Floyd looking to improve after Blue Jays debut

Right-hander signed one-year deal with Toronto in February

Floyd looking to improve after Blue Jays debut

In his first Spring Training appearance of the season -- and first as a member of the Blue Jays -- Gavin Floyd experienced mixed results in the team's 10-8 victory over the Pirates on Thursday afternoon in Bradenton.

Floyd struggled with his command in a two-inning stint that saw the veteran right-hander allow two hits -- both doubles -- and one run with two strikeouts and a walk.

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The right-hander threw only one first-pitch strike to the nine batters he faced, and while he's happy to be healthy and pain free, he understands that there's work to be done.

"I expect to go out there and attack. Obviously, that wasn't the case today, but it's always something I can work on. I wish that I had better command, but I'll just make those adjustments and start to make quality pitches instead of falling behind," said Floyd, who has been limited to 92 innings over the past three seasons by elbow woes, including Tommy John surgery in May 2013.

"It's always an adjustment," he added. "You always go out there and use spring to try to make the adjustments, but it was definitely nice to be out there for the first time."

"His stuff was good," manager John Gibbons said. "He had trouble in the strike zone, he's done that before so he can make that adjustment but he had good life on everything which is what you really want to see.
 
"He's been a good starting pitcher in the big leagues, so he knows what he's doing. He's coming off the arm injury so if he's good and healthy, that's the number one thing."

Under the watchful eyes of then-Indians' President Mark Shapiro and VP of player personnel Ross Atkins, Gavin Floyd pitched effectively in seven relief appearances last September for Cleveland, compiling a 2.70 ERA while allowing 11 hits in 13 1/3 innings of work. Perhaps most notably, Floyd's fastball often topped 95 mph during each of his stints, so it was no surprise Shapiro and Atkins inked the veteran right-hander to a Blue Jays contract in February.

"To be able to let it go like that, do multiple innings and still feel like it was the first pitch was definitely very comforting, and after two innings, it feels like I can keep going," Floyd said.

"It feels like a normal elbow now, so I'm very thankful to be able to throw again."

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.