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seems just like yesterday that Jose Bautista came out of no where to become the face of the Blue Jays franchise, signing a contract that, in the minds of many, opened up a five year window of opportunity to pull the team out of its non playoff rut.
you playing games every day, going through the ups and downs and guys get a little distracted or going the wrong way, it nice to have a guy who can bring them back, said Gibbons who regards Bautista as his go to guy in that respect. don always want a coach or manager to have to do that, because that doesn work.
Now there are only two years remaining on that contract (plus a club option) and there is a growing sense of urgency to get the job done while Bautista is still at the peak of his powers.
So far, trainer George Poulos has had a quiet spring. The only early casualty is pitcher John Stilson who suffered a strained hamstring.
don want to make my batting average or my home runs the focus of April, he said. long as we winning games, it shouldn really matter what my batting average is. I going to be more focused on how to help us win on a day to day basis. I be way happier if I hitting .200 and we 20 5 in April, than hitting .370 and having us 5 20.
As usual, the pitchers won the first round of live competition against the position players, most of whom haven seen real, live major league pitching in nearly five months.
At 33 and coming off two years in which injuries have prevented him from playing beyond August 25, Bautista approaches New Balance 574 Brown Leather the 2014 season healthy and full of optimism that the Jays have the talent to get the job done.
everybody does as well as they capable of doing, with some leadership and hopefully I can help out in that area we can be a much better team and a closer team than we showed last year, he said on his first day of full workouts. don have to worry about talent level or quality of players or production individually.
PITCHERS RULES THE DAY
don think I going to be doing anything too different than what I tried to do in the past. Ideally I will do what I think makes me a better hitter and that involves swinging at strikes and staying in the zone and not chase pitches out of the zone. I struggled with that, especially early in the last two seasons. Hopefully I can hit the ground running and my plate discipline will be there when the season starts.
For hitters, the early days of camp are about re establishing timing and getting accustomed to the velocity and movement.
us, said pitcher Drew Hutchison with a smile, can ever let one of these guys square up even one pitch. They can swing and miss 10 times in a row but if they catch one solid, all you get is abuse. next three days will continue in this pattern, hitters facing pitchers. On Tuesday, they will split into two teams and play an intrasquad game, in preparation for Wednesday Grapefruit League opener in Clearwater against the Phillies.
injuries, the ones that took me out of the lineup for an extended period of time were from impact plays, or just a freak accident with the wrist, said Bautista. it disappointing and upsetting to not finish the season as has been the case the last two years so hopefully it doesn happen again. and Melky Cabrera have been working out together all winter in nearby Tampa, where both have off season homes.
early in the day was more functional stuff, more baseball related movement, balancing our bodies making sure we didn have deficiencies in strength more on one side of the body than the other, he said. other workout was just strength, conditioning, speed and power, working outdoors, doing more crazy weight lifting, cross fit workouts. Flipping tires, pushing cars, crazy stuff like that. is the undisputed leader in the clubhouse and on the field. His fluency in English and Spanish on a team predominant in both languages, plus his talent and production numbers and experience make him a natural.
been living in Tampa the last 18 months and (Cabrera) moved there this off season, said Bautista. just natural for two teammates living in the same city to work out together in the off season. It would have been weird, awkward and odd if we didn It was easy and natural. We both decided to start earlier than we normally do, both coming off injuries and try to get into the best shape of our lives before spring training started. teammates have been doing two workout sessions a day, ever since mid December.
people believe leadership is standing up and saying something. What I believe is, it a combination. Sometimes things have to be said and sometimes just doing what you do every single day should be good enough. What I believe is that leadership doesn correlate to responsibility. It reflects just the fact that you might be doing something positive, that people around you might emulate to get results. John Gibbons likes a clubhouse that can police itself and he looks to Bautista, and other veterans for that guidance.
Jose Bautista believes in the 2014 Blue Jays
I don know if you want to put it on one guy. But there are certain guys just because of what they accomplished and who they are New Balance 574 Red Blue White
On Friday, the Jays claimed pitcher Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles. To make room on the 40 man roster, Toronto designated infielder Brent Morel for assignment.
think we have a good group of guys. We really competitive and very talented. I think if we remain healthy and everybody plays to their capabilities . nobody has to his 60 home runs or have a sub 1.00 ERA, we just need to play up to our capabilities. That being my frame of mind, I don think we need, necessarily, more pitchers. years ago, the right fielder was sidelined by the effects of a tendon injury in his left arm that needed minor surgery to repair. Last year, he missed the last six weeks of the season with a deep bruise on his hip.
who might be better at it than others. Generally speaking, the better ones are the guys who talk less and do it by example. Then when they do have something to say, it carries a little more weight. than winning more games, Bautista goals are not complicated. He would like to get off to a fast start, as opposed to the slow starts that have plagued him the last two years.
all depends upon how you interpret leadership, he said. people believe leadership is just setting an example. Sometimes New Balance 1600 On Feet
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