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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:49 am    Post subject: s GM said. "Were a growing team, and were going Reply with quote

MINNEAPOLIS - J.A. Happ returned to the Blue Jays in time for the clubs three-game series against the Twins. Hell be a long reliever for the foreseeable future, something with which hes not thrilled. "Its not necessarily what I prepared to do but if the phone rings and its me Im going to try and get guys out and take it from there," said Happ. "Other than that, I dont have a lot to say about the bullpen role." Happ entered spring training with a spot in the starting rotation. He pitched his way out of it, posting a 20.57 ERA in four appearances, battling inflammation in his back through most of March. After two poor outings, Happ was away from the club for two days, March 7-8, on what the Blue Jays termed "doctors orders" to remain off his feet. Happ returned and was no better in final two starts. The back issues, deemed to be a non-issue after Happs final appearance in a 22-5 loss to the Pirates on March 25, were the cause of his being placed on the disabled list the very next day. Happ made two rehab starts, one for Single-A Dunedin, the other for Triple-A Buffalo. With the Bisons, Happ struck out six hitters in 4 2/3 innings. The arrival of Happ, coupled with the optioning of catcher Erik Kratz to the Bisons, puts the Blue Jays back into an eight-man bullpen, three-man bench scenario. Another pitching decision is on the horizon with the impending return of closer Casey Janssen. Neil Wagner, Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond and Happ are the four who could be realistically considered on the bubble. Both Rogers and Redmond are out of options. On merit, Redmonds earned the right to remain with the club. Happ has an option remaining but because he has more than five years of major league service time, he has the right to refuse assignment to the minor leagues. Rogers has given up four home runs in 8 1/3 innings of predominantly low leverage relief. However, he carries a $1.85-million ticket and is, indirectly, the asset the Blue Jays have from the John Farrell "trade" to Boston. Rogers was acquired from Cleveland for Mike Aviles, whom the Jays got from the Red Sox for Farrell, and Yan Gomes. Gomes, by the way, just signed a six-year extension with the Indians for $23-million. Or, the Blue Jays could simply option Neil Wagner back to Triple-A Buffalo, although that would fly in the face of any claim to stick with the best 25-man active roster. Manager John Gibbons trusts Wagner in high leverage, late-game situations but when Janssen is back, right-handers Steve Delabar and Sergio Santos will fill that role. The bullpen is, once again, a crowded place, and now includes a member who doesnt want to be there. "I see myself as a starter," said Happ. "I dont think thats any secret. I want to be a starter in the major leagues. Thats that." RASMUS PROGNOSIS GOOD Colby Rasmus wasnt in Tuesdays starting lineup, resting his left hamstring, which he tweaked in the fifth inning of Sundays win in Baltimore. "Im hoping to be in there (Wednesday,)" said Rasmus. "Come in (Wednesday) and see how it is. Got some good treatment in today and just going to go from there." The timing is unfortunate considering Rasmus recent offensive production. He hit home runs in both Saturdays and Sundays games and went 4-12 with three runs scored in the series with the Orioles. "I definitely feel much better today," said Rasmus. "I feel good about it. I dont feel like its something thats going to carry over. Just one day to get it right and hopefully (Wednesday) it will be good." REYES AND JANSSEN PLAY FOR DUNEDIN Jose Reyes and Casey Janssen made their first appearances for Single-A Dunedin on Tuesday night, the next step in their respective rehabilitation assignments. Reyes, coming back from a strained left hamstring, went hitless in four plate appearances but drew a walk, scored a run and drove in a run. He will play for Dunedin, again, on Wednesday and is expected to return to the Blue Jays on Friday, in time for a three-game weekend series in Cleveland. Janssen pitched the first inning, allowing a hit and striking out one batter. Theres no timetable set for Janssens return from an abdominal strain. Hell have at least one more appearance for Dunedin; then, maybe another. The Blue Jays are waiting to see how the injured area responds before determining how to proceed. WEATHER PROBLEMS Minnesotans are bracing for a rain-snow mix on Wednesday, which could threaten the second game of the series. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is scheduled to pitch for the Blue Jays. The Twins are to send right-hander Mike Pelfrey to the mound. Thursdays getaway day game is scheduled for 1:10 eastern time. This is the Jays only scheduled visit to Minnesota this season so if Wednesdays game is postponed it stands to reason the teams would play a doubleheader on Thursday. Cheap Marlins Jerseys . Canada was placed in one of the easiest groups during Saturdays live televised draw in Montreal. Wholesale Marlins Jerseys .com) - They didnt meet in the regular season, so Sam Houston State might be saying it won the de facto title game between the two Southland Conference co-champions Saturday. http://www.cheapmarlinsjerseys.com/. Formula One Teams Association secretary general Oliver Weingarten says the organization collapsed over unpaid subscription fees and a failure to strike an agreement for 2014 with all 11 teams. Cheap MLB Jerseys . He also had some help Monday night.Hibbert scored a season-high 29 points to help Indiana beat the Utah Jazz 97-86 Monday night, ending the Pacers six-game losing streak. Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic .Y. - Phil Varone was the lone scorer in the shootout as the Rochester Americans edged the Toronto Marlies 3-2 on Sunday in American Hockey League action.TORONTO - When the Raptors reconvened in Washington following Februarys All-Star break, Dwane Casey had a hand-drawn contract waiting for them. It wasnt legally binding. "It probably wouldnt hold up in court," Casey joked. It was more of a symbolic gesture. "[It was] a document committing to the team, committing to the process, leaving their egos at the door." With two-to-three sentences scribbled up top and a row of lines indicating where to sign, Casey had everybody pledge allegiance to the (Raptors) claw. Players, coaches, trainers, equipment managers, the media relations staff, everyone came up to sign, one-by-one. The first signature belonged to Kyle Lowry. "If [they] didnt want to sign it, you would have been able to tell right off the bat, if guys wanted to read it," said the Raptors head coach, who kept the contract in his briefcase, traveling around with it for the duration of the season. "Everybody stepped up and didnt hesitate and the next night we went out and beat [the Wizards]. Guys probably forgot they signed it, but I didnt" "Im all in, was the head of the document. And they were." On Tuesday, Masai Ujiri and the Raptors went all in on Casey and, in two months, they will do so with the teams core group of players, namely Lowry, making every effort to keep the band together. A year ago, just around this time, Casey and former general manager Bryan Colangelo met with the media to deliver their annual end-of-season post-mortem. They conducted their press conferences separately, unsure of their own futures, let alone the direction of the organization. Now, Ujiri sat adjacent to Casey at the podium, announcing that he and his coach have agreed to a new three-year deal, using this strange, foreign word over and over again; "continuity". "We plan on growing as a team," Ujiri said. "Im not going to make any crazy, quick-fix decisions here. We want to keep building and one of the things weve talked about is continuity." If you take one thing away from Tuesdays proceedings its that message. Ujiri has every intention of doubling down on this past seasons surprising success. Naturally, Casey was the first domino, a quick decision, no-brainer and an easy deal to get done. In his third year with Toronto, Casey led his team to a division title and franchise-record 48-win season before bowing out in the seventh game of the conference quarterfinals. He has more than earned the opportunity to stay on and see this through. In fact, Ujiri was hoping to open talks of an extension with his coach in late March, but as the team stumbled - they had lost four of six games at the time - Caseys preference was to hold off until the end of the season. With that said, the 57-year-old never intended to test the market or throw his hat in the ring for another job. He felt it would be disingenuous and knew where he wanted to be. "My heart is here, my mind is here," Casey said. "Im committed to this organization and to these players going forward." Locking up Casey was the first step, and a logical one. For him, it made little sense to jump ship now and start fresh elsewhere, likely with a losing program, after working hard to change the culture and build an identity in Toronto. The real sales pitch will come in two months, when Lowry - an impending free agent - must decide whether to finish what he started with the Raptors or make like so many stars of the franchises oh-so-painful past and split. Thats why this day was important, thats why it was necessary. Ujiri and Casey were at the podium for over 46 minutes. They were speaking, at least indirectly, to Lowry. ";Its very important for us, in terms of continuity," Ujiri said, using that word again - "continuity" - when asked about re-signing Lowry.dddddddddddd. "For me, negotiating is easy if we want Kyle to be here and Kyle wants to be here." "I think well be fair with Kyle and well figure it out and I think its important. So well go through that process but were optimistic stuff will happen." With Casey in place at the helm of the ship, Lowry knows exactly what he would be signing up for and familiarity - or "continuity" - could go a long way in wooing the star point guard. Despite various reports of a rocky start to their relationship, Casey and Lowry have become close. Theyve lost together, theyve grown together and most importantly theyve won together. "Kyle came into a tough situation," Casey admitted before using a fantastically strange, albeit accurate, metaphor. "Its almost like coming into a relationship where you already have a girlfriend and a new girl comes in, because Jose [Calderon] was already here. We already understood Jose knew the system, he knew the calls. Kyle came in trying to learn them, and Kyle is a very prideful man and should be. Kyle came into that situation as kind of second fiddle and if you know Kyle, hes not a second fiddle kind of guy." "But again, he grew from that. Once Jose was traded, it got closer, it got closer. He understood what we were doing, I understood what he was going to do in certain situations [and] trusted him." Ironically enough, the two bonded at the wedding of former Raptor Rudy Gay, Lowrys best friend, last summer when they were able to get to know each other away from basketball. This summer should start off quietly for the Raptors, at least over the next couple of months. With Casey now part of the recruiting party, the focus immediately shifts to locking up Lowry, a process that they can begin on July 1. Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez - who spoke passionately about his desire to return on Monday - are both restricted free agents and also appear to be part of Ujiris offseason plan. "As far as Im concerned, keeping our core group going forward, with Kyle Lowry, Greivis Vasquez and Patterson and Nando (De Colo), those guys are priorities for us," Ujiri acknowledged. "And if you want to build, I think, a team where we have young players, we have to build continuity. When free agency comes, we have to attack our guys first." Theres still "building" to be done, but its looking likely that those tweaks will be made around the teams current foundation. Internal growth will be crucial, as Casey alluded to. He wants Terrence Ross to get stronger, Jonas Valanciunas to expand his post game - hell work with hall of fame centre Hakeem Olajuwon this summer - and DeMar DeRozan to improve defensively. Its hard to believe that this franchise is just 12 months removed from a summer plagued by uncertainty and indecision, though theyve had their fair share of them over the years. It seems like decades ago now. For most of that year Ujiri kept us guessing. What was his plan? On Tuesday he laid out his blueprint. "For me, theres not going to be any crazy decisions made, theres no quick fix," the Raptors GM said. "Were a growing team, and were going to grow gradually. I really dont care what the expectations are. The way to build in this situation were in is to continue to give our young players the opportunity, to try and draft well and make sure we figure out the right players to sign." The Raptors know what they want and are making no effort to hide it - continuity. 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