Jays catch break in 2006 sked

MIKE RUTSEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

The Blue Jays released their 2006 schedule yesterday and will start the season with a six-game home stand with their opening-day opponent on Tues, April 4, being the Minnesota Twins. Following the three-game series against the Twins, the Jays play host to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Unlike 2005, the Jays won't have to endure any crazy four-city, 13-game trip as they had this season. Their longest trips next season consist of three three-city stops.

During Interleague play, the Jays will play host to the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies from June 23 through July 2.

Unlike this season where the Jays wrap it up at home against Kansas City, in 2006 they'll close it out with a six-game trip that starts with three games in Detroit and ends with three games in New York against the Yankees, the final game being Oct. 1.

PERFECT IN THE FIELD

With two games remaining in the 2005 season, the Jays lineup sports two everyday players who have yet to be charged with an error. Left fielder Frank Catalanotto has not made an error in 128 games while Vernon Wells has yet to make an error in 154 games.

BATTERED AND BRUISED

The Jays bullpen, one of the club's strengths this season, is taking its lumps of late. Right-hander Justin Speier suffered a torn tendon in his right index finger in Boston and will not pitch in the final series. With 80 appearances this season, manager John Gibbons also would like to rest Scott Schoeneweis. Because of their work in Boston, both Vinnie Chulk and Jason Frasor weren't available for duty last night either.

On the catching front, Gregg Zaun has appeared in 133 games and likely won't see more action, other than as a pinch-hitter, in this series.

Last night Gibbons went with Guillermo Quiroz back of the plate and said he'd probably have Ken Huckaby catch one of the remaining two games.

QUOTE/UNQUOTE

"I'm more comfortable. Am I better? I don't know, you'll have to answer that." -- Jays manager Gibbons when asked how he rates his season.


Videos

Photos