Dunedin Diaries, Day 2: Travels to Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training

Elvis Luciano

Day 2: Thursday, March 14, 2019

On Day 2, I got to see baseball. With my arduous journey behind me, I was able to rest a little in the morning before getting on with my business. I try to impress on my wife (who’s back home working) how little free time I have on my trips to Florida. It’s not a “vacation.” Seriously, despite the warm (ok, hot) weather, I’m usually at the ballpark for about six hours a day and then I’m writing, editing pictures and working on The 2019 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook for another six to eight hours.

This year, however, I’ve been dealing with an injury to my back which had me horizontal for a couple of days last weekend. So while it’s spring training for the players, I’m treating this week like my playoffs, taking some Tylenol and Advil to get me through the week and trying to stay off my feet while I’m not at the ballpark.

I have a press credential for the Blue Jays but I have to pick it up every day from the stadium, so the first thing I did after sleeping in and getting up a little later on Thursday morning (and going to CVS to get some bottled water and sunscreen) was head to Dunedin Stadium to pick up the credential. After I did that, I went up to the Bobby Mattick Complex on Solon Ave. to check things out and see what the schedule was this year. It’s a little different with the construction going on at the minor league facility but fortunately, the credential gets me in to watch the proceedings. I decided, however, that I’d watch the big fellas in action to get some photos of the new players added in the offseason at the stadium.

After some lunch at the Dunedin Smokehouse (their food was quick and a good price, but the quality of barbeque is just not quite what I remembered), I walked down to the stadium from the downtown area, setting up in the workroom and set up my camera batteries to be charged while putting some finishing touches on The 2019 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook.

The game got under way and I was anxious to get some photos of Matt Shoemaker as well as see him pitch. Since I’m mainly getting photos, I was in the photo bays around first base but from what I could see, Shoemaker’s splitter was really solid and I’m liking this acquisition. I also got a good look at Freddy Galvis and got some nice photos of Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford and Lourdes Gurriel, none of whom I’d seen in a Blue Jays’ uniform before (for photographic purposes).

I also got a look at Elvis Luciano. Interesting mechanics and he definitely throws his velocity without looking like he’s making a lot of effort. He got hit by a comebacker to the mound (that deflected to Bo Bichette who made a terrific play) but seemed to shake it off. I think if he sticks with the Jays, he’ll be used sparingly, particularly in the first half of the season until he settles in. He’s a work in progress, but I can see why the organization likes the arm and the youth.

I also got some photos of some of the younger fellows like Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Jonathan Davis, Rowdy Tellez, Richard Urena and Dalton Pompey while also seeing Eric Sogard for the first time. And I also got a really good photo of Bo Bichette’s hair. It’s glorious.

Bo’s Flow

Following the game, it was time to edit photos! I had taken over 1200 on my first day and it was a long night of editing!

Coming up next: Day 3 at the Minor League complex.

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