The Toronto Blue Jays lost 11-5 to a split squad of Phillies despite the first home run of the spring from Randal Grichuk and also added to their pitching depth by reportedly signing Bud Norris to a minor league contract.
Grichuk provided most of the Jays’ scoring with a three-run home run in the third inning, going 1/2 with a double while everyone’s favourite 19-year-old Dominican third baseman, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was 1/3 with a shot to the wall. Dalton Pompey was 2/3 with a run and Cavan Biggio drove in a run, going 1/2. Eric Sogard was 0/1 but hit a sacrifice fly and took a walk while Bo Bichette and Richard Urena each had a single and a run.
On the mound, it wasn’t pretty as Ryan Borucki allowed five runs on four hits and three walks in two innings, allowing a home run. Trent Thornton relieved him and scattered a pair of hits and a walk although his one inherited runner from Borucki scored and he struck out two in two innings. Ken Giles couldn’t get an out, giving up four runs on two hits and three walks in his spring debut and Conor Fisk was required to come in with the bases loaded, allowing two runners to score on a hit but got out of the inning without any further damage. Ryan Tepera didn’t help things out, giving up another two runs on three hits and a walk but struck out two. John Axford, Tim Mayza and Danny Barnes each threw a scoreless inning, striking out one.
Reports are that the Blue Jays have signed righty Bud Norris to a minor league deal. While Norris has spent significant time as a starter as recently as 2016, starting 19 games with the Braves and the Dodgers, he has been almost exclusively a reliever for the past two years, saving 19 games with a 4.21 ERA and 1.34 WHIP, striking out 74 and walking 27 in 62 innings with the Angels in 2017 and saving 28 games with a 3.59 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 67 strikeouts and 21 walks in 57 2/3 innings with the Cardinals in 2018.
I don’t think anyone has reported what his salary will be if he makes the major league team but, along with John Axford, he could add another veteran arm to the Blue Jays’ bullpen and make things more difficult for some of the borderline minor league candidates to break camp with the club.
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