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DUNEDIN, Florida – The Blue Jays are on the record with the clubs plan to start Bran
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DUNEDIN, Florida – The Blue Jays are on the record with the clubs plan to start Brandon Morrow in the seasons fifth game, the home opener on April 4th against the New York Yankees. New England Patriots Store . "Right now were kind of looking at him at the end of the rotation right now," said pitching coach Pete Walker. "Not indicative of how hes doing or how hes feeling. Its just, it seems like the spot we want him right now." Morrows final outing last season came on May 28. He was suffering from pain and stiffness in his right forearm. The diagnosis was an entrapped radial nerve. When rest and treatment didnt solve the problem, Morrow was shut down for the year in late July. Now, with just more than two weeks left until opening day, Morrows high count for the spring is 47 pitches. His last outing came last Tuesday, March 11, against the Baseball Canada junior team, during which he threw only fastballs and splitters. He has struggled to command his fastball, which the club and Morrow insist isnt worrisome due to his long layoff. "Were looking at the way guys are throwing and Brandon, right now, we want to make sure hes healthy, we want to make sure he gets through the season healthy," said Walker. "We need him to be a big part of this rotation and right now its just where he fits in." Morrow has been throwing relatively consistently since November. The Jays have brought him along carefully this spring but with the regular season looming, Morrow is running out of time to build up to go deeper into games. With too few innings to spread among all of their rotation hopefuls, the Jays are giving minor league games to rotation certainties like R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle. Morrow is included in that bunch. The plan is for Morrow to pitch four or five innings against the Yankees Scranton affiliate on Tuesday in Tampa. Tuesdays start will come a full week after Morrows last appearance. Walker says theres no concern about Morrows health. "No, no, but just past history we want to make sure we take care of him as best we can," he said. "Tuesday will be a good outing for him," continued Walker. "Hes going to get some good work on Tuesday and hell still have two outings after that." The Blue Jays have off days on three consecutive Mondays in April: April 7, 14 and 21. The club will require a fifth starter on four occasions during the first month of the season, although Walker and manager John Gibbons will be able to make adjustments as they see fit. "It depends on who youre playing, how you line up sometimes as you look at the first couple of weeks of the season," said Walker. "We can always slot him back in where we want to put him but, right now, this is how things look right now. Things could change." Meanwhile, Gibbons reiterated on Sunday morning that, in his mind, there is one spot open in the starting rotation. Neither the manager nor anyone on his coaching staff will publicly confirm Drew Hutchison has a big league job. However, the 23-year-old has been the best starter in camp. It would be a hard sell, barring the unforeseen, to keep Hutchison off the opening day roster. That leaves J.A. Happ, Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond and Ricky Romero fighting for the final spot. "Im a big Happ fan," said Gibbons. "I think hes going to have a heck of a year for us. All indications the other day, his backs fine, he threw very well and that was a big question. Now, if his back flares up, it may be a different story." Casey Janssen, Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos, Aaron Loup and Brett Cecil are assured bullpen jobs. What isnt yet decided is whether there will be a seven reliever contingent or an eight-man bullpen heading north. An eight-man bullpen would shorten Gibbons bench but with much uncertainty about the group of starters, Gibbons wouldnt rule out taking an extra arm. There is also the business matter of options – who has them and who doesnt – to factor in. The Jays may have no choice but to put one of their pitchers through waivers but the club is loathe to lose the bodies. "What makes the team the strongest," said Gibbons. "Do we feel we need to carry that extra guy to help the rotation out? Because theyre all really good; I mean, were not going to keep a guy just to keep a guy unless theyre valuable and we think everybody we have is valuable." CAMP CUTS The Blue Jays optioned pitchers Kyle Drabek, Sean Nolin and Chad Jenkins to Triple-A Buffalo prior to Sundays 4-3, 10-inning win over the Orioles. Drabek, 26, struggled to command his repertoire this spring, giving up eight earned runs, 10 hits and six walks over eight innings. "Go down there and start pitching," said manager John Gibbons. "Were running out of time. Hes not going to make the team. He needs to go down there and get his work in." Jenkins, 26, allowed three runs over 6 2/3 spring innings, including one each in his final two appearances. He was a contributor as a call up last season, both as a starter and as a reliever, but he has options remaining. The Blue Jays can get Jenkins to Buffalo without first passing him through waivers. "He should be pitching in the big leagues," said Gibbons. "Theyre not far away. If somebody falters, if we keep somebody in the bullpen and they falter and we feel like they can help us more, theyll be right back up. Thats just the way the game works." Nolin, a 24-year-old lefthander, appeared in four spring games, starting one. He made his big league debut last May in a loss to Baltimore, was quickly demoted and not recalled the remainder of the season. Hes an option for the Blue Jays if the rotation suffers from underperformance or an injury. Cheap Patriots Jerseys .C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes have activated defenceman Joni Pitkanen from injured reserve. Stitched Patriots Jerseys . on the 15-day disabled Monday list because of a strained right hamstring. https://www.patriotsjerseysale.com/ . DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS, 9:30 AM (ET) Detroit - RB Reggie Bush, TE Eric Ebron, TE Joseph Fauria, WR Calvin Johnson, QB Kellen Moore, TE Brandon Pettigrew, OT LaAdrian Waddle Atlanta - CB Javier Arenas, DT Jonathan Babineaux, OT Cameron Bradfield, WR Freddie Martino, QB Sean Renfree, OT Jonathan Scott, LB Tyler Starr SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS, 1:00 PM (ET) Seattle - DT Jordan Hill, CB Byron Maxwell, OT Andrew McDonald, TE Zach Miller, C Max Unger, LB Bobby Wagner, WR Bryan Walters Carolina - CB Bene Benwikere, LB Chase Blackburn, WR Philly Brown, G Amini Silatolu, G Trai Turner, RB Fozzy Whittaker, RB DeAngelo Williams HOUSTON TEXANS AT TENNESSEE TITANS, 1:00 PM (ET) Houston - OT Jeff Adams, DB Josh Aubrey, LB Brian Cushing, DB Darryl Morris, WR DeVier Posey, QB Tom Savage, LB Jeff Tarpinian Tennessee - RB Antonio Andrews, WR Kris Durham, TE Richard Gordon, DL DaQuan Jones, CB Coty Sensabaugh, OT Will Svitek, TE Taylor Thompson BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS, 1:00 PM (ET) Baltimore - CB Chykie Brown, LB Arthur Brown, DL Chris Canty, TE Owen Daniels, G/C Gino Gradkowski, RB Bernard Pierce, OT Jah Reid Cincinnati - RB Rex Burkhead, DE Will Clarke, WR A.Before NCAA Selection Sunday, there are this weeks conference tournaments. For some schools, these tournaments act as final tune-ups before March Madness to get their teams into gear before the Big Dance actually starts. For others, the conference tournament is the last chance to prove to the selection committee that their team belongs among the field of 68. And yet for others, far on the outside looking in, winning their conference tourney is the only chance they have to enter this years tournament. Now, some of the smaller conference tournaments are either already underway or already over, but the bigger conferences tournaments dont get started until Wednesday. This will act as a primer for each of the bigger tournaments to give you an idea of whos involved, whos favoured and which Canadians to watch out for this week. Already qualifed for the NCAA tournament: Mercer (Atlantic Sun), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Delaware (Colonial), Harvard (Ivy), Manhattan (MAAC), #2 Wichita State (Missouri Valley), Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley), Mount St. Marys (Northeast), South Dakota State (Summit) and Gonzaga (West Coast) American Athletic Conference Top 25 teams in tournament: #5 Louisville, #13 Cincinnati, #19 Memphis, #21 Connecticut and #25 SMU Overview: Only three games separated these five times in the regular season (with the Cardinals and Bearcats sharing the regular season crown,) so there isnt a lot separating this group in a very competitive conference. All five of these teams will be headed to the tournament, but likely only this quintet. If any outliers in the conference want in, theyll likely have to win the AAC tournament to get there. Chances are, though, thats not happening. Projected winner: Cincinnati Atlantic Coast Conference Seeded teams: #5 Duke, #6 Virginia, #11 Syracuse and #15 North Carolina Overview: After the dissolution of the traditional Big East, Syracuse makes its tournament debut in the conference traditionally dominated by schools from the Carolinas. That said, Virginia is the tournaments top seed for the first time in 33 years. Teams should be on the lookout for upsets with both North Carolina State and Pittsburgh capable of grabbing a scalp, but smart money picks one of the top four seeds to take the title. Led by freshman phenom Jabari Parker, Duke is the odds-on favourite heading into this week, but, even after petering out a bit coming down the stretch, Brampton, Ontarios Tyler Ennis and the Orange are still the team to beat. Projected winner: Syracuse Atlantic 10 Conference Top 25 teams in tournament: #18 Saint Louis and #23 Virginia Commonwealth Overview: The story here isnt what happens with the top teams, but what goes on with those schools who still arent locks to make the tournament. With Saint Louis and VCU most certainly in, its up to the likes of St. Josephs, UMASS and George Washington to ensure participation in this years March Madness. Having five teams coming out of the Atlantic 10 certainly isnt outside the realm of possibility, but its not a likelihood just yet. Projected winner: VCU Big East Conference Top 25 teams in tournament: #3 Villanova and #14 Creighton Overview: Though still being held at Madison Square Garden, this years Big East tournament certainly doesnt carry the cache that it once did with traditional powers like Syracuuse, UConn and Pittsburgh having moved on. Custom New England Patriots Jerseys. Still, tournaments implications are huge here with the likes of Providence, Georgetown, Xavier and St. Johns fates for the Big Dance unknown with that quartet likely needing multiple wins for a selection. As for the final, Creighton has beaten Villanova handily in both meetings this season and should again if the top seeds end up meeting. Projected winner: Creighton Big 10 Conference Top 25 teams in tournament: #8 Michigan, #12 Wisconsin, #22 Michigan State and #24 Ohio State Overview: Like the regular season, this Big 10 tournament should be nothing short of a battle with a lot riding on the line. Nik Stauskas and the Wolverines were able to open a three-game gap on MSU when it was all said and done, but only four games separated Wisconsin in second from Indiana in ninth. Its the teams in that range that need a good tournament here. Up to seven teams could come out of the Big 10 and while the seeded teams are virtual locks, the likes of Nebraska and Minnesota need to impress to secure their positions come Sunday. Projected winner: Michigan Big 12 Conference Top 25 teams in tournament: #10 Kansas, #16 Iowa State and #17 Oklahoma Overview: This tournament has the potential to be the best of the bunch and a very deep conference means its ripe for upsets. Its conceivable that any team that finds itself in the quarterfinals has a shot to win the tournament. Oh, and theres a ton of Canadian content here with Kenny Chery and Brady Heslip of Baylor, Iowa States Melvin Ejim and some kid named Wiggins on Kansas. The Big 12 prides itself as the best conference in the nation in 2014 and having the most tournament bids would go a long way to prove that. Having eight teams in the tournament is not a stretch. This will be a dogfight and not having Joel Embiid will really hurt the Jayhawks. Projected winner: Oklahoma Top 25 teams in tournament: #4 Arizona Overview: Oregon came out of nowhere to win this tournament last year, so the Pac-12 tournament is far from a foregone conclusion as a Wildcats triumph. Still, theyre the overwhelming favourite. Arizona is among a handful of teams here secure in its place in the tournament and, barring a quarterfinal blowout loss, the Wildcats are on course for a #1 seed on Sunday night. With UCLA, Colorado and the Ducks seemingly set for a tournament spot, Arizona State is the team with the most to prove here. Without a strong tournament, dont look for the Sun Devils name to be called on Sunday night. Projected winner: UCLA Southeastern Conference Top 25 teams in tournament: #1 Florida Overview: Outside of the Gators, who will look at this tournament as an opportunity to solidify their claim for the top overall seed in the tournament, this hasnt exactly been a banner season for the SEC with the nations preseason #1 Kentucky falling well short of expectations. John Caliparis Wildcats are in no danger of missing the tournament, but will view the SEC tourney as a means to get some positive momentum going into it. Mizzou, Tennessee and Arkansas are all likely bubble teams right now and could certainly use a positive showing to prove their credentials. This is Floridas tournament, though. They were undefeated in the conference during regular season play and shouldnt look back now. Projected winner: Florida ' ' '
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