By his own admission, Mark Buehrle is a lousy spring training pitcher. “I’m concentrating, throwing my pitches, trying to get guys out but it just never seems to work out for me in spring training,” said Buehrle, after throwing 44 pitches over two and one-third innings Thursday, allowing two hits, a run and three walks. “I hate walking guys,” he said. “It just bugs the crap out of me.” What he did enjoy about the outing was his chance to throw to veteran catcher Henry Blanco. “First time I’ve thrown to Blanco,” said Buehrle. “He’s awesome the way he sets up back there and calls the game. I feel like I’m pretty easy to work with. Just give me the sign and I’ll throw it but just the way he frames balls and catches them and calls the game, he’s outstanding back there.” Pitching coach Pete Walker leaves Buehrle alone to make his own way through spring training. “(Buehrle) has a routine,” said Walker. “He has been doing it for a long time so we’re keeping him to his routine. He’s out there working on some things trying to get some outs. We’re not concerned with results, really, right now. It’s about building up his pitch count, recovering well and feeling good after his outings.” BULLPEN SPOT WIDE OPEN Opportunity continues to knock for as many as 10 pitchers trying to fight for the last bullpen spot on the Blue Jays roster but none of them is stepping forward to grab that door handle. Justin Germano, a finesse pitcher who has had plenty of good numbers at triple A but never has established himself in the big leagues, stumbled in his outing Thursday, allowing four hits and five runs (but just two earned) in his two innings. Likewise Neil Wagner, who had been turning heads in three previous outings, got saddled with the loss, blowing a save on a three-run walkoff homer by Baltimore’s Ryan Flaherty in the ninth inning.
Buehrle finds bright spot amid spring struggles
Toronto Sun | Mar 8