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CLEARWATER, Florida – J.A. Happ got the start in the Blue Jays rain-shortened, Grapefruit League opener against the Phillies but it was Todd Redmond who left an early impression on his manager. "Redmonds like anybody else, hes going to get hit every now and then but all weve ever seen out of him is good pitching and he gets guys out," said John Gibbons. "Hes pretty polished." The 29-year-old pitched two clean innings, the second and third, striking out a batter over 22 pitches. He got the win, for what thats worth on February 26, in a 4-3 game called midway through the seventh. Redmond is among more than a half-dozen pitchers in contention for the last starting rotation spot. While not much can be made of one outing, Redmonds performance resonated following a comment Gibbons made before the game. "Usually what happens, when theres a spot open, the guy that takes it, some of those guys have those springs where theyre good all spring and theres no doubt about it ... a lot of times that guy from day one, man, hes standing out and theres no hiccups." All Redmonds ever wanted is an opportunity. Here it is, less than three months before hell turn 29. Think hes overwhelmed? Redmonds been around too long – eight minor league cities over nine seasons – to get rattled by the best chance hes had to crack an opening day roster. "Im an easy-going guy," said Redmond. "Just give me the ball, Ill go out there and pitch. Same thing as I do every day. I pitch." Redmond made 17 appearances for the Blue Jays last season, 14 of them starts. Hed only made one previous appearance in the majors, a start for the Reds in 2012 that didnt go well. Familiarity breeds a sense of comfort. "I have a little more confidence coming into camp. Of my stuff, not of me, just of my stuff. More trusting of my ability," he said. As a starter last season, Redmond slowly earned Gibbons trust, which allowed Redmond to pitch deeper into games. If hes going to succeed at the major league level, however, Redmond will have to vastly improve his numbers facing hitters for a second and third time through the order. Batters have a .627 on-base plus slugging percentage against Redmond the first time through. Redmonds OPS against spikes to .939 when the lineup turns over and .914 the third time around. He insists durability isnt an issue. "My entire career, if you look at my minor league side of it, I dont think Ive ever thrown under 160 innings a year," said Redmond. "The workload. Thats one thing I take pride in is being able to go out there every fifth day and take the ball." Redmonds almost right. In the seven seasons between 2007 and 2012, he logged at least 160 innings five times and never through less than 145 innings. Having worked a modified heavy ball program this offseason, he would typically stretch with the one-pound or two-pound weighted ball prior to throwing, Redmond says his should feels strong as he makes the push for a job in the rotation. "Hes been a good pitcher in the minor leagues," said Gibbons. "Every year hes pretty steady and he never really had that opportunity until he came here last year. If this is his year he makes it and he goes on to have a good year, hell be a big league player and I dont think there will be any looking back." DRABEK UNHAPPY WITH PERFORMANCE Kyle Drabek was visibly upset with his first spring performance, a line that looked like this: 1.2IP/1ER/1H/3BB/1K. In his only full inning of work, Drabek threw 11 pitches but only four for strikes. A candidate for that final rotation spot, he was most bothered by the lack of command. "Ive had it so good in all the bullpens," said Drabek. "Its just frustrating for me to kind of fall back into being wild a little bit. I know what I can do and thats not me." "Kyles whole thing, get it into the zone and hes fine," said Gibbons. "Hes had a long layoff through the surgery. He pitched some last year but in a lot of ways, hes been out for so long it may be something that he can build back into." The 26-year-old has a history of control problems. Hes averaged 5.8 walks per nine innings over 169 1/3 big league innings. Returning from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery last season, Drabek vastly improved his walk rate, issuing just six bases on balls over 43 innings. BAUTISTA IMPRESSIVE It took Jose Bautista all of three pitches to appear in midseason form. He smacked a 2-0, Roberto Hernandez fastball out of the park, literally. The drive to left field cleared the Phillies bullpen, the walkway behind the bullpen and the fence beyond the walkway. "I dont know, for whatever reason, I feel like Im seeing (the ball) better," said Bautista. "Theres nothing that I could have done different. Im not going to go to play winter ball right now. Its kind of odd because I havent played since August. But Im not complaining." CABRERA LIKELY TO HIT SECOND Its not even March, everyone is healthy, and manager John Gibbons is able to envision putting together a full lineup, something he wasnt able to do all of last season. Jose Reyes will lead off and, as the plan was at this time last year, Melky Cabrera has the inside track to bat behind him. "The only real downfall is he does hit a lot of ground balls but you look at what hes done the last few years, take away last year, and hes been one of the better hitters in baseball," said Gibbons. "We like guys there that can get a lot of hits. Hes a switch-hitter, he can manipulate the bat a little bit, he knows how to do those things. Ideally, if hes the player we expect him to be, than hed be a good guy for that spot." One thing Cabrera doesnt do often is walk, an ideal trait of a two-hole hitter and something that would get him on base more often ahead of sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. After walking 56 times in 2006, his first full year in the big leagues, Cabrera hasnt had more than 43 bases on balls in a season. A HEALTHY PERSPECTIVE Nobody wants to read about or hear about injury as an excuse for the Jays disappointing 2013 year. But a little perspective never hurt anyone, either. Last season, manager John Gibbons had these six players – Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie – in the lineup at the same time on only eight occasions all year. It happened over an 11-day period, starting on July 21 and ending on August 1. Avery Bradley Jersey . -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are tightening the race for second place in the Atlantic Division. Stanley Johnson Jersey . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. http://www.basketballpistonsauthority.c ... mized-c-1/. The Tournament of Champions, which starts Friday, is his first event since a freak accident in Shanghai two months ago. Snedeker was on a Segway scooter during a corporate outing at Sheshan International when he took a tumble and injured his left knee. Joe Smith Jersey . His absence against the Celtics comes a day after he scored 43 points in the Heats 100-96 win at Cleveland. Dennis Rodman Jersey . Messis father, Jorge Horacio Messi, is apparently still under investigation for an alleged 4 million euros ($5.3 million) in unpaid taxes from Messis image rights from 2007-09. Messis public relations firm confirmed Spanish media reports that the state prosecutor has asked for Messi to be dropped from the investigation that began in June 2013.KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- Kevin Glenn was all set to be the Ottawa Redblacks first starting quarterback. The team selected him first overall in the expansion draft to stock the CFLs ninth franchise, and following years of uncertainty he was preparing to once again be an undisputed No. 1 pivot. Then almost overnight, circumstances changed dramatically. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats released veteran quarterback Henry Burris -- who led them to last years Grey Cup -- at the end of January after signing Zach Collaros to be their new starter, creating an opportunity the Redblacks felt they couldnt pass up. Ottawa signed Burris to a three-year contract a few days later to be the face of the franchise -- a move that Glenn met with a trade demand, one that was finally granted last month at the draft when the Redblacks dealt him to the B.C. Lions. Now at training camp with his new team and happy to be wanted, theres still a tinge of bitterness in Glenns voice when talk turns to the way things played out in the nations capital. "Everybody knows the situation in Ottawa," the 34-year-old said this week. "I was kind of blindsided into what was going on because, not getting into everything ... they knew that I wanted to be the guy in order to be in Ottawa." He said the Redblacks didnt notify him they intended to sign Burris, simply adding: "I got it in the news the same day that it actually happened." Glenn wouldnt speculate on how things would have played out if Ottawa had let him know what they were thinking prior to the move, but hes comfortable with his new teammates and eager to contribute. "To me, its just a better situation than it was in Ottawa. Im just being honest, from top to bottom," he said. "It is it what it is. You dont worry about that kind of stuff. You sit back and you let everything else take care of itself. You only handle what you can handle." He points to a roster filled with players who won a championship three years ago as why he was willing to be the No. 2 quarterback behind Travis Lulay in B.C., something he wasnt able to accept with the Redblacks. "This is not any knock towards the Ottawa franchise or the league or the fans in Ottawa or anything," said Glenn. "Youre dealing with an expansion team versus a team (with) a lot guys who actually won the Grey Cup in 2011." Glenn could have eventually been given a shot behind Burris, who turns 39 on Wednesday, but theres a chance he might start the Lions season opener as Lulay continues to recover from off-season shoulder surgery. "Its more opportunity. Im going to be honest," he said. "I think thats one of the reasons why B.C. made the trade -- just to say we can get another quality guy. "I think the biggest thing for us is we have two guys who can win games." Lions head coach Mike Benevides said the team was desperate to add experienced depth at quarterback and it just worked out that Glenns situation changed at the right time. "I cant overstate how important it was to get Kevin," said Benevides. "When you take a look at where Travis is, we know were going to need all of training camp to get him where we need to get him to.dddddddddddd When you take a look at Kevin, what Ive seen thus far (is) an outstanding teammate, a pro thats been around 14 years." Glenn led the Calgary Stampeders to the 2012 Grey Cup game and has thrown for 39,418 yards and 222 touchdowns against 151 interceptions over his career while completing 62 per cent of his passes. "Hes thrilled to be here. He wanted to change. He got the change that he wanted, and for us now he gets to explore a lot of our offence," said Benevides. "Its a good marriage and I think hell be able to play at a moments notice." First-year Lions offensive co-ordinator Khari Jones, who has both played with and coached Glenn in the past, said it was critical to add a viable second option under centre after B.C. lost backup Thomas DeMarco in the expansion draft. "In this league right now you can never have too many quality quarterbacks," said Jones. "Its a tough league. Its a tough league to play 18 games and you want to have the opportunity when your starter might not be in there to have someone whos a starter in his own right to come in and play good football and help you win games." Although they both want to be on the field when B.C. opens its regular-season schedule later this month, Glenn and Lulay have already struck up a good working relationship, even making the four-hour drive from the Vancouver area up to Thompson Rivers University for training camp together in the same car. "Hes welcomed me with open arms (even though) were two guys fighting for the same position," said Glenn. "That right there, hands down I have respect for you. Were not even talking about stuff on the football field and how you play, but just the person that he is." Lulay said he watched Glenn from afar as an opponent and was impressed by how he dealt with platoon situations in Hamilton and Calgary in recent years. "He was always a guy I thought pretty highly of. Hes been a consistent guy and been able to play at a high level. Hes been in a lot of different situations," said Lulay. "Being able to overcome that and focus on being able to go out and play and playing well, that built a lot of respect from your peer group. "Knowing that hes a guy whos seen the highs, hes seen the lows of playing the position in the league, that just builds a lot respect before I even had known him. It helps us break that trust barrier a little quicker." Glenns ability to work in a number of different scenarios has also taken some of the pressure off Lulay to rush back from injury for a team that will be feeling the heat to perform in the tough West Division as Grey Cup hosts. "One of the things about being injured is you feel like youre letting your teammates down by not being able to be out there with them," said Lulay. "Having a guy you can trust to lead the team is really important. "A guy that plays 14 years in this league, that doesnt happen by accident." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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