|Toronto Blue Jays' Aaron Hill makes a catch during practice at spring training. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)
DUNEDIN — As the first phase of camp winds down and the Grapefruit League games become the Blue Jays’ focus, several veteran players have noted the energy, the organization and the instructional value that has marked the early days of spring training.
“I don’t know whether it’s all these young guys or maybe from the coaching staff, or maybe the manager’s influence, but I’m feeling a different atmosphere,” Aaron Hill said earlier this week. “I don’t know quite what it is, but I like it.”
It isn’t as if the players are spending long days on the five fields at the Bobby Mattick Training Centre. Workouts begin shortly after 9 a.m. and are usually wrapped up by about 1 p.m., but there doesn’t seem to be a wasted moment.
“There’s a lot of teaching going on,” said Ricky Romero, “and guys are here to work and learn. I’m impressed with the work ethic.”
“You know, we’re all immersed in what we’re doing at the moment,” said pitching coach Bruce Walton, “but a couple of times when I’ve had time to stop and look around, there’s something going on all over. It’s a busy place. A lot of stuff is happening.”
What it all means may well be inconsequential in the grand scheme, but it can’t be a bad thing.