Takeaways from the Toronto Blue Jays’ First Grapefruit League Game

Anthony Alford

The spring training baseball season is under way and we’ve got some good news and bad news. The good news is that the Jays won, beating the Yankees 2-1 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The bad news is that MLB.tv is now blacking out Blue Jays games for viewers in all of Canada, making that extra $120 for the season mostly useless, so bye bye MLB.tv subscription.


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But let’s talk baseball, shall we? The Blue Jays trotted out eight pitchers, getting two innings from Trent Thornton. Thornton leaned heavily on his changeup that he’s been refining after picking up some tips from Clay Buchholz last year, he told Alexis Brudnicki after the game. He said, “I wanted to emphasize my changeup today, and I threw three or four of them and every single one of them felt really, really good.”

With the Grapefruit League opening start, Thornton is going to be assured of a good look-see as the club has opened up the competition for the fifth starter’s spot and it’s nice to see a solid performance, above and beyond the two scoreless innings he threw.

Shi Davidi also reported that Thornton put on some muscle in the offseason while also focusing on flexibility.



The rest of the game featured a lot of pitchers auditioning for a major league role when camp breaks. Sam Gaviglio, likely assured of a job, followed Thornton, striking out two while Jordan Romano also got a strikeout in his inning. A.J. Cole struck out one and picked up the win and Brian Moran, one of the four lefty relievers in camp (including incumbent Thomas Pannone) struck out two in his clean inning. Phillippe Aumont allowed a hit in his frame and Yennsy Diaz struck out one. Jake Petricka allowed a home run Chris Gittens, giving up the only run of the game for the Yankees.


On the offensive side, Anthony Alford (literally) stole the show, coming up with the winning run. After he singled to lead off the inning, he stole second and third base. Forrest Wall walked and the Jays pulled off the double steal with Wall breaking for second and Alford coming into score.

Alejandro Kirk helped the scoring, hitting a single and taking second on a wild pitch before Andy Burns drove him in with a double in the sixth.


While the Blue Jays had Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the top four slots in the order, Rowdy Tellez followed with Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, Derek Fisher and Danny Jansen following. Biggio and Fisher were the only starters to get a hit (Fisher was 1/2 with a double). Ruben Tejada walked and Patrick Kivlehan got a hit among the subs that included Kevin Smith, Josh Palacios and Caleb Joseph.


Lefty Anthony Kay starts on Sunday as the Jays head to Fort Myers to face the Minnesota Twins.


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