Notes: Gibbons enjoys 'vintage Doc'
Halladay pleased with pitch location, especially sinker
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- After watching ace Roy Halladay whip through Philadelphia's lineup on Wednesday, Toronto manager John Gibbons just smiled and offered this summation of the pitcher's second spring outing:
"That was vintage Doc," Gibbons said.
Halladay wasted little time in his three innings, needing only 30 pitches (21 for strikes) to face the minimum of nine Phillies batters. The right-hander mixed in all of his pitches, including his signature cut fastball three times, and added another 10 tosses in the bullpen following his appearance.
"My location was better," said Halladay, who had two strikeouts and no walks. "I felt like it was a lot better from the first inning on, especially with my sinker. Last time in the first, I was a little erratic. I was happier with that. I thought, to both sides of the plate, for the most part, I felt pretty good."
Stairs sidelined: There's a good reason for Blue Jays left fielder Matt Stairs not being in the lineup for the past three games. The veteran sprained an ankle earlier this week and is hoping to be able to get back into a game this weekend.
"He sprained his ankle the other day," Gibbons said. "We're shooting for Friday. He stepped off the side of something in the batting cage."
He's No. 2? For the second game in a row, Toronto third baseman Scott Rolen was slotted into the second spot of the lineup. Gibbons shook off any suggestion that it was a preview of where Rolen will slot into the order, saying the move is simply a way to get the third baseman more at-bats.
"We're trying to get him at least three [at-bats] a day," Gibbons said. "Right now, at this stage, five innings is his limit that we're going with. No, we're not looking at [Rolen batting second in the regular season]."
Behind closed doors: Donald Fehr, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players' Assocation, was at Knology Park on Wednesday for a closed-door meeting with the Blue Jays. Toronto slugger Frank Thomas said Fehr covered topics such as licensing agreements, the collective bargaining agreement and the current drug policies.
"It was just things that they go over with the younger guys every year," Thomas said. "We've got a strong [drug] policy. They just reinforced that, that the policies are stricter and they're serious about the policies. That's a good sign for the young guys to understand that the drug situation is serious now."
Active again: Over the past week, Jays reliever Jason Frasor has been dealing with a stomach bug and dropped nearly five pounds in the process. The right-hander has yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game, but he did throw 16 pitches in a simulated game at the Bobby Mattick Training Center. Frasor said he felt fine and is ready to begin working in spring games for Toronto.
On the road: The Blue Jays plan on sending a number of their regulars for Thursday's road game against the Pirates. Rolen, center fielder Vernon Wells, shortstop David Eckstein, second baseman Aaron Hill, catcher Rod Barajas and left fielder Reed Johnson, among others, are scheduled to make the trip.
Quotable: "I feel like I just lost a member of my family." -- Blue Jays strength and conditioning coordinator, and Wisconsin native, Donovan Santas, reacting to the retirement of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre
Coming up: Right-handers Dustin McGowan and Casey Janssen are each scheduled to pitch three innings for the Blue Jays in a 1:05 p.m. ET tilt against the Pirates on Thursday in Bradenton, Fla. Pitchers Randy Wells, Jean Machi and Kane Davis are also slated to appear for Toronto.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.