Rosie DiManno: Blue Jays Ken Giles, who punched himself in the head last season, puts teammate in line â loudly
|Toronto Star 14 Mar 2019 at 17:54|
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles made like the Enola Gray of profanity bombardment before Thursdayâs game at Dunedin Stadium, dropping a load on teammate David Paulino. Who had it coming, frankly.
Ken Giles was held back a day after dealing with the flu, but he didnât hold back on teammate David Paulino over the latterâs effort in fielding drills.Â Â (Michael Reaves / GETTY IMAGES)
The tightly wound Giles, who famously punched himself in the head last season as he left the mound after a poor performance, was apparently annoyed that Paulino was dogging it during infield drills. Paulino seemed to have zero interest in covering first base in the exercise, like the rest of his pitching brethren.
To paraphrase: What the f---?!
To paraphrase: Do you, David, not want to play for the Jays in 2018? But punchier.
Manager Charlie Montoyo was standing not far distant when the episode unfolded. But said nothing. And Paulino, thereafter, seemed radioactive, given a wide berth by the rest of the squad as he came off the field.
If Montoyo was looking for evidence of a recast clubhouse coming together at spring training, this was actually it. Because the takeaway was not Paulino getting dressed down by a teammate but Giles making it clear that the work matters, that laggardness wonât be tolerated.
Funny thing, though. Giles had been scheduled to pitch at some point in this game against the visiting Yankees, yet he never appeared. Joe Biagini came out in the ninth instead. When reporters got to Gilesâ locker later, it was obvious he had already changed back into civvies and left. There was no Paulino sighting either.
Montoyo tried to downplay any potential fuss. âBelieve me, Iâve been around the game for a long time. That happens. I kind of like it, to tell you the truth. There was a disagreement and now theyâre fine. I talked to both of them and itâs all good.â
The skipper agreed that what he saw was Giles taking a leadership role arising from the incident, talking the walk so to speak. âThatâs what it looks like to me.â
Both Giles and Paulino came to Toronto in the trade last year that sent crack closer Roberto Osuna to Houston. So, theyâre not strangers to each other. And Paulino was â how to put this? â allegedly not popular within the Astros organization.
Montoyo said he had no wish to âget into itâ with the two moundsmen. âBecause it got resolved with the players. And thatâs great. I believe in the clubhouse takes care of itself and they did.â
Donât go reading anything into Gilesâ no-show on the pitching itinerary, Montoyo added.
âIt happened before that,â Montoyo added, of Gilesâ request. âIt has nothing to do with what happened there.â
The closer has been ailing with the flu recently. âHe needed it,â Montoyo said. âHe was sick. He didnât feel right today. Kind of behind a little bit (on his pitching schedule). So he felt like he needed another day to regroup.ââ
Much as weâd like to make a mountain out of a molehill, the dust seems to have already settled on this little drama. And, you know, one manâs F-bomb is another manâs heck.
Giles is now slotted to pitch on Friday in Clearwater against the Phillies.
In this game, which ended in a 1-1 draw, Matt Shoemaker, making his fourth appearance, gave up one run on four hits and struck out three through 51/3 innings.
âOverall, pretty close,â said the bearded right-hander of his spring training progression. âPhysically I felt great, just been working on some mechanical stuff, some timing. Itâs coming together.â
Montoyo has indicated that heâs leaning toward Shoemaker as his No. 2 in the starting rotation, between Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez. Though he apparently hasnât yet shared that plan with Shoemaker. âNo, not at all,â said Shoemaker, who signed a one-year deal with the Jays in late December. âWeâve just been ... go out there, get ready for the season, and let the rest take care of itself.â
DRIBBLERS: Major League Baseball and the playersâ association on Thursday announced a whole slew of new rules â some not implemented until next season â affecting everything from the trade deadline, the all-star game, roster size and on-field strategy. Rather significantly all pitchers will have to pitch to a minimum of three batters or to the end of a half-inning. Which spells the end of the lefty relief specialist often summoned to get one batter out. Montoyo said he hadnât yet had time to study he changes. âIt was funny. I was talking to the umpires and they said, âWe donât know either.â Maybe they were kidding.: The manager didnât seem bothered by the impact of the minimum batters faced. âAs long as everybodyâs the same, Iâm fine with it. Iâm sure they thought about it long and hard, both sides.â âŚ Ex-Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was booed relentlessly every time he came to the plate ... Right-hander Bud Norris will make his first spring appearance on Friday âŚ Right-hander Clay Buchholz, being cautiously brought along after his 2018 campaign was cut short by a strained flexor mass in his pitching elbow, will throw his first bullpen on Friday âŚ Vladimir Guerrero Jr., out with an oblique injury, has been sent to the minor-league camp to continue a three-week rehab stint.