3/22/2013 7:55 P.M. ET
Dickey preps for distance in Minors outing
By Larry Millson / Special to MLB.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- R.A. Dickey appears ready to go the distance.
The knuckleballer threw 102 pitches over eight innings on Friday at the Blue Jays' Minor League complex in a game against Philadelphia Phillies Minor Leaguers.
The Blue Jays' right-hander is not sure of how many runs he allowed -- there was a home run hit by Delmon Young -- but Dickey was delighted with the outing and feels that it will set him up nicely as he prepares for the Opening Day start on April 2.
"It was a great day for me," Dickey said. "Great in the sense that I threw eight innings. I felt fantastic, threw 102 pitches. I got better as the game went on, felt strong in the later innings. It was a good day for me. I struggled kind of early with the feel of my knuckleball. I was able to get through that and capture a good one over the next six innings. I think I gave up a few runs in the first couple of innings and then I think I might have given up two hits in the last six innings."
On a regular day, Dickey said he would have pitched a complete game.
It was Dickey's second outing in a Minor League game since returning from a stint with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Former New York Mets teammate Henry Blanco has been the catcher both times, leading to speculation that he might become Dickey's personal catcher, but manager John Gibbons said on Friday that a final decision has not been made. Dickey and Blanco combined on a two-inning outing on Tuesday.
"He did fantastic today, I don't think he missed a ball," Dickey said. "We threw a guy out, picked a guy off and he threw a guy out on a delayed steal. He was great."
Dickey said the outing gave him a bit of everything, including a 24-pitch first inning that was prolonged by "an error or two."
"I got to feel what a prolonged inning felt like, which is a great exercise," Dickey said. "My last time out we hit for a long time, and so for my eighth inning I sat for a while and I got to experience what that was like. So now when it happens it won't be a surprise and my body knows what it feels like to do that. It was a great day for me on a lot of different counts. I was pleased with it."
On a scale of one to 10, Dickey said his knuckleball was about a seven.
"I can win with a seven," he said.
Encarnacion's return delayed by swollen finger
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- First baseman Edwin Encarnacion had his return from the World Baseball Classic delayed when a swollen finger kept him out of the lineup on Friday against the Boston Red Sox.
Encarnacion jammed the finger in his final at-bat for the Dominican Republic, which defeated Puerto Rico on Tuesday in San Francisco to win the World Baseball Classic title.
"I guess his last at-bat the other night, he hit a ball off the end of his bat and it kind of jarred his index finger," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said on Friday. "It swelled up a little bit and it was kind of irritated. They X-rayed it [Thursday] and everything is fine, but he won't be playing for a couple of days. No concern. Plus he's had plenty of work lately."
Shortstop Jose Reyes, who also played for the Dominicans, was back in the Blue Jays' lineup for Friday's game, going 0-for-1 with a pair of walks. Outfielders Moises Sierra and Ricardo Nanita also played for the Dominican and were back at the Minor League camp.
Gibbons admitted there will be an adjustment for players returning from the intensity of the Classic to Spring Training games.
"It won't be easy, I'm sure it'll be a little bit of a letdown," Gibbons said. "They're probably glad to be back with their team. One thing, a guy like Reyes, he's enthusiastic in everything he does. He'll be out there today and he'll probably just get a couple of at-bats the next couple of days. Next week they'll all be in there every day."
Sportsnet will carry all 162 games for Blue Jays
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- With the regular season just around the corner, Sportsnet recently announced that it will once again carry all of the Blue Jays' 162 games.
Twenty games are set to air on Sportsnet One while the remaining 142 will be televised nationally across a combination of Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific channels.
Play-by-play announcer Buck Martinez and color commentator Pat Tabler will both return while Jamie Campbell and former Major Leaguer Gregg Zaun will provide commentary in the studio.
Sportsnet 590 The Fan also will cover all 162 games on the radio. Jerry Howarth and Mike Wilner return to the booth while former Major League pitcher Jack Morris is set to take over from the departed Alan Ashby as the primary color commentator.
Morris also is expected to do some occasional work for Sportsnet TV when Tabler is unavailable. That would then leave Dirk Hayhurst to fill in on the radio while the former pitcher is also set to co-host Baseball Central @ Noon with broadcaster Sam Cosentino.
Blue Jays fans outside of Canada also can watch all 162 games by subscribing to MLB.TV. Fans inside of Canada can use MLB.TV to watch out-of-market games and listen to the radio broadcasts for all of Toronto's games this season.
• The Blue Jays claimed right-hander Todd Redmond off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on Friday and optioned him to Triple-A Buffalo of the International League.
The 27-year-old split the 2012 season between the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds organizations. He appeared in 26 games, including 25 starts at the Triple-A level and had a combined record of 8-11 with a 3.63 ERA. The native of St. Petersburg, Fla., made his Major League debut last season with Cincinnati, losing his only start after allowing four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. To make room on the 40-man roster the Blue Jays placed right-hander Drew Hutchison on the 60-day disabled list.
• Before Friday's game, the Blue Jays announced that infielders Mike McCoy, Jim Negrych, Ryan Schimpf, Eugenio Velez, first baseman Luis Jimenez, and right-handers Ramon Ortiz and Claudio Vargas were returned to Minor League camp.
• Closer Casey Janssen, who had minor offseason shoulder surgery, has been brought along slowly and made his first appearance in a Grapefruit League game in Friday's 1-0 win over the Boston Red Sox. He had an efficient 11-pitch inning that included two strikeouts.
"The ball was exploding," manager John Gibbons said. "He was locating the ball well, that's his specialty. I thought he was popping the ball pretty well so that's a good sign."
"I'll take it, first time out there," Janssen said. "I guess it couldn't have gone any better. I actually had a little bit longer of a warmup, working on stuff just because the game is a little bit unknown, trying to spin the ball, get my curveball back, do some things that if I didn't have the opportunity [to use them in the game] it's still a workday even if it's not on the game mound."
Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.