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BRADENTON, Florida - J. Axel Witsel Belgium Jersey .A. Happ was pummeled by the Pirates on Tuesday, leaving general manager Alex Anthopoulos with an unappealing conundrum: its become easier for him to sell to the fan base the idea of having $12.7-million (Ricky Romeros and Happs combined 2014 salaries) of dead or differently-allocated money than it is to sell the fan base on including the left-hander in the opening day starting rotation. Happ faced 20 batters in three-plus innings. Twelve of them got hits, including Pittsburgh starter Wandy Rodriguez, who hit a wind-aided, opposite field, two-run home run to cap a four-run second inning. Rodriguez had never homered in 437 career major league at-bats. Happ allowed seven earned runs, bloating his springtime ERA over four starts to 20.57. The Blue Jays lost, wait for it, 22-5. "It wasnt a good day for anybody, really," said manager John Gibbons. "We got pounded pretty good. They werent missing em. We got hit around pretty good." Meanwhile, back in Dunedin, Dustin McGowan, the sudden favourite for the final available rotation job, threw four innings of scoreless baseball in a Triple-A game. His fastball was clocked in the mid-90s; McGowan hit the 62-pitch mark. "I thought he looked great," Anthopoulos told a pool reporter in Dunedin. "Its just trying to get him stretched out here. Every step is a step in the right direction, but well see how he feels tonight, tomorrow, all that kind of stuff. He got up to 62 today off of 48 the (outing) before. Well take it outing by outing at this point." The logical next step, provided McGowans wonky shoulder feels good on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, is to have the right-hander throw another minor league game in Florida on Sunday. "The big thing is that we dont get ahead of ourselves because we re-evaluate it almost daily to see how he feels," said Anthopoulos. "I always remind him as well, I keep reminding him that at any time any concerns, any tweaks, anything at all, he needs to tell us, and he said, Absolutely. Hes obviously a big part of wanting to do this as well. As I told him when were even exploring this, he needs to want to do this because we would never take chances with his career or with his health. Hes the one who knows how he feels. Hes been through this enough times. He has to communicate with us." Happ has had a puzzling spring. He arrived in Dunedin under the impression he had a spot in the starting rotation locked up. After poor starts on February 26 and March 3, he missed game action due to a bad back. His two appearances since his return, on March 19 and on Tuesday, have gone no better. "Yeah, thats not an issue," said Gibbons, when asked if Happs back was still a concern. Happ has an option remaining, meaning he could be sent to the minors without first passing through waivers. However, the fly in the ointment is significant: as a major league veteran with more than five years of service time, Happ has the right to refuse the assignment, at which point the Jays could keep him or release him while paying him full freight. Would Happ be willing to move to the bullpen? "Im not thinking about that," he said. "Ill answer that question if someone else, one of the bosses, decides they need to ask that. Well deal with that then. But thats not something thats on my mind." The Blue Jays still have not officially named Drew Hutchison to their starting rotation although its inconceivable he doesnt make the team. Hutchison has been the clubs best pitcher this spring and Anthopoulos is on the record as saying hes taking the best 25 players north. Assuming Hutchison joins R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow and Mark Buehrle in the rotation, Anthopoulos, Gibbons and pitching coach Pete Walker have to decide between McGowan, Happ and Todd Redmond for the final spot. The idea of piggybacking McGowan, that is starting him on a strict pitch count and backfilling with Redmond, Esmil Rogers, maybe even Happ, behind him has been bandied about. It likely will be revisited during internal meetings ahead of Sundays deadline to announce the opening day roster. "When we announce the team, everybody will know who it is," said Gibbons. REYES GOING TO MONTREAL? The Blue Jays are encouraged by the MRI results on Jose Reyes left hamstring, which revealed a minor strain. "Hopefully hes in there the next couple of days, maybe at DH," said manager John Gibbons. "Let him run half-speed, three-quarter-speed. It actually made us feel pretty good after we heard the results." When asked on Monday, before he had his MRI, whether he would play through the strain if the regular season already was underway, Reyes didnt answer. It behooves the Jays to be careful, though, especially considering the club plays 91 games (81 at home, 10 in Tampa Bay) of its 162 on artificial turf. "With baseball, too, there can be a lot of dead time too before you actually get a ball," said Gibbons. "That quick movement will sometimes get you. We feel good about it and you hope it doesnt turn into anything down the road either." Still, Gibbons says the plan is to bring Reyes to Montreal, where two games will be played on turf, if hes healthy enough to go. "Im sure everybody wants to see him play up there," said Gibbons. THE SECOND CATCHER R.A. Dickey is scheduled to start the Blue Jays final Grapefruit League home game on Wednesday. By game time, we should have a better idea of who will back up Dioner Navarro. "I would say the guy who catches him (Wednesday) will be the backup catcher," said Gibbons. "Ill leave it at that." Erik Kratz and Josh Thole are vying for the job. Gibbons has repeatedly said that effectively catching Dickey is the jobs number one priority. Thole, to the extent someone can be, is a master at it. Hes also got the most experience. Dickeys pitched 565 innings to Thole over their time together with the Mets and Blue Jays. Kratz, a 2002 Blue Jays draft pick, returned to the organization in an offseason trade with the Phillies. Hes a threat to hit a home run, having gone deep 18 times in 375 at-bats over the last two seasons. Thole posted a .175/.256/.242 line in limited action last season. If he makes the team it appears the club will have trouble generating offence from the eighth and ninth (Ryan Goins) spots in the lineup on the days he plays. Nacer Chadli Jersey . The motion to expand the stadiums capacity passed through by a count of 39-3, with Toronto mayor Rob Ford being among those in opposition. Thomas Vermaelen Belgium Jersey . Sources tell TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger that the team is quietly gauging interest on the Senators captain, though Spezza has a limited no-trade clause and carries a large contract.Ed Chamberlin looks ahead to the Grand National, The Masters at Augusta and the return of the Barclays Premier League. There are two major puzzles to solve next week in two of the sporting years great occasions: The Masters and the Grand National.The two Im going to war with in the Aintree spectacular are Ucello Conti and Gallant Oscar. Im becoming something of a Gordon Elliott disciple but in Ucello Conti the case is obvious after two fine efforts in the top Irish handicap chases, most recently in the Thyestes where Jacques Ricou took the horse via Calais. Hes been laid out for the race, as has Gallant Oscar for another of Irelands shrewdest handlers, Tony Martin. Again Gallant Oscar has some top handicap form to his name, notably at both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals last season. Hes been bought along very quietly this term with one race in mind and really caught the eye at Naas earlier this month.Finding the winner of the modern day Grand National is virtually impossible and youll here tips for every horse over the next ten days but lets hope Gallant Oscar and Ucello Conti give us a decent run for our money.After the battering they took at the Cheltenham Festival, the bookmakers will desperately want a result in the National and plenty of surprises over the three days. Sky Bet have bravely priced up 14 of the Aintree races and with Willie Mullins lining up plenty of his big guns - Douvan, Vautour, Black Hercules, Annie Power et al - they could be right up against it again.With Augusta course and distance form working out well year after year, the layers may struggle to get a result in The Masters too. Ill be having my annual each-way stab on Matt Kuchar at 66/1 with Sky Bet, who are paying on the first five places. The medias focus will firmly be on the big three - Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy - which could play in to the hands of Adam Scott and he looks a great bet at 11/1.What a buzz England created against Germany on Saturday night. What a reality check they got versus the Netherlands on Tuesday. The teams true ability probably lies somewhere between the Berlin brilliance and the Wembley wobble.One thing is for sure: youd have taken this situation at the start of this season going in to Euro 2016. Leicester have shown few signs of feeling the pressure so far. They have won seven of their last nine games and lost just one of the last 13 matches since late December. Ed Chamberlin on the Premier League Back then it was fashionable to bemoan the lack of English talent but now we seem to have a wealth of prodigious, young, attacking players. Kane, Vardy, Alli, Welbeck, Sturridge, Barkley and co. could cause quite a stir this summer. Despite the hype from Saturdays brilliant comeback against Germany, expectations should remain low but it would be great to think Roy Hodgsons team will givee it a real go in France. Dries Mertens Jersey. hose young stars take centre stage this weekend as the Premier League returns and the thrilling title race resumes. The top two are both live on Sky Sports with Tottenham (11/4 to win the title) at Anfield on Saturday Night Football then Leicester (8/15) part of the Super Sunday double header. Spurs must seize the chance playing first this weekend and crank up the pressure on the leaders. Beating Liverpool would send out a major message.Leicester have shown few signs of feeling the pressure so far. They have won seven of their last nine games and lost just one of the last 13 matches since late December. They have been magnificent. Their team spirit remains formidable and their performances on the international stage will give another surge of self belief to Vardy, Drinkwater and Kant√©. The big difference to earlier in the season is that theyve tightened things up. Gone are the 4-3s and 3-2s. Leicester have won last three games 1-0. They might not be playing with the same flamboyance but theyve been really difficult to beat, especially at the King Power which will be absolutely jumping again on Sunday. Leicester are unbeaten in a club record 11 Premier League home games and have had six clean sheets in the last seven home games.Southampton will have their work cut out but will also be buoyant after their extraordinary comeback win against Liverpool two weeks ago, which must have been inspired by the Saints mascot that day - Sam Chamberlin!Southamptons season in many ways sums up the craziness of the Premier League. The Saints started well then had a horrible run of one win, thumping Arsenal, in 10 games as they went out of both Cups and all of a sudden they were nervously looking over their shoulders only seven points clear of the drop zone. A few weeks later and Southampton are only four points off the Champions League places. Madness.Whatever happens now, theyve had another brilliant season against all the odds and the focus this summer must be keeping key players and even more importantly persuading Ronald Koeman, who has done the most remarkable job, to extend his contract beyond next summer.After the game at the King Power, it promises to be a special day at Old Trafford as they rename the South Stand after the great Sir Bobby Charlton. Charlton joined Manchester United as an apprentice in 1953 and made his debut for the club 60 years ago. He went on to play for the club 758 times, scoring a club record 249 goals.Another landmark could be the 1,000th Premier League goal scored by Manchester United at Old Trafford. Man Utd have scored 999 PL goals at Old Trafford so far and will become the first team to score 1000 home goals if they score on Sunday. Their first Premier League goal at Old Trafford was scored by Denis Irwin in a 1-1 draw against Ipswich in August 1992 and since then there have been 81 different scorers at the Theatre of Dreams I absolutely love this time of year with the Premier League run-in and spring upon us with top events left right and centre. England reaching Sundays World T20 Final just adds to the mix. Cheap Jerseys 2020 Discount Jerseys NFL Jerseys Cheap Discount NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Discount NFL Jerseys ' ' '