02/26/11 6:40 PM EST
Farrell encourages runners to be aggressive
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Top outfield prospect Anthony Gose led off the game with a sharp single and promptly stole second. After advancing to third on an error, Gose came around to score on a groundout.
That's the type of activity on the basepaths Farrell would like to see from his club this season. He has spent a lot of time in Spring Training talking about about finding ways to generate runs instead of always waiting for the home run.
"There are certain guys that we've already discussed that have the green light," Farrell said. "We don't want to get in their way, particularly with Anthony. One of his real strengths is his ability to steal bases.
2010 Spring Training - Toronto Blue Jays
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"Part of his development ... in the Minor Leagues is how efficient he can become a base stealer. He has a long history of it already at an early age, so we'll continue that path with him."
Gose, who is just 20, stole 45 bases at Class A last season. Farrell won't have his speed on the Major League roster, but he will have veteran Rajai Davis and potentially outfielder Scott Podsednik at his disposal. Last year, the two combined to steal 85 bases and will have the green light.
Farrell would also like to implement the hit-and-run more frequently. In the "B" game, Farrell called for the play on three consecutive pitches while shortstop prospect Adeiny Hechavarria was at the plate. Hechavarria fouled off the first two before drawing a walk on the third pitch.
It's a strategy Farrell would like to use, especially when it's a 3-1 or 3-2 count and the bottom of the order is at the plate.
"It can work somewhat as a natural hit and run," Farrell said. "We'll allow that to happen with certain combinations at the plate. But when we get our middle of the order up, we're going to keep that runner in check not to take the bat out of the middle-of-the-order-type hitter's hands."
Manager gets feet wet in 'B' game vs. Phillies
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Grapefruit League season didn't officially begin until Saturday afternoon, but Blue Jays manager John Farrell made his unofficial debut Saturday morning.
That's when his club played a "B" game against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. The Blue Jays won the six-inning game, 8-1, and while it won't go down as a victory on his managerial record, it was still an opportunity for the 48-year-old to get his feet wet in the dugout.
"Maybe the fact that it was a 'B' game it was like. 'OK, let's get a little bit of a dry run here before this afternoon,'" Farrell said. "But it all felt comfortable, it all felt natural, and now we're in the business of getting guys in shape and getting our timings set both on the mound and at the plate."
Farrell spent the past four seasons as the pitching coach in Boston. He was hired in October to take over for manager Cito Gaston, who retired at the end of the year to take an advisor's role with the club.
Drabek to oppose Halladay on Monday
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Monday afternoon's game between the Blue Jays and Phillies will feature a unique matchup on the mound.
Former Toronto ace Roy Halladay will take the hill for Philadelphia, while the Blue Jays will counter with right-hander Kyle Drabek.
Drabek was the key return in a 2009 blockbuster trade that sent Halladay to the Phils. Toronto also received catcher Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Taylor in the deal.
The matchup is only expected to last for two innings because of pitch limits, but it will be the first time the right-handers have faced each other in a game.