CLEARWATER, Florida – J. Pacers Jerseys China .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. Authentic Darren Collison Jersey . -- Jonas Hiller is cautiously confident he has kicked his vertigo. Authentic Domantas Sabonis Jersey . LOUIS -- David Ross never expected to be on a World Series podium. http://www.cheappacersjerseysauthentic.com/ . -- Even as Chris Paul remained evasive about his future, he did what team leaders are expected to do.SALT LAKE CITY -- There are times when Alec Burks is driving to the hoop and he has no idea what hes going to do. "I surprise myself on some of these shots I make," Utahs reserve guard said. The Jazz breathed a collective sigh of relief when Burks put together a string of circus shots after the rest of the team had gone cold. Burks scored 10 of his 26 points in the final two minutes to lift the Jazz to a 105-100 win over the skidding Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. "Alec did a great job closing the game out for us, attacking the basket," said Utah coach Ty Corbin after the Jazz endured a six-minute scoreless stretch with seven missed shots and two turnovers. The game was tied 91-1ll when the Jazz looked to Burks to create some offence. The guard made a number of acrobatic drives to the basket and capped a personal 9-0 run with a soaring dunk to make it 100-91 with 22 seconds to play. Utahs top scorer off the bench got to the free throw line with his aggressive play, making 13 of 14 from the stripe in 22 minutes of play. "I relish contact. I really was just trying to be aggressive," Burks said. "Thats my game, going to the hoop." His clutch scoring extended Utahs season-best winning streak to three and sent the Sixers to their ninth straight road loss to the Jazz. Evan Turner scored 21 points and Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young had 19 apiece for Philadelphia. The 76ers lost their eighth straight, the last two by more than 40 points while nearly matching the NBA mark for the largest total margin of defeat in consecutive games. Philadelphia has given up nearly 116 points per game over the eight-game skid. Gordon Hayward scored 17 and Marvin Williams had 13 points and a season-high 14 rebounds as the Jazz had six players score in double figures. The problem was that no one could find the hoop in the middle of the fourth quarter when they surrendered a 14-point lead. Burks hit a 3-pointer and Richard Jefferson stole a pass and dunked for an 85-71 lead with 10:02 to play. The 76ers then rallied, extending their defence and holding the Jazz scoreless for more than six minutes during a 13-0 run. Spencer Hawes tipped in his own miss to cap the run and then Carter-Williams converted a three-point play after Trey Burke broke Utahs drought to tie the game at 91 with 2:10 to play. Burks had 24 to lead the Jazz over the Lakkers in Los Angeles on Tuesday and then continued his instant offence in the second half the back-to-back set. Cheap Pacers Jerseys Free Shipping. Utahs reserves outscored their Philadelphia counterparts, 56-10. James Anderson, who had 15 points, made a trio of 3-pointers in the final 18 seconds, but it was too late after Burks outburst. The Sixers showed some fight in their last game before the All-Star break and the finale of a disastrous three-game road trip. Following a 123-78 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the 76ers fell behind by 49 points before losing 123-80 to Golden State on Monday No other team in NBA history had lost two straight games by at least 40 points each. Philadelphia has now done it twice, having lost back-to-back games in April 1994 by a combined 93 points. The Detroit Pistons set the record for margin of defeat in consecutive games, losing 95 points combined in back-to-back games in November 1966, according to STATS. One highlight for Philadelphia has been the play of rookie Carter-Williams, who had eight assists and leads all rookies in scoring, rebounding and assists. This was the first game between Carter-Williams, who was drafted 11th, and fellow lottery pick Burke (picked ninth) since their Final Four meeting in April. Burke struggled again Wednesday as he did in Michigans 61-56 win over Syracuse, when he had seven points on 1-of-8 shooting. Burke had seven points on 3-of-12 shooting against Philadelphia. "I thought Michael played with great poise. He could have handled this particular matchup in different ways. I thought he grew tonight," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. Derrick Favours left the game in the first quarter after re-injuring his right hip. He missed a wide-open layup on the first Jazz possession of the game and never got any lift. In six minutes of play, he limped slightly and then left the game and went to the locker room. The Jazz centre has missed four other games with the hip strain and Utah had lost all six contests when Favours is out with injury. NOTES: Brandon Davies, who was raised in Utah and played at BYU, has missed the Sixers last 14 games with a fractured pinkie finger. ... In the third quarter, the Sixers purposely fouled Rudy Gobert, who shoots 51 per cent from the line, but the 7-footer swished both attempts. ... Philadelphia backup big man Lavoy Allen left the game with a sore left knee and did not return. 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jokergreen0220, 18.12.2018 07:36