Camp Report: Catalanotto Enjoyed WBC Tour

In todays camp report we talk to Frank Catalanotto about his experience at the World Baseball Classic. In our news and quotes section we spotlight A.J. Burnett, and the changes he is trying to make at camp with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg. We also find out why Josh Towers was told to make the bus ride to Winter Haven and not stay back home to pitch on Tuesday, and much more.

Blue Jays left fielder Frank Catalanotto got a lot more than he bargained for when he played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

"I haven't been to Italy before, but I plan on going this offseason," Catalanotto said. "Everyone (on Team Italy) said that I won't want to come back once I go there."

Friendships, he said, grew quickly.

"Some of the guys were straight from Italy, some of them spoke no English at all, some spoke broken English," Catalanotto said. "I made some friends, we exchanged e-mail addresses and we're going to keep in touch. When I go to Italy, these guys are going to help me out, and that's pretty cool.

"I also started a friendship with Mike Piazza; he's a great guy. I got to hang out with him, talk baseball with him. Overall it was a great experience. It was nothing but positive stuff, and they treated us really great."


--In Monday's game against Houston, thanks to the return of OF Frank Catalanotto from Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic, manager John Gibbons was able to pencil eight of nine starters into his lineup. The Jays had Russ Adams at short, Catalanotto in left, Shea Hillenbrand as the DH, Troy Glaus at third, Lyle Overbay at first, Bengie Molina at catcher, Eric Hinske in right and Aaron Hill at second. The only player missing was Vernon Wells, who is playing for Team USA.

--RHP A.J. Burnett allowed two runs on two hits in four innings Monday as he worked on No. 1 pitch, his four-season fastball.

"The one thing you get from (Brad) Arnsberg (the Jays pitching coach) is you got to hit that low and away anytime in the game, and I got away from that," in his previous start when he threw a lot of breaking balls and changeups, Burnett said. "That's my bread and butter (the four-seamer), that's what I'm known for, and that's how I get guys out, so I need to get that going early as opposed to mixing everything else in and working off other things. You work off your fastball, and that's what I wanted to do more today."

Burnett also walked two and struck out six.

--RHP Josh Towers was assigned to make the bus ride to Winter Haven, Fla., instead of facing the Devil Rays at home in Dunedin in Tuesday's split-squad games.

"He'll see enough of Tampa Bay (during the regular season)," manager John Gibbons said. "He might have to face them in the first go-round."

--LHP B.J. Ryan, the Jays closer, came on in relief Monday in the sixth inning to make his fourth appearance of the spring. Ryan is scheduled to pitch again Wednesday against Cleveland. For that game and for the remainder of the spring, Ryan only will enter games in the final inning.

--LHP Scott Schoeneweis gave up a three-run home run to Houston's Kevin Orie on Monday. It was the first homer surrendered this spring by a member of the Jays' projected seven-man bullpen.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Eric Hinske's home run total, which led the Blue Jays after their opening 10 spring training games.

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