ¨C The
time for talking is over. Its put up or shut up time. A
pivotal season, the Blue Jays 38th in Major League
Baseball, gets underway at Tropicana Field on Monday
afternoon. Last springs eternal optimism has been
replaced by this springs eternal doubt. Jobs are on the
line if 2014 takes on a pattern similar to 2013. That
certainly goes for manager John Gibbons. The heat already
is being turned up on general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
The players know it, including the ace knuckleballer for
whom much was traded away over a year ago. "Guys really
know that this is a big year for us collectively," said
R.A. Dickey, who will make his second consecutive opening
day start for the Blue Jays. "Were kind of getting a
mulligan this year. Last year a lot of things went wrong.
This year were pretty much all healthy, were here, weve
been here all spring, weve been able to do relationships
with one another and now were in a much different place
than we were last year and its a much more comfortable
place." While its nice that a full season has bred
greater familiarity, the degree to which teammates are
comfortable around one another will only take them so
far. The Blue Jays go into the season with a starting
rotation full of question marks on the heels of last
year, when the club finished 29th out of 30 teams in
starting staff ERA (4.81). "Thats the key to our success
this year, thats the key to anyones success is how well
you pitch as far as giving you a chance," said manager
John Gibbons. "Were ready to go. Weve had a good spring
all year." All things being equal, namely health, you
know what youll get from Dickey and Mark Buehrle. The
knuckleballer will be among the American League leaders
in innings pitched, he was second last year with 224 2/3
innings despite pitching most of the first half with a
strained muscle in his neck, and if Dickeys spring is any
indication he could improve upon last years numbers (14
wins, 4.21 ERA). "I feel prepared. I feel confident,
which is great," Dickey said after his final Grapefruit
League start on March 26. "Last year I didnt feel very
confident simply because I didnt feel as prepared. Im
really looking forward to getting started and being able
to adjust my schedule this year in a way that really
maximizes my preparedness has been great." Buehrle, whose
12 wins and 203 2/3 innings in 2013 marked the 13th
consecutive season hes achieved double-digit victories
and more than 200 innings pitched, said of his changeup
after an early March outing that it hadnt been that good
in three years. Typically a slow starter, Buehrles 4.32
career ERA in the month of April is his worst for any
month of the season. The joke has been how good he feels.
"Its a joke but not a joke," explained Buehrle. "At times
you go through your little stretches where you almost
say, man, I wish I was giving up some hits and home runs
to kind of get them out of the way for the season. But I
feel good. I mean, obviously the results in spring
training dont mean stuff but you still want to get people
out no matter whether its spring training or the regular
season. I feel good and I think thats the biggest thing
Im taking out of this camp is I feel healthy, Im ready to
go and hopefully the results are there." Throw Drew
Hutchison and Brandon Morrow in the questionable
category. Hutchison is there because hes 23 years old and
likely to experience the normal ups and downs of any
young pitcher, not to mention he has limited minor league
innings under his belt following last summers return from
Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. Still,
Hutchison was the Jays best pitcher this spring. He
earned a starting job on merit and appears poised to
resume a career halted by injury in June, 2012. Morrow,
entering the final guaranteed year of his contract (the
Blue Jays hold a $10 million option for 2015), must prove
he can not only remain healthy but that he can pitch
effectively, consistently. The Jays need Morrow to be his
2012 version (10-7, 2.96, 1.115 WHIP) save for the two
and a half months lost to an oblique strain. Dont think
the 29-year-old doesnt feel he has a point to prove. "You
definitely dont want to be labeled as somebody injury
prone," said Morrow. "My goal is to go out there and make
every start this year. I had a positive spring so Im
feeling good about it." Its a wait-and-see, hold-your-
breath approach with Dustin McGowan, wholl be closely
monitored not only during his outings but in between
starts. The 32-year-old is returning to the starting
rotation on a full-time basis for the first time since
2008. Multiple shoulder surgeries and various other
injuries later, McGowans story is testament to his
resolve but also a reflection of the Blue Jays lack, at
the moment, of quality starting pitching depth. Aaron
Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin are on the way but
arent ready yet. Todd Redmond or J.A. Happ, once the
issues with his wonky back get worked out, are the
immediate fallback plans should McGowan falter. Anything
the Jays get from McGowan has to be considered gravy
given what hes been through. CASEY JANSSEN TO DISABLED
LIST The Blue Jays have placed closer Casey Janssen on
the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 29, with
what the club is calling a left abdominal/back strain.
Janssen, 32, made only three spring appearances, all in
the last week, after dealing with pain and stiffness in
the back of his pitching shoulder for most of camp.
Reached for comment, Janssen told he isnt worried
about the state of his shoulder, which was surgically
repaired more than a year ago. "Shoulder is feeling
good," said Janssen. "Maybe compensated for it but, no,
shoulder is good to pitch." Sergio Santos will replace
Janssen as the clubs closer for the time being. Catcher
Erik Kratz, who lost out to Josh Thole for the back-up
job to Dioner Navarro, has been recalled from Triple-A
threw a 77-pitch simulated game at Florida Auto Exchange
Stadium on Sunday. General manager Alex Anthopoulos,
speaking on a Sunday afternoon conference call, said that
as of this moment McGowan is on track to start the home
opener on Friday against the Yankees. McGowan describes
himself as a "second day pain guy," meaning his shoulder
is most uncomfortable following his second sleep after a
start. Regardless, at the moment the 32-year-old appears
to have cleared all hurdles in his attempt to return to
the starting rotation.
. The Spurs announced
on Monday that they have re-signed Matt Bonner.
. - Russell Wilson is
getting on the diamond again.ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- With
their playoff hopes hanging by a thread, the Utica Comets
needed someone to step up Saturday night. Enter team
captain Colin Stuart. Stuart scored twice to lead the
Utica Comets to a 3-1 win over the Abbotsford Heat on
Saturday in American Hockey League action. Stuart now has
15 goals on the year and is tied for third on the team
despite scoring just twice in the previous 15 games. "We
challenged our leaders to bring a better game tonight,
and (Stuart) was one of the guys who stepped up," said
Comets head coach Travis Green. "Hes been good for us all
year. You expect your captain to make plays and step up
at the right time. You need all your best players this
time of the year and it was good to see him do that." The
Comets had their four-game winning streak snapped Friday
by the Heat, but moved to within eight points of a
Western Conference playoff berth with the bounce-back
victory. "I didnt like the way we skated last night and
the way we competed in certain areas of the ice," said
Green. "The guys responded well tonight. These are
desperate times for our team and we played like it
tonight." Stuart, who signed with the Comets NHL-
affiliate Vancouver Canucks during the summer, played in
Abbotsford during the Heats inaugural season in 2009-10.
Hes now registered six points in six games against the
Heat this year. "Its still neat coming here," said
Stuart. "And not just the arena, but the city itself. Its
interesting to see how things have changed around town.
And obviously I was here in the inaugural season so it
was pretty special too." Brandon DeFazio also scored for
the Comets for his third goal in four games. Alex Friesen
had two assists for Utica (27-27-7), while Joacim
Eriksson made 38 saves in the win. "(Eriksson) was good
the whole game," said Green. "I like him last night and
really liked him for the last three months. Hes been real
solid for us. He had a tough start to the year but hes
starting to develop." Eriksson gave the Abbotsford
offence fits Saturday, making several key stops. "We
keyed on getting the puck to the net but obviously we
didnt take away the guys eyes as well as we should have,"
said Heat defenceman Chad Billins. "Theyre big bodies
back there and they box out very well. Weve got to get
some more bodies to the front of the net. And also hhes a
good goalie, so youve got to give him credit too.
. quot; Ben
Street scored the only goal for the Heat and Olivier Roy
stopped 31 shots for Abbotsford (34-21-7), which has just
one win in its last nine games. The Heat actually had the
best opportunities to open the scoring, getting four
power plays in the first period, but had nothing to show
for it, including just one shot through 10 minutes. "We
had four straight power plays, and we didnt generate
anything off of that," said Heat head coach Troy Ward.
"We didnt gain some momentum, we didnt put ourselves in a
position physically or mentally to get some emotion or
get some charge out of those power plays. I thought that
was one of the biggest differences in the game." Stuart
mirrored that idea. "We got into a little bit of penalty
trouble in the first period," said Stuart. "We just kept
battling back. Wed kill off a penalty and gain back a
little bit more momentum and build on it. They kept
coming at us and we weathered the storm when we needed to
and controlled the game when we needed to as well." The
Comets finally opened the scoring at 8:47 of the second
period. Yann Sauves long shot was kicked out by Roy right
to DeFazio down low and he made no mistake in beating Roy
stick side for his 12th of the year. The Heat had some
opportunities to get on the board. Corey Locke forced a
turnover behind the net and centred for Max Reinhart, but
Eriksson stopped him and made it look easy as well. While
Locke has 14 assists with the Heat this season, he still
has not scored in 18 games. "Its frustrating," said
Locke. "Ive been getting looks but cant find a way to get
the puck behind that goal-line. It cost a goal today. I
stayed out to try and score, extending a shift, and they
go back and score that second goal. Thats unacceptable."
Stuart made it 2-0 at 15:25. Friesen made a perfect pass
off the boards, around a Heat defender, to Stuart and he
beat Roy blocker side. The Comets captain got his second
of the game at 3:05 of the third. He skated to the left
faceoff dot and wired a shot short side on the Heat
netminder, putting the visitors up 3-0. The Heat had a
two-man advantage with eight minutes to go in the third
and finally beat Eriksson. Street one-timed Lockes pass
from the slot, blowing it by the Swedish netminders glove
for his 23rd of the year.
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