Drabek looking good

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:19 PM ET

DUNEDIN, Fla. — It’s hard to believe how young Kyle Drabek won’t break camp as a member of the Blue Jays rotation.

With two spots open and three candidates — right-hander Jesse Litsch and lefty Jo-Jo Reyes being the others — Drabek took a step in the right direction Monday with a solid six innings of work against the Yankees triple-A farm team from Scranton.

Although it was a minor-league game, pitching coach Bruce Walton was impressed by the crispness of Drabek’s pitches and his deportment on the mound.

“I was really happy with it,” Walton said of Drabek’s performance. “The way he commanded his fastball down in the zone today was really good to see. When he missed, he missed down and he threw some very explosive fastballs down in the zones, two seams and cut it down there.

“I thought he stayed in his delivery very well. We’ve been working on staying on line out there which means going directly towards the plate (as opposed to overthrowing and falling off to the side). He really beared down today to really correct it.”

The competition for the two spots has been fierce as Litsch looked terrific on Sunday against the Twins while it’s Reyes turn Wednesday night against the Yankees in Tampa.

Due to the injuries to two of the Jays relievers — Frank Francisco and Octavio Dotel — it wouldn’t be a surprise to see all three starting candidates make the club with Drabek and Litsch in the rotation and Reyes in the bullpen.

Reyes has the added bonus of being out of options. Both Litsch and Drabek can be sent to the minor leagues.


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