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News » Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2009-03-21


Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2009-03-21


Toronto Blue Jays Notes, Quotes 2009-03-21
--CF Vernon Wells finally got into his first spring training "A" game on March 20 against the Rays when he was the designated hitter. The Blue Jays have taken it slowly with Wells since he pulled his left hamstring on Feb. 23. Wells was scheduled to be eased back into his position in center field by playing three innings Saturday against the Tigers. "If this was during the season, I would've been playing a week, week and a half ago," Wells said.

--RF Alex Rios checked back into the Blue Jays camp with decidedly mixed emotions. "I wish I was still playing," he said of playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. "I was having a great time. It was perfect." Perfect until the United States staged a three-run rally in the ninth inning to beat the Puerto Ricans by a run and knock them out of the competition. "Yeah, that was horrible," Rios said. "Now I'm back to reality." With the intensity that the WBC brings, and being a starter, Rios figures he's ahead of a lot of his Toronto teammates at the plate. "Probably," he said. "When you're playing those games, it's more like the regular season," he said. "You're a little more prepared than in a spring training game, so I'm right there with my swing."

--C Rod Barajas is not surprised that rookie left-hander Brad Mills is being given every opportunity to claim one of the open spots in the Blue Jays rotation. "I think he's got good enough stuff," Barajas said. "He's got deception, he's got two good off-speed pitches that are going to make him a better pitcher. He's got three quality big-league pitches (fastball, slider, curveball). There's no way that I'm surprised that he's still around."

--RHP Casey Janssen probably was knocked out of the running for one of the spots in the rotation when he felt tightness in the back of his right shoulder and had to leave his start against the Yankees on March 19 after facing only four batters. The Blue Jays were awaiting the results of an MRI exam, but the early diagnosis was that there is no structural damage and the injury is not related to the surgery on his torn labrum that wiped out his 2008 season. Time, though, is not on his side.

--RHP Brian Wolfe is back throwing at 90 feet on flat ground after an MRI exam revealed no damage in his throwing shoulder. Wolfe, who had to leave a game in Port Charlotte, Fla., on March 10, also received a cortisone shot. It is not known when he will return to the mound for bullpen sessions. Wolfe came into camp with an outside shot at making the team as a reliever.

BY THE NUMBERS: 41 -- The number of major league victories by the 24 healthy pitchers on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster in 2008, not counting Roy Halladay's 20 wins.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "The way he is right now, this is the best I've ever seen him. And saying he's the best that I've ever seen him, I mean that his secondary pitches, his slider and his split are so much better than they were." -- Pitching coach Brad Arnsberg on hard-throwing RHP Brandon League, who has been nagged by minor injuries the last three years.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 21, 2009

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