ns. "We want to make sure he gets some playi

in Abwesenheiten 23.03.2019 01:47
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DUNEDIN, Florida – In one of his post-game scrums last summer, R.A. Dickey referred to his knuckleball as a "capricious animal," a phrase meant to describe the unpredictability, the figurative moodiness, of his strange pitch. Erik Kratz was behind the plate to start Thursdays 7-5 win over the Phillies. He was catching Dickey for the first time in game action and afterward, could attest to his pitchers apt terminology. Asked how he thought he did on Day One, Kratz turned the tables. "How did you think I did?" He was told he did fine. "Okay, well then I did fine," said Kratz. "It wasnt perfect. I had the anticipated anxiety that I thought I would." Just how anxious was he? "I caught myself not breathing a couple of times and everything like that." Armed with a first basemans glove rather than the oversized catchers mitt preferred by most knuckleball catchers, Kratz understands hell have to be a quick study in learning both the physical and mental requirements of the job. "Just the idea of trying to relax, being out there, getting a different visual but I felt like it went very well," he said. "I felt like there is plenty of room for improvement but I think a lot of things Ive seen in his bullpen sessions, it was good to see in the game. Good to see him be able to change speeds and everything like that." Dickey laboured through the first inning, giving up a lead-off dunk single to Ben Revere. One out later, Brett Lawrie airmailed a throw to second on a Bobby Abreu chopper, putting Phillies on the corners. After Darin Ruf walked to load the bases, a Dickey knuckleball to Maikel Franco eluded Kratz for a passed ball which scored Revere from third. Its not how you would think Kratz would prefer to have drawn it up. Its his first game catching Dickey, in the first inning and the first time with a runner on third and a knuckler gets by him. But he was more than happy to make a mistake in a spring game. Passed balls are going to happen. The key is to not get psyched out; dont make the same mistake twice. "You can say, okay, well, it was a passed ball, wild pitch, it was a tough one to get but you have to be ready for the next one," said Kratz. "I was proud of myself. I was happy about the way I was able to relax." Dickey limits the in-game responsibility of his catcher to receiving his pitch. He calls his own game, communicating velocity to his catcher in ways he wont describe publicly. Hes not going to tip his hand. Dickey doesnt even want Kratz to form a hard target with his glove. "Its probably better for the catcher and for me, for that matter, if hes just nice and relaxed," said Dickey. "Im far enough along in my process where I can pick out a shin guard and hit a fastball. I dont need him to give me a target. "Plus, if hes only giving a target on fastballs then everybody in the stadium is going to know that hey, if he gives you a target its going to be a fastball and if he doesnt give you a target its going to be a knuckleball so I just like him to be nice and relaxed back there, whatever gives him the best chance to consistently catch the ball." Given the uncertainty over Dioner Navarros ability to catch more than 100 games - since Navarro hasnt done so since 2009 - the Jays are looking for more offence from their second catcher. Kratz, with 18 home runs in a back-up role over the last two seasons with the Phillies, fits the bill. Josh Thole, who caught Dickey and served as the back-up catcher after Henry Blanco was released last June, appears to be the odd man out. "Hes going to play a lot," said Gibbons. "We want to make sure he gets some playing time and then well see how it develops. Kratz is going to catch (Dickey) early on, see how that develops, and then go from there." Dickeys knuckleball topped out at 73 miles per hour on Thursday. He struck out two Phillies over two innings, one on a 61-mile-per-hour knuckler and another at 63 miles per hour. He wants his hard knuckleball at 77 by opening day, his floater at 65. Dickey says hes on target to achieve those radar gun readings, adding hes feeling much stronger than he did at the end of last February, when his knuckleball was topping out in the low-70s in early Grapefruit League action. ENCARNACION HAPPY AT FIRST BASE Edwin Encarnacion chuckled at the suggestion he wants to be, or has asked to be, a full-time designated hitter. "No, whatever the manager wants to do Im ready for it," said Encarnacion. "If I have to play every day at first, Ill play. If I have to play both, Im ready for it." Encarnacion played 79 games at first base last season. He served as the designated hitter on 55 occasions. "I like to play DH sometimes because I have more time to go to the computer, watch the pitcher, watch the video," said Encarnacion. "When you play defence you dont have time to do that but for me, if I have to play first base, I dont have a problem with that." Funny, Encarnacions numbers last season were almost indistinguishable. As a first baseman, he compiled a .272/.367/.527 slash line with 19 home runs in 294 at-bats. As a DH: .270/.374/.530 and 13 home runs in 200 at-bats. ROGERS A FATHER Congratulations to Esmil Rogers, the proud father of a baby daughter. Mom and little Elaina are in Denver and doing well. Rogers was there for the birth, returned to Dunedin on Wednesday and pitched in Thursdays game, giving up two runs in one inning of work. Cheap Billy Williams Jersey . Osmond, of Marystown, N.L., fell in the middle of her routine and placed fifth in the ladies free skate at Iceberg Skating Palace (110.73 points), but that was all the Canadians needed after a strong performance by Kevin Reynolds in the mens free earlier Sunday. Cheap Kerry Wood Jersey . Dane Dobbie had four goals and two assists, Karsen Leung had two goals and two assists, and Matthew Dinsdale scored two and helped on another for Calgary (6-3). Shawn Evans and Jeff Shattler had eight-point games with a goal and seven assists apiece, and Jon Harnett and Geoff Snider also scored. http://www.cheapcubsjerseysauthentic.com...e-dawson-jersey. Mladenovics quick hands at the net made the difference while Bencics inexperience in doubles showed. "We took a lot of pleasure," Mladenovic told Sport Plus television. "Its extremely difficult to play in such conditions, but our doubles team showed a lot of quality. China Chicago Cubs Jerseys . He will just have to wait a little longer. Bester grabbed an early lead before Scotlands Darren Burnett took over and ran away with the mens singles lawn bowling final 21-9 on Friday. Cubs Jerseys China . -- Jack Del Rio only wanted to talk about the Cowboys, not the Trojans.MELBOURNE, Australia - U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori of Japan paid tribute to Li Na, describing her as an inspiration for Asian tennis.Nishikori, who is touted as one of the mens stars of the future, said he was very sad about the two-time Grand Slam winners retirement last year due to knee problems. Li was the first player from Asia to win a major.She was big, big leadership for especially Asian tennis, said Nishikori, who reached the U.S. Open final and a career-high No. 5 ranking last year, making him the highest-ranked Asian man in tour history.I think Im getting close to — not really — but getting close to her, Nishikori said after winning his first-round match Tuesday at the Australian Open. Hopefully I can come back to a Grand Slam final again.Earlier in the day, Li had complimented the 25-year-old Nishikori.I think hes an amazing player, said Li, who won the Australian Open last year before retiring in September.Its not easy to be on the top, she said. I know how hard working he (is). So I believe he can win a Grand Slam. Seriously.By Jocelyn Gecker -- http://twitter.com/jgecker___VENUS ON MOTHERHOOD: The news of Li Nas pregnancy has some of the other players talking about motherhood.Maybe there will be twins and a doubles team, joked Venus Williams, who has won 13 Grand Slams doubles titles with her younger sister, Serena.The 34-year-old Williams said she wasnt ready for children yet.I dont know. Im still a big kid. Im still growing up, Williams said in response to a question during her news conference after her first-round win in Australia.She definitely made the right decision, I think, starting a family, Williams said. I hope that one day I can get to that level. Well see.Its such a big job. Its like the biggest job in the world, added Williams, who has won seven Grand Slam singles titles. As much responsibility as Ive taken on in my life, that still seems daunting.By Jocelyn Gecker -- http://twitter.com/jgecker___HAIR OF EXPECTANCY: Milos Raonics sculpted hair is a source of conversation around the tennis tours. Its so famous,, in fact, it even has its own spoof Twitter accounts — @milosraonichair and @Milos_Hair.dddddddddddd.And his fellow Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard, has had enough.Asked about his latest haircut following her first-round win at the Australian Open, Bouchard took aim at Raonics obsession with styling.I made fun of his hair last year. I dont know how its different now. I just think he spends way too much time worrying about his hair.More than her?Clearly, she deadpanned.Raonic wasnt being dragged into the debate after his win over Ukrainian qualifier Illya Marchenko on Tuesday.Told what Bouchard said, he politely declined to comment.Next question, really. Im not going to get into this, he said with a smile.By Justin Bergman -- https://twitter.com/justinb3rg___COFFEE OR PIZZA? Serena Williams had one word of advice for Taylor Townsend before the 18-year-old American played at an Australian Open warm-up tournament in Hobart.Win, Serena wrote in a text.I told her Im about to go on court and she just put win, thats it, Townsend said with a laugh.Townsend didnt win her Australian Open debut match against former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki on Tuesday, but she said the advice shes received from Serena and her sister Venus has certainly made an impression in her first couple years on tour.Its hard work to be out here. Its very dog-eat-dog, she said. And to have them in my corner, with them being such great champions, its a great asset for me to have.Serena recently resorted to an unusual tactic to win a match at the Hopman Cup in Perth — she ordered an espresso on court and it helped spark her come-from-behind win over Italian Flavia Pennetta.I didnt know you could order an espresso while youre playing. Thats not something I would do, Townsend said.But shes Serena Williams. If she wanted to get a pizza, she could get a pizza.By Justin Bergman -- https://twitter.com/justinb3rg___Australian Open Scene follows tennis Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day. ' ' '

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