Every year you make sure to check out the players an organization sends to the Arizona Fall League. Vapormax 2020 . These can be players the team is fast tracking to the Bigs, players changing positions or players needing extra work while rehabbing from injuries. The Blue Jays have seven prospects playing this year with the Salt River Rafters: four pitchers, a catcher, an infielder and an outfielder. The four of most interest are all pitchers - Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and John Stillson. Hutchison, coming off of Tommy John surgery, pitched 35.1 innings this past season split among Single, Double and Triple-A. Clearly, the Jays are trying to get him more work to hasten his return to the big club. Hutchison has been pretty sharp making four starts for the Rafters, going 1-0 with a 0.57 ERA and with two walks and 14 strikeouts over 15.2 innings. As good as he looked, when you consider how few innings he pitched this past season, it would still make a lot more sense for Hutchison to spend the bulk, if not the entire coming season, in Double and Triple-A. Aaron Sanchez is two years younger than Hutchison at 21, but is regarded as the Jays top pitching prospect what with the trades of Justin Nicolino to the Miami Marlins and Noah Syndergaard to the New York Mets a year ago. The only real knock so far on Sanchez has been his control. With the Rafters, he has eight walks in 13.1 innings, but otherwise, the numbers look pretty good. In four starts hes 0-1 with 10 strikeouts and a 1.35 ERA. However, it still looks as though hes at least another year away from a shot at the Majors. The other two are puzzlers. After a year starting at Double and Triple-A, 22-year-old Marcus Stroman is only working in relief in the AFL. Hes pitched in seven games, just 7.2 innings and is 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA. Hes struck out six and walked only 3 and opponents have only hit .207 off him. Alex Anthopoulos said towards the end of this season, he might trade some of the Blue Jays bullpen depth, to fill other holes. So, perhaps, Stroman will move into the Jays pen to fill one of the created openings. The fourth pitcher is right-hander John Stillson, who greatly impressed skipper John Gibbons last spring. The 23-year-old right out of Texas A&M went 6-2 at Triple-A Buffalo out of the bullpen with four saves. He struck out 47 and walked 15. Unfortunately, he hasnt pitched well in the AFL. Hes appeared in just three games out of the pen going only two-and-a-third innings and getting hit hard. Stillsons ERA is 23.14 and batters are hitting .438 against him. Yes, there is still Kyle Drabek and the impending return of Brandon Morrow from his injury and the possibility that Ricky Romero has a shocking return to form, but its still pretty clear Alex Anthopoulos is going to have to do most of his searching for pitching help outside the organization in the off-season. Monday at 5:00pm et. is the deadline for teams to make qualifying offers of to their perspective free agents. The Blue Jays are not expected to tender right-hander Josh Johnson who went 2-8 in an injury plagued first campaign with the Jays. The Blue Jays were supposed to have met with their medical people over the weekend to determine if it was worth making Johnson any sort of offer at all, say in the $2-3M range for one season. Interest in Tanaka A reworked Japanese player-posting system havent been put into place yet, but the interest in Masahiro Tanaka continues to skyrocket. The 25-year-old who went 24-0 this season for the Rakuten Golden Eagles, threw 160 pitches in a complete game loss in Game 6 of the Japanese World Series to the Yomiuri Giants. The very next day, though, in Game 7, Tanaka came right back and threw 15 more pitches in the ninth to nail down the victory and give Rakuten its first league title ever. The New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs just a few of the clubs who want to get into the bidding once a new posting system is in place. Bay Area Share? There is a chance that the Oakland Athletics could be playing in the San Francisco Giants ballpark for the next two years. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, unless the As can get a two-year lease agreement in Oakland rather than the six-to-eight-year deal the O.co Coliseum people want, they will be playing out of AT&T Park as soon as this spring. The As want to maintain their flexibility so they can move someplace else if a new facility isnt built in Oakland. A few scheduling details would have to be worked out, since, right now, the As and Giants are both scheduled to play eight games at home on the same days. End of the Astrodome? The fate of the sports first indoor facility, the Houston Astrodome, could well be decided shortly. There is a vote being taken on Tuesday on a $217M bond issue on whether to transform the Astrodome into a convention and exhibition centre. If the nays carry the vote, the Astrodome, which opened in 1965, will be leveled. Vapormax From China . - Jesse Shynkaruk scored a hat trick as the Moose Jaw Warriors snapped a seven-game losing streak with an 8-2 win over the Prince Albert Raiders in Western Hockey League action on Saturday. Clearance Air Vapormax .Shipulin pulled away from Martin Fourcade of France, Simon Eder of Austria and Fredrik Lindstrom of Sweden to finish in 35 minutes 16.8 seconds. Fourcade was 1.2 seconds back in second place to reclaim the overall World Cup lead, with Eder another 0. OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant put a dazzling end to Memphis gritty comeback. The Grizzlies erased most of a 25-point deficit before Durant, the leagues scoring champion, got hot. He scored 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Memphis 100-86 on Saturday night in the opening game of their first-round playoff series. The Thunder already were regaining control in the fourth quarter before Durant took over. He scored 11 points in a 5-minute, 21-second surge that stretched Oklahoma Citys lead from seven points to 14 and put the game out of reach. "We just stayed together," Durant said. "We made plays in the fourth quarter. The third quarter was tough for us, but we stayed together. We didnt stray away." Russell Westbrook had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder. Zach Randolph led Memphis with 21 points and 11 rebounds, but he made just seven of 21 shots and got into foul trouble in the second half. Mike Conley had 16 points and 11 assists, Marc Gasol scored 16 points and Tony Allen added 13 points for the Grizzlies. Memphis might have stolen the game if not for a miserable first half. "Weve got to make adjustments to get off to a better start," Randolph said. "We cant exert so much energy trying to come back from 20 points. Its the first game, weve got to stick together. Weve been here before, we know what weve got to do and come out and be ready for Monday." Memphis shot just 36 per cent from the field and made just 18 of 31 free throws. "We got good looks. I cant say it was anything other than that," Conley said. "We got good looks. We got some open 3s. Our bigs got some good looks in the post. We just didnt knock them down. We have to be more focused at the line as well. Making free throws is a big deal for us. We got opportunities. Weve got to make them." Oklahoma City was the only home team to win on the first day of the post-season, but the Thunder nearly made it four losses for higher seeds after getting outscored 31-13 in the third quarter. "We didnt want to be the leading trend on losing a home game," Westbrook said. "Were just happy we won a game. We did a great job of just coming out and hitting them first. Theyre a physical team and we did a great job of going by our game plan." The Thunder pushed the pace to take an 8-0 lead, and Memphis called a timeoutt less than three minutes into the game. Fake Vapormax. Conley finally scored Memphis first point at the 9:04 mark after the Grizzlies missed their first five shots. The Thunder led 29-16 at the end of the first period. Oklahoma City shot 52 per cent in the first 12 minutes while holding the Grizzlies to 17 per cent shooting. Oklahoma City continued the onslaught into the second quarter and took a 56-34 advantage into the locker room. Memphis scored the first six points of the second half, and though Oklahoma City quickly called a timeout, the Grizzlies continued their surge. A three-point play by Allen trimmed the Thunders lead to 60-51, and by the end of the third quarter, Memphis had cut its deficit to 69-65. Allen scored nine points in the third quarter, and Randolph scored eight. Memphis held Oklahoma City to 3-for-16 shooting in the period. "I just think as a point guard, my job is to set the tone, and I didnt do a great job of that in the third quarter, of coming out and setting the tone," Westbrook said. "I had a few bad turnovers and kind of let them get easy baskets. Ive got to do a better job of that." The Grizzlies had whittled Oklahoma Citys lead down to three early in the fourth before a powerful drive and jam by Caron Butler brought life back to the nervous arena and gave the Thunder a 74-69 lead with just under nine minutes to play. Memphis Mike Miller came back with a 3-pointer to make it a two-point game, but the Thunder responded with a 13-1 run. Though Oklahoma City held on, Memphis will take confidence from its rally into Game 2. "We see what we did," Randolph said. "I think we cut it down to two, and they made another run, but we see what we can do. We know what we can do and weve got to come like that at the beginning of the game." NOTES: Saturday was the 19-year anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. The crowd observed a moment of silence before tip-off. ... Memphis reserve point guard Nick Calathes has been suspended for 20 games for violating the NBAs anti-drug policy, starting Saturday. The league said Friday night in a release that Calathes tested positive for tamoxifen. "It is what it is," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said before the game. "Weve dealt with adversity all season." ... Thunder rookie Steven Adams blocked three shots in the first quarter in just 1:26. The Thunder blocked five shots in the period. ' ' '
anging positions or pl
anging positions or pl