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News » Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2009-03-01

Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2009-03-01

Toronto Blue Jays Inside Pitch 2009-03-01
Somewhat lost in the circus of the Yankees and third baseman Alex Rodriguez opening the Blue Jays' spring training exhibition schedule was the presence of the Aaron Hill at second base for Toronto.

It marked the first time Hill had played in a game since he suffered a concussion following a collision back of second base last May 29.

"I felt pretty relaxed when I got out there," Hill said. "It was all very normal, you know? And that's what I wanted.

"This has pretty much been like any other spring. It's really like all that other stuff's over with. I like where my game is. I really like how I feel. Now, I just want to have to turn two (a double play). I want somebody to come in hard so I can say: 'OK, let's start."

Manager Cito Gaston, meanwhile, is looking for Hill to bat second in his lineup. He believes he has the versatility in his game that batting No. 2 in a lineup demands.

On some occasions, Gaston will be asking Hill to sacrifice himself up while in other situations he'll be asked to drive the ball. Hill, a smart hitter, can do both.

"If Doc (Roy Halladay) is pitching and we have a guy on second base, I might ask (Hill) to hit the ball the other way," Gaston said. "If someone else is pitching, someone who we need to score more runs for, it'd be, 'Hey, drive him in.' Then there are times when I like to get guys a run in the first inning and take some pressure off with them. So you might ask a guy to bunt the runner over even it's early in the game."

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: March 1, 2009

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