TORONTO -- The countdown to spring baseball is officially on after the Blue Jays released their reporting dates Monday morning.Pitchers and catchers will report to the Bobby Mattick Training Center in Dunedin, Fla., on Feb. 14 for the start of Spring Training. Position players will follow with physicals Feb. 19,
TORONTO -- The countdown to spring baseball is officially on after the Blue Jays released their reporting dates Monday morning.
Pitchers and catchers will report to the Bobby Mattick Training Center in Dunedin, Fla., on Feb. 14 for the start of Spring Training. Position players will follow with physicals Feb. 19, and the first official team workout is scheduled for Feb. 20.
• Blue Jays Spring Training tickets
Toronto's Grapefruit League season officially opens Feb. 23 at home against the Phillies. The spring schedule includes an annual exhibition game against the Canadian Junior Team on March 17 and at least one home game involving every club in the AL East. The spring wraps up with a two-game series March 26-27 against the Cardinals at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Following a day off, the Blue Jays open the regular season March 29 against the Yankees at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays are expected to take a different approach to Spring Training following a season in which their roster was consistently beset by injuries. Some of Toronto's issues last spring were outside of the club's control, but there also were a series of lingering health problems.
General manager Ross Atkins has been light on details, but it sounds like changes are on the way. Among the expected changes are a different approach to injuries and perhaps more playing time for the healthy regulars as Toronto attempts to avoid another slow start. Despite an American League East title and an AL Wild Card Game berth in two of the past three seasons, Toronto has not had a winning record in April since 2012.
"We ... had a lot of Spring Training health issues," Atkins said recently. "Devon Travis, Josh Donaldson, [Russell Martin], Aaron Sanchez, Dalton Pompey and Steve Pearce missed the entire Spring Training.
"We were prisoners somewhat, not entirely, to what we could do as a team, and fundamentally, but we can't allow that to happen again. We have to be disciplined to ensure the process is complete before we say go."
Smoak, Sanchez and Estrada heading west
Toronto also announced Monday that Sanchez, Marco Estrada and Justin Smoak will go to Vancouver for the club's annual Winter Tour in January. The trio will visit local schools and the Ronald McDonald House on Jan. 12. Day 2 will include an autograph session at the Vancouver Convention Center and a Blue Jays baseball clinic for select amateur athletes.