DUNEDIN, Fla. -- R.A. Dickey and J.P. Arencibia rejoined the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon following Team USA's loss to Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic the night before.
The Americans found themselves needing a win to advance into the semifinals but instead came out on the wrong end of a 4-3 ballgame.
The morning after the loss, Dickey and Arencibia made the four-plus hour drive from Miami to Dunedin for the Blue Jays' game against the Orioles.
"It was a bittersweet experience," Dickey said. "A great experience to be in that environment and with that amount of energy. But it was bittersweet in the sense that we could have done a lot better, should have done a lot better.
"It was heartbreaking to lose. We wanted to represent our country a little bit better than we did, and we were unable to do that, so it hurts."
Dickey struggled in the first round of the tournament by surrendering four runs over four innings of work to Team Mexico. He received a second chance in Round 2 and redeemed himself by allowing just one run in five strong innings of work.
In many ways, the Classic is a challenging tournament to pitch in because while the level of competition is high and the atmosphere is intense, players are not exactly in midseason form.
Dickey found himself fatigued during his first start, but by the time he took the mound in the second round he noticed his endurance was improved. He threw 82 pitches in that outing against the Dominican Republic and seems to be rounding into form as the regular season approaches.
"In the first game, your heart wants to step on the gas, but your body just can't really do it yet," Dickey said. "That was only my third outing since Oct. 2, so as much as I wanted to be in midseason form, my body didn't cooperate.
"Every two or three days I get a little bit stronger. The last game was a little bit more indicative of how I feel like I'll be performing on a normal basis."
Arencibia was behind the plate for both of Dickey's starts. The Blue Jays have yet to make an announcement on who will become Dickey's catcher this season, but Arencibia has made no secret of the fact that he would like to be the guy.
The 27-year-old Arencibia was charged with one passed ball against the Dominicans but appeared comfortable behind the plate as Dickey's knuckleball continues to improve with each outing.
"I've felt good with him," Arencibia said. "I felt great, I was able to catch it well and it's something that I'm comfortable with."
Despite strong start, Happ looks headed for Minors
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- J.A. Happ has yet to sit down with the Blue Jays to go over his uncertain future, but he expects the conversation to take place in the near future.
Happ told reporters earlier this week that he wanted to talk with general manager Alex Anthopoulos about his role in the organization.
The meeting could be expanded to include the Blue Jays' coaching staff and perhaps even Happ's agent, but there is no immediate timeframe for when it would occur.
"It seems like we're kind of getting down to it," said Happ, who added he would probably initiate the discussion. "I don't know, we'll see."
Happ expressed some discontent about his role in Toronto earlier this week. Despite a strong spring, Happ is not in contention for a job in the starting rotation and is expected to begin the year at Triple-A Buffalo.
That will be a hard development for the six-year veteran to take. When asked earlier in the week if he would prefer starting in Buffalo or pitching out of the bullpen in Toronto he responded: "I'm a Major League starting pitcher."
Happ did not back down from those statements Saturday but did add that he was not trying to cause any trouble inside the clubhouse.
"I was asked directly am I frustrated, and I responded yes," Happ said. "I didn't feel like I was visibly frustrated. That wasn't my point, I was just trying to talk about the outing. I was answering some questions honestly.
"I'm trying to keep the positivity going and not trying to cause a big deal here. It is what it is. That stuff will be handled in private, I hope."
It is only Spring Training, but Happ has looked impressive early on. He has allowed just four runs on 17 hits while striking out 11 and walking just one in 13 innings of work.
The 30-year-old is currently considered a key part of the organization's pitching depth but likely considers himself overqualified for the Minors. He has a 4.19 ERA in 116 games and has been a mainstay in the big leagues since 2009.
Santos solid in return for Blue Jays
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Right-hander Sergio Santos made quick work of the Orioles on Saturday afternoon by throwing one scoreless inning in his first game since suffering a minor right-arm injury.
Santos retired all three batters he faced and threw just nine pitches. He induced one ground ball while recording the other two outs in the air.
"It felt good; I was happy with the inning," Santos said. "I was throwing strikes for the most part. The ball was coming out great. I felt fine, just building on another good day."
Until Saturday, Santos had not thrown in a Grapefruit League game since March 3 against the Phillies. He experienced some discomfort in his right triceps muscle later that night and was eventually shut down for almost a week.
Santos prepared for his outing against the Orioles by pitching in one Minor League game earlier this week, and he is now expected to resume a full schedule of work.
The California native is set to pitch again Tuesday in relief of Mark Buehrle. Santos would also like to throw on back-to-back days and pitch two innings in an outing before heading north for the start of the regular season.
"There's nothing right now that I'm worried about or thinking it might come back," Santos said of his injury. "I should be ready to go again on Tuesday."