Veteran Juan Rivera is not endearing himself to his current employer by his play in the opening week.
In seven games, Rivera, who earns $5.2 million, has three singles in 21 at-bats (.143) no homers and no RBIs. Then in the seventh inning of Friday’s game following a single, he went into second standing up on a grounder to short by Travis Snider. Rivera could have made the slide and taken out the second baseman, thereby preventing what turned into a double play.
Manager John Farrell was asked about Rivera’s non slide on Saturday and was not amused.
“He knows he should have slid, he knows he had the ability to interrupt a double play,” Farrell said. “It was addressed when he came off the field.” Rivera was back in the lineup Saturday as the DH, batting fifth.
With his two-run double in Friday’s victory, 1B Adam Lind has collected at least one hit in the opening seven games of the season. On the year he is hitting .345 (10-for-29).
Only three other players in the American League have opened the season on seven-game hits streaks — Howie Kendrick of the Angels, B.J. Upton of Tampa Bay and Paul Konerko of the White Sox.
Right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel arrived in the Jays clubhouse just hours before their opener against the Angels fresh from his rehab stints in Florida. Dotel opened the season on the DL following a pulled right hamstring midway through spring training.
The 37-year-old veteran of 12 major-league seasons was flawless in the seventh inning in relief of Kyle Drabek. Dotel threw nine pitches, all for strikes, in a 1-2-3 inning that included two strikeouts.
As a plum, he was credited with the win. The Jays, meanwhile, are the 11th big-league team that Dotel has played for.
The Jays will be experts at packing their bags in no short order as following their 10-game, three-city road trip, they return home for just five games before going on the road for a second 10-game, three-city tour.
What it means is that by May 5, the Jays will have played 20 games on the road, which is one-quarter of their road schedule for the season.