TORONTO – Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is still waiting for his first win under Major League Baseball's new challenge system; the skipper is 0-3 in the regular season, 0-6 including Grapefruit League play.
Still, he's a supporter.
"I think in the long run it will be good," said Gibbons.
Gibbons didn't challenge a play in Wednesday night's win over the Astros, which, upon further review, may have been overturned. Ryan Goins was picked off first base in the sixth inning but it appeared first baseman Marc Krauss' glove swept the dirt and tagged Goins high on the shoulder after the runner had touched the bag.
The Blue Jays didn't have access to all replay angles; the angles they had were inconclusive.
Gibbons has previously expressed regret that the challenge system has sapped the intensity of manager/umpire arguments. He's worried about the in-game delays and the effect on pace of play.
Rather than just complaining, Gibbons proposes a solution.
"Keep it the way it is but don't give the teams the benefit of being able to look at it behind the scenes," he said. "I think if, it'd be like the old days, you could go out and argue if you think the guy missed it that bad you go out and argue. Of course they're not going to look at it. This way, then they can say, 'Okay, you think I missed it that bad, check it out.' I think what happens when you have the ability to look at it behind the scenes, you can go out there on every close play there is.
"In a lot of ways you're guessing. I think that slows the game down. If you're that serious about a particular call and you think he missed it, roll the dice without the benefit of looking at it."
Gibbons incorrectly challenged a call in the fifth inning of Thursday night's game against Houston when the replay system confirmed Melky Cabrera was out on a bang-bang play at first base.
WAGNER'S LONG DAY
Neil Wagner threw two scoreless innings in Toronto's 7-3 win over Houston on Wednesday night.
It was the culmination of a long day of travel for Wagner, who was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.
Wagner was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where the Bisons were getting ready to play the LeHigh Valley Ironpigs. He took an hour and a half taxi ride to the Philadelphia airport, flew to Toronto and arrived at the stadium 10 minutes before first pitch.
"It was actually just kind of easy," said Wagner. "I just woke up, did my normal thing in the morning and then instead of going through the normal pre-game routine I was just travelling, got here and I was able to play a little catch."
Wagner got his arm loose playing catch with left fielder Melky Cabrera at the start of each defensive inning.
Casey Janssen and J.A. Happ are both expected to come off the disabled list sooner rather than later, which will create a logjam in the bullpen. Wagner is in his final option year, the reason he got sent down last month, and knows he could again fall victim to the business of the game.
"Options are the one thing for free in this game that you don't want," said Wagner. "I can't control having them, I can't give them to other people so I have them and if I get optioned against at some point, so be it. Just keep doing what I do and hopefully at some point, be back."
Reliever Steve Delabar was in good humour one day after taking a line drive off the outside of his right leg, below the knee. The ball ricocheted to Edwin Encarnacion at first base, who stepped on the bag for the easy out.
"That was the plan," said Delabar. "When I came out of the bullpen they said, if you get hit with a line drive make sure your leg is angled."
Delabar is using the RICE treatment method with the bruising: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
While Delabar won't pitch on Thursday, he doesn't expect to miss any time.
"I could go, yes," said Delabar. "But I think they're going to be cautious with it."