LAKELAND, Fla. — Roberto Osuna had a rough go in his first World Baseball Classic outing for Mexico Friday night, allowing five runs (four earned) on three hits and a walk.
Osuna entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with a four-run lead and promptly allowed three consecutive doubles. The next batter reached on an error and Osuna walked the hitter after that before he was lifted from the game without recording an out.
It certainly didn’t look good, but Blue Jays pitching coaches watched the outing again Friday morning and felt Osuna pitched better than the results showed.
“They say it wasn’t that bad,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He should be fine.”
The Blue Jays were happy with Osuna’s velocity and don’t believe the rough results were a troubling sign. Asked how much stock he puts in World Baseball Classic performance, Gibbons didn’t flinch.
“None. Zero. Osuna’s our guy,” he said. “You never know what happens in those things. We’re not worried about that.”
Third baseman Josh Donaldson will likely get into a game next week as a designated hitter as he continues to recover from a right calf strain suffered early in camp.
Donaldson has been taking full-effort swings away from his teammates but is planning to join the full squad Saturday morning in Dunedin for on-field batting practice. He’s also hoping to take ground balls.
Gibbons says Donaldson will likely play the field in a game within 7-10 days, and potentially serve as designated hitter before that. The 31-year-old is expected to be ready to play on opening day.
“I don’t think he’s too far off,” Gibbons said. “You watch him in the cage and it doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat.”
Aaron Sanchez will make his first appearance of the spring Saturday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies, entering the game after starter Marco Estrada. Sanchez will throw 1-2 innings depending on his pitch count.
“He’s anxious,” Gibbons said. “He’s on track. He’ll be ready to go when [the regular season] starts.”