Wysłany: Sro Sty 17, 2018 03:29 Temat postu: first win of the season is yet to be
DUNEDIN, Florida – In one of his post-game scrums last summer, R.A. Dickey referred to his knuckleball as a "capricious animal," a phrase meant to describe the unpredictability, the figurative moodiness, of his strange pitch. Erik Kratz was behind the plate to start Thursdays 7-5 win over the Phillies. He was catching Dickey for the first time in game action and afterward, could attest to his pitchers apt terminology. Asked how he thought he did on Day One, Kratz turned the tables. "How did you think I did?" He was told he did fine. "Okay, well then I did fine," said Kratz. "It wasnt perfect. I had the anticipated anxiety that I thought I would." Just how anxious was he? "I caught myself not breathing a couple of times and everything like that." Armed with a first basemans glove rather than the oversized catchers mitt preferred by most knuckleball catchers, Kratz understands hell have to be a quick study in learning both the physical and mental requirements of the job. "Just the idea of trying to relax, being out there, getting a different visual but I felt like it went very well," he said. "I felt like there is plenty of room for improvement but I think a lot of things Ive seen in his bullpen sessions, it was good to see in the game. Good to see him be able to change speeds and everything like that." Dickey laboured through the first inning, giving up a lead-off dunk single to Ben Revere. One out later, Brett Lawrie airmailed a throw to second on a Bobby Abreu chopper, putting Phillies on the corners. After Darin Ruf walked to load the bases, a Dickey knuckleball to Maikel Franco eluded Kratz for a passed ball which scored Revere from third. Its not how you would think Kratz would prefer to have drawn it up. Its his first game catching Dickey, in the first inning and the first time with a runner on third and a knuckler gets by him. But he was more than happy to make a mistake in a spring game. Passed balls are going to happen. The key is to not get psyched out; dont make the same mistake twice. "You can say, okay, well, it was a passed ball, wild pitch, it was a tough one to get but you have to be ready for the next one," said Kratz. "I was proud of myself. I was happy about the way I was able to relax." Dickey limits the in-game responsibility of his catcher to receiving his pitch. He calls his own game, communicating velocity to his catcher in ways he wont describe publicly. Hes not going to tip his hand. Dickey doesnt even want Kratz to form a hard target with his glove. "Its probably better for the catcher and for me, for that matter, if hes just nice and relaxed," said Dickey. "Im far enough along in my process where I can pick out a shin guard and hit a fastball. I dont need him to give me a target. "Plus, if hes only giving a target on fastballs then everybody in the stadium is going to know that hey, if he gives you a target its going to be a fastball and if he doesnt give you a target its going to be a knuckleball so I just like him to be nice and relaxed back there, whatever gives him the best chance to consistently catch the ball." Given the uncertainty over Dioner Navarros ability to catch more than 100 games - since Navarro hasnt done so since 2009 - the Jays are looking for more offence from their second catcher. Kratz, with 18 home runs in a back-up role over the last two seasons with the Phillies, fits the bill. Josh Thole, who caught Dickey and served as the back-up catcher after Henry Blanco was released last June, appears to be the odd man out. "Hes going to play a lot," said Gibbons. "We want to make sure he gets some playing time and then well see how it develops. Kratz is going to catch (Dickey) early on, see how that develops, and then go from there." Dickeys knuckleball topped out at 73 miles per hour on Thursday. He struck out two Phillies over two innings, one on a 61-mile-per-hour knuckler and another at 63 miles per hour. He wants his hard knuckleball at 77 by opening day, his floater at 65. Dickey says hes on target to achieve those radar gun readings, adding hes feeling much stronger than he did at the end of last February, when his knuckleball was topping out in the low-70s in early Grapefruit League action. ENCARNACION HAPPY AT FIRST BASE Edwin Encarnacion chuckled at the suggestion he wants to be, or has asked to be, a full-time designated hitter. "No, whatever the manager wants to do Im ready for it," said Encarnacion. "If I have to play every day at first, Ill play. If I have to play both, Im ready for it." Encarnacion played 79 games at first base last season. He served as the designated hitter on 55 occasions. "I like to play DH sometimes because I have more time to go to the computer, watch the pitcher, watch the video," said Encarnacion. "When you play defence you dont have time to do that but for me, if I have to play first base, I dont have a problem with that." Funny, Encarnacions numbers last season were almost indistinguishable. As a first baseman, he compiled a .272/.367/.527 slash line with 19 home runs in 294 at-bats. As a DH: .270/.374/.530 and 13 home runs in 200 at-bats. ROGERS A FATHER Congratulations to Esmil Rogers, the proud father of a baby daughter. Mom and little Elaina are in Denver and doing well. Rogers was there for the birth, returned to Dunedin on Wednesday and pitched in Thursdays game, giving up two runs in one inning of work. Kasey Redfern Jersey . MORITZ, Switzerland -- Latvia won a four-man World Cup bobsled race Sunday, while the U. Michael Roberts Jersey . -- Felix Girard scored on the power play in the third period to lift the Baie-Comeau Drakkar past the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 4-3 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Friday. http://www.authenticnfllionslockroom.com/Youth-TJ-Lang-Elite-Jersey/. - The Denver Broncos kept rookie wide receiver Tavarres King from joining the Green Bay Packers by promoting him to their active roster Tuesday. Kerry Hyder Jersey . The Raptors second-year forward has been one of the primary beneficiaries of the early-season trade, breaking out and becoming a vital part of his teams success on both ends of the floor. Around the league, teams are starting to take notice and feature Ross more predominately in their pre-game scouting reports but its not just the opposition that hes impressing. Tahir Whitehead Jersey .Y. - Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby captured his second career Art Ross trophy on Sunday after leading the NHL in scoring this season.Do the contrasting reactions of Sebastian Vettel and Maurizio Arrivabene to Ferraris defeat in Canada point to a potential division within the team? In the immediate aftermath of a race that saw Ferrari throw away a potential victory, Vettel was entertainingly ranting about seagulls, while his team boss Arrivabene was openly criticising the team. So are there are issues behind the scenes at Ferrari? Thats one of the topics up for discussion on Wednesday nights F1 Report. Arrivabene admitted the team had made the wrong decision in choosing a two-stop strategy during Sundays race. This led to a second win in a row for Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes went for a one-stop approach. But unlike his boss, Vettel refused to blame the team and maintained they are seeing results quicker than anyone else in the history of F1. Speaking on F1 Report: Canadian GP review, Sky Sports F1s Marc Priestley suggested the contrast reveals a lot about a potential power struggle within Ferrari.I think whats most interesting was the difference between the two, said Priestley. Arrivabenes actually come out this week and apologised to his team for criticising them so strongly, so you look at that and you think whos running this team? Is it Sebastian Vettel, whos gathering the team around him, or is it Arrivabene, whos now having to backtrack and apologiise for his comments?Ferrari have been under enormous pressure from chairman Sergio Marchionne, who ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix in April warned the team the clock is on and stressed they must start beating Mercedes.dddddddddddd Two months later, and that first win of the season is yet to be realised.Former Williams Chief Operations Engineer Mark Gillan, joining Priestley on the F1 Report, thinks it is only a matter of time before the Scuderia start to regularly win races.I think ultimately Ferrari are doing a very good job compared to where they were. Theyve definitely improved and theyre continuously improving, which is all you can ask, said Gillan.With the likes of James Allison at the helm as Technical Director, plus the team with him and good drivers, I think they should be winning at the end of the season or towards the middle.So what needs to change at Ferrari? Well, Priestley doesnt think changes at the top would help.Theres a lot of pressure on Arrivabene right now - and you can understand that. But Im more of the belief that you need to build a team over time.I dont like how football managers change every five minutes. I know it sometimes gives a team a short-term boost when a new manager comes in, but theyve got to build something longer term.Priestley also noted the importance of Allison: He is a great guy to have in your team. There are lots of rumours at the moment that he may even return to the UK, potentially joining Renault... If that happens, thatll be a really big upset again, so theyve got to steady the ship. 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