The Toronto Blue Jays begin training camp in Dunedin, Fla., Tuesday, with the team’s pitchers and catchers reporting for duty.
Hopes are already high around the big-spending Blue Jays (73-89 last season, fourth in the AL East) in the wake of acquiring R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio.
The challenge ahead of the Blue Jays is turning massive expectations into reality.
“Normally you come into spring training, there’s always that internal optimism that maybe this year things will go right, we can make some kind of a run. This year, they come in with high expectations — they want to be in the post-season, they expect to be there,” Sportsnet’s Barry Davis said.
Manager John Gibbons, in his second stint at the Jays’ helm, looked to balance optimism and realism.
“I’m new coming back so there’s excitement there for myself. But the talent Alex (GM Alex Anthopoulos) has assembled speaks for itself. Now we’ve got to go out and play good baseball. You’ve still got to win a lot of ball games.”
The Jays’ first spring training game will be against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday, Feb. 23. Full schedule