Gibbons on Blue Jays’ Castro: ‘He’s a special guy’

Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer in the third and Devon Travis added another one in the seventh as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the New York Yankees 6-1 on opening day.

NEW YORK – Some short hops from around the Toronto Blue Jays:

  • Miguel Castro looked just as unfazed by his big-league debut as he did all spring training. The right-hander took the ball, and dominated. “He’s a cool cat,” said manager John Gibbons. “He comes out there, you give him the ball, and he’s just staring at you with a little grin on his face. He’s a special guy. He’s got the arm, he can pitch, but he’s one of those guys with a slow heartbeat.” The 20-year-old’s first pitch in the majors – with two on and two out in the eighth – was 98 mph strike to Mark Teixeira, but Didi Gregorious inexplicably broke for third on the offering and was thrown out trying to steal third to end the frame. Castro came back out in the ninth, getting Teixeira on a soft fly ball to left, striking out Brian McCann and then getting Chase Headley on a liner to first.
  • The roles for Roberto Osuna and Miguel Castro? “Osuna, we’re not sure exactly how we’re going to break him in, we’ll let the game dictate that, I’m not afraid to use either one of them in the middle of the game or later,” said John Gibbons. “Osuna may be more of a multi-inning guy than Castro, we envision Castro being in a pretty important role.”
  • R.A. Dickey on the role veterans play in a clubhouse with six rookies: “These young kids, they’re like children – they’re watching their parents and seeing how to behave. If you behave the right way, they’re going to act the right way. Some of it is just that.”
  • Devon Travis needed just 18.56 seconds to circle the bases after his first career home run, according to @TaterTrotTrkr. “I don’t hit enough (home runs) to know they’re gone when I hit them,” said Travis. “I’m not going to break stride or slow down.”

  • What was Devon Travis thinking as he rounded the bases? “I had no idea where the ball landed, I never looked to see,” he recalled. “I honestly just rounded first base, heard the crowd scream, heard the crowd get quiet and I guessed that meant I got it and just finished my trip around the bases.”
  • Travis walked in his first ever big-league trip to the plate. “We saw it all spring, but you never know when the season starts, adrenaline starts flowing,” said John Gibbons. “But he has a great eye, very disciplined, small strike zone, he’s a little guy. But he did that all spring, he waited out and got pitches to hit all spring. That’s where he did his damage, and that’s just the way he plays. That’s a bonus.”

  • Count R.A. Dickey among those who miss Ryan Goins. “We just sent down one of the best defenders in the game in my opinion in Ryan Goins, so you’ve got depth,” said Dickey. “You’re no longer having to sling a Juan Francisco out there at every position, you’ve got a guy who can really defend just waiting for an opportunity.”
  • Jose Reyes gave Blue Jays fans a scare in the third inning when he pulled into second on a Chase Headley throwing error, and was attended to by the training staff. In the words of John Gibbons, Reyes’ Achilles “was barking a little bit.” Reyes stayed in the game, and is expected to play Wednesday.
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