Jays choose Molina to catch Reyes
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
DUNEDIN, Fla. — The original plan was for veteran catcher Jose Molina to be behind the plate on the days when Brandon Morrow and when and if Kyle Drabek made the rotation.
That would have Molina working two days out of five with the other three starts going to rookie J.P. Arencibia.
With Morrow to start the season on the disabled list, the Jays will open the season with a rotation of Ricky Romero, Drabek, Brett Cecil, Jo-Jo Reyes and Jesse Litsch.
Molina will, however, still get two starts out of five as manager John Farrell said Friday that Molina will now be behind the plate on the days that Reyes pitches.
The theory is they want the veteran Molina to work with the two youngest and inexperienced pitchers on the staff in Reyes and Drabek.
“It slots in that we would probably match him up with Reyes,” manager John Farrell said Friday morning.
The two have worked well this spring with Reyes particularly effective in his last start in Tampa against the Yankees where he blanked New York over the first five innings.
“It’s the third time that they’ve connected,” Farrell said. “My view of the position (catcher) is a two-man position. As we transition one young catcher to become a regular everyday catcher and as we’re looking to transition two young pitchers in, this is a combination that can be most effective with all those factors considered.”
Drabek, meanwhile, had to juggle his throwing days to fit into the rotation as the No. 2 starter.
Instead of starting in Saturday’s game in Clearwater against the Phillies, the 23-year-old right-hander threw an extended bullpen session on Thursday and will now make the start Monday in Dunedin against the Red Sox. That lines him up to make his first start of the regular season April 2 against the Twins on four days rest.
On another pitching front, North Vancouver’s Scott Richmond was assigned to triple-A Las Vegas.