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Notes: Anderson adjusting to AL

@KeeganMatheson
March 6, 2020

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It’s still a work in progress for Blue Jays starter Chase Anderson, who was hit hard in Friday’s 19-13 loss to the Pirates at TD Ballpark. Anderson allowed six runs on seven hits over three innings, including three home runs, on a day where the wind was

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It’s still a work in progress for Blue Jays starter Chase Anderson, who was hit hard in Friday’s 19-13 loss to the Pirates at TD Ballpark.

Anderson allowed six runs on seven hits over three innings, including three home runs, on a day where the wind was eager to carry any ball in the air well over the wall. The veteran right-hander felt that his upper half was moving quicker than his lower half, one of several adjustments he’ll still need to make over the next three weeks before Opening Day.

“Location’s still not there with my heater, and everything kind of spins off of that,” Anderson said. "I’ll continue to work on that, get all the kinks out and hopefully get better results towards the end of Spring Training. Luckily, it doesn’t count right now.”

Spring results don’t mean much for someone like Anderson, who has a guaranteed spot in the rotation and a career 3.94 ERA over six Major League seasons. If he could give the Blue Jays what he gave the Brewers last season -- a 4.21 ERA over 139 innings -- that’s fine value.

Anderson’s main takeaway is what you’ll hear from most vets in March: he’s healthy. That puts him on track for where he wants to be later in the month.

“Health wise, pitch-count wise and the way my body is? For sure,” Anderson said. “I think now, ‘Let’s try to get some results, let’s try to get some guys out in big situations and tune up, get ready for the season.’”

Transitioning to the American League from the National League adds another wrinkle. There are new lineups and ballparks to learn as the regular season opens, but manager Charlie Montoyo isn’t buying that narrative.

“They’re not going to be facing the pitcher here so it’s a little bit tougher but at the end of the day, they know how to pitch,” Montoyo said. “They’re going to see the game reports and the scouting reports and they’re going to do well.

Hernández dealing with soreness
Outfielder Teoscar Hernández hasn’t played since March 1, but still looked comfortable going through some pregame drills on Friday. He isn’t expected to be out long, and the Blue Jays are calling it day-to-day.

“He’s kind of sore right now. His groin,” Montoyo said. “Not that bad but when somebody’s sore I’m not going to rush him. We’ve got plenty of time.”

Yamaguchi’s splitter is the key
Montoyo spoke further about Shun Yamaguchi, who struggled on Thursday against the Phillies on the road, allowing four runs on five hits, including three homers, over 2 1/3 innings. Without his best splitter, Yamaguchi wasn’t missing bats.

“He hanged the split. They didn’t have the same action as the other day,” Montoyo said. “This is the big leagues and when you hang stuff you’re going to get hit.”

Extras
• Joe Panik launched a deep two-run home run, and it’s growing likelier by the day that he earns a spot on the Opening Day roster.

• Jonathan Davis, who only made his Spring Training debut on Wednesday following the birth of his daughter, hit a three-run home run to center field. Montoyo thinks he could be the club’s best defensive outfielder.

Up next
Trent Thornton is back on the mound for the Blue Jays on Saturday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers at 1:05 p.m. ET. This is Thornton's opportunity to really step on the gas and lay claim to the No. 5 rotation job in front of Yamaguchi, who's struggled early in camp. Thornton has thrown five hitless innings this spring with three walks and two strikeouts.

Thornton will be followed by someone you might have heard of this spring, No. 1 prospect Nate Pearson. All eyes will be on the radar gun for Pearson’s 100-mph fastball. Stream it live on MLB.TV or Gameday Audio.

Keegan Matheson covers the Blue Jays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @KeeganMatheson.