02/23/2013 5:20 PM ET
Spring win-loss record unimportant to Gibbons
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
LAKELAND, Fla. -- If there was one lesson to be learned last spring it was that the win-loss record during the Grapefruit League season is essentially meaningless.
Toronto led the Majors last season with a 24-7 mark during the spring, which led to increased expectations from an eager fanbase. But the positive results didn't transition into the regular season as the club went on to post a disappointing 73-89 record en route to a fourth-place finish in the American League East.
The expectations this spring are even higher following an eventful offseason, but manager John Gibbons isn't about to put much of an emphasis on his winning percentage early in camp.
"You want to be playing good baseball," Gibbons said. "Generally, when you do that, you win some games. But I think the big focus on the last couple of weeks of spring, that's when [the starters will all] be out there together, they'll be playing a lot of innings and that's when it's time to kick it into gear and get this thing rolling."
The Blue Jays officially began their road to the regular season on Saturday afternoon with a visit to the Tigers' Joker Marchant Stadium. Despite the game being broadcast in Canada on Rogers Sportsnet, Gibbons didn't feel any added pressure to field his starting lineup.
The choice was relatively easy to rest the likes of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera to save the group an early hour-plus drive to Lakeland.
"The way I looked at it, with the split-squad [games] tomorrow we're going to use them all," Gibbons said. "Some of the veteran guys I didn't want to take them on the road this distance to begin with. I didn't put a whole lot of stock into that because we're still throwing some of our regulars."
Bonifacio and Izturis get work in at shortstop
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Emilio Bonifacio and Maicer Izturis began the Grapefruit League season on Saturday afternoon by splitting time at both shortstop and second base.
The two offseason additions are competing for the starting job at second base, but with Jose Reyes set to take part in next week's World Baseball Classic the club wants to get an early read on how they handle shortstop as well.
When Reyes needs time off this spring, the bulk of the load likely will fall to Izturis, but the ability to make Bonifacio more versatile creates even more flexibility on the roster.
"I've heard nothing but great things about him from everybody that's known him, had him, seen him play in the past," manager John Gibbons said when asked about Bonifacio's defense. "He's got that live body, he's full of energy and he has good hands."
Bonifacio has played 96 games in his career at shortstop compared to 194 for Izturis. There's little debate that Izturis is considered the better defender, but Bonifacio offers a more dynamic approach with his blistering speed on the basepaths and ability at the plate.
Toronto's plan is to have Bonifacio travel to Tampa on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees while Izturis will start at second base alongside Reyes for a home game the same day at Dunedin.
Rogers Sportsnet to replay '93 World Series
LAKELAND, Fla. -- With the attention currently being paid to the Blue Jays reaching an all-time high, Rogers Sportsnet has decided to re- broadcast all six games from the 1993 World Series.
Game 1 is set to air on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, and the following games will air each weekend until the series reaches its conclusion on March 30.
The series will forever be remembered as the one Joe Carter hit a dramatic walk-off home run off Philadelphia's Mitch Williams to clinch the series at home in Game 6. All of the games en route to that dramatic moment can now once again be seen in their entirety.
Broadcaster Jamie Campbell is set to provide commentary prior to and at the conclusion of the broadcast. Sportsnet is the home of all 162 regular-season games this season and seven in the Grapefruit League season. FX Canada also will broadcast five games this spring.
McCoy bruises left quad in outfield collision
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Utilityman Mike McCoy suffered a bruised left quad after a scary collision with Ryan Langerhans in the outfield midway through Saturday afternoon's game against the Tigers.
McCoy attempted to make a play on a deep fly ball into the right-center field gap off the bat of Jeff Kobernus during the seventh inning of Toronto's 10-3 victory over Detroit.
The problem occurred when neither player heard the other calling for the ball and the result was a full-speed collision. McCoy remained on the ground for several minutes before limping off the field and into the clubhouse.
"I called it I think twice, but it was kind of windy and I might not have said it loud enough," McCoy said. "Obviously I didn't. We were both kind of running hard after it."
There was no immediate timetable for McCoy's return but he'll likely require at least a couple of days off. The situation could have been much worse but both players were able to avoid knocking heads and the only damage was Langerhans' knee connecting to McCoy's quadriceps muscle.
The injury essentially is a charley horse, but McCoy couldn't help but deliver a rather clever line when asked if that was the case.
"I hope that's all it is," McCoy said. "Sounds pretty wimpy when you say it like that."
Blue Jays acquire reliever Schwimer in trade
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Blue Jays made a minor trade on Saturday afternoon by acquiring right-hander Michael Schwimer in exchange for first baseman Art Charles.
The 27-year-old Schwimer appeared in 35 games for the Phillies last season while posting a 2-1 record and a 4.46 ERA. He originally was a 14th-round pick by Philadelphia in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and owns a 4.62 career ERA in 47 games.
Schwimer created some controversy last season in Philadelphia when he openly criticized the organization for sending him to the Minors instead of being placed on the disabled list. Schwimer opted not to report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley and instead received a second opinion on his right bicep injury.
Charles, 22, hit .236 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs for Class A Vancouver last season. He was taken in the 33rd round of the 2008 Draft.
To make room on the 40-man roster for Schwimer, the Blue Jays added left-hander Luis Perez to the 60-day disabled list. Perez, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, is expected to be out until at least the All-Star break.