ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Heading into Thursday nights action, Dioner Navarro had caught 14 innings combined from starters Drew Hutchison and Mark Buehrle. Neither allowed a run; both pitched with purpose. The catcher is the only position player on the field the entire defence can see; the others pick up the vibe the backstop puts down and after Wednesday nights 3-0 win over Tampa Bay, Jose Bautista made it clear he notices a difference this year over last. "Ill tell you what, I could really get used to the chemistry that I see between our catcher and our pitchers," said Bautista. "If they manage to keep that going for an extended period of time, were going to have a lot of fun playing this year." One can draw a number of conclusions from the statement. The first, and most basic, is that Bautista is commenting on what hes witnessed from his spot in right field. One could also deduce Bautista is firing some verbal retaliation at ex-teammate J.P. Arencibia, who suffered through a dreadful offensive season while continuing to struggle defensively and with his handling of the pitching staff. Arencibia, in a media scrum last month, said it was "refreshing" to be in Texas because the atmosphere was "baseball emphasized." Later in the same scrum, he appeared to call Torontos leadership into question. "Elvis (Andrus,) (Adrian) Beltre, you have these guys who are leaders and have been around for a while. They make it easy. Its not like you come in here and youre walking on egg shells." While this falls short of what should be qualified as a verbal spat, theres little doubt that Bautista, as informed a player as there is, hadnt heard or read Arencibias comments. Regardless, Navarro is making an impression. "Even during spring training, he came in with a real interest in learning the pitchers as fast as he could and I think it shows right now," said pitching coach Pete Walker. "He spent the spring getting a feel for these guys and I think the evidence was (Wednesday) night with Mark. I think they worked great together." "Bottom line is, the pitchers got to make the pitch, but if they have confidence in what the catcher is throwing down, thats one of those little things where they have more conviction," said manager John Gibbons. In fairness to Arencibia, it must be pointed out that the Blue Jays used 13 different starting pitchers during an injury-riddled 2013 campaign. Names like Ramon Ortiz, Aaron Laffey and Chien-Ming Wang werent long-term solutions, regardless of who was behind the plate. But the game preparation, the ability to work smart as much as work hard, is setting Navarro apart. "I wont go there," said Walker, when asked to compare Navarro to Arencibia. "Its a different feel behind the plate. In the past, weve had some good catchers here and he just brings a different element this year that Ive enjoyed watching and working with so far." If Arencibias departure was considered addition by subtraction, Navarros arrival has more than filled the void. Its calmed the pitching staff. Janssen Update Casey Janssen, whos been seen working his weighted ball program in the clubhouse over the last couple of days, threw off flat ground from roughly 120 feet on Thursday. Hes being careful as he works his way back from an abdominal/back strain. "Im trying to not piss it off," said Janssen. "It might if I do certain things but Im staying in that comfort level and I havent pissed it off. It could be completely gone but I havent tested it enough to know. I dont think today is the day to test it." Janssen is eligible to come off the disabled list on April 13 in Baltimore. Its too early to predict whether hell be back on that date. Julien Gauthier Jersey
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. 5 Trade Deadline is drawing closer and teams will be deciding on whether to buy or sell.(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Eastern Conference contenders clash Friday night in the nations capital, as the Chicago Bulls put their impressive road record to the test against the Washington Wizards. The Bulls are 14-4 away from the Windy City and are just ahead of the Wizards in the standings. Chicago went 3-2 on a recent homestand and was dealt a 97-77 loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Jimmy Butler had 16 points, Taj Gibson gave 15 off the bench and Pau Gasol collected 13 points and six rebounds for the Bulls, who made just 33.3 percent from the floor, connected on 6-of-20 3-pointers and turned the ball over 16 times. Derrick Rose had seven points and hasnt shot better than 35 percent in each of his last six games. The normally defensive-minded Bulls allowed 34 points in the fourth quarter and lost for only the second time in the previous 12 games. I dont wont to overreact, but I dont want to under-react either, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said afterward. You always ask yourselves before you start, theres two questions: did you play hard enough and did you execute properly? The readiness to play, that part is really my responsibility. I didnt like that part of it at all. Thibodeaus squad is 16-5 against teams from the East and 10-1 on the road against conference foes. After visiting DC, the Bulls will return to Chicago for three straight games versus Milwaukee, Orlando and Washington. Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (ankle) is questionable against thee Wizards.dddddddddddd Washington will try to make it three straight wins Friday and posted a 101-91 triumph over the hapless New York Knicks Wednesday night. Nene scored 20 points and John Wall finished with 18 and eight assists to lead the Wizards, who scored 30 points in the first quarter and shot 51.3 percent. The Wizards used a big 17-5 run in the second half to pull away. It was important for us, Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said of the strong start to the second half. When youre dealing with a team thats going through transition, obviously with the trades and whats going on with their team, you want to come out right away and dont give them any life. Rasual Butler netted 14 points and both Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat ended with 12 points. Gortat also grabbed 11 rebounds. The Wizards, who are 19-1 when holding teams under 100 points, improved to 15-4 at the Verizon Center and 16-6 against conference opponents. They are 9-2 at home versus the East. Wall is averaging 18.0 points and 10.8 assists at home this season. He has recorded 11 of his 20 double-doubles in front of the home crowd. Washington will visit the East-leading Hawks on Sunday and suffered a 99-91 loss to the Bulls on Dec. 23 at home. Wall and Gasol both scored 18 points in that one, while Rose led all scorers with 25 points. The Wizards eliminated the Bulls in five games during the first round of the playoffs last season. The teams will meet again Jan. 14 and March 3. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys 2019 China Jerseys China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping NFL Jerseys China
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