Ryan shakes off rust in eight-pitch return

MIKE RUTSEY

, Last Updated: 6:51 AM ET

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- B.J. Ryan, who hadn't thrown in a game in 18 days, breezed through an inning in a minor-league outing yesterday.

The Jays closer had an eight-pitch outing followed by another 12 in the bullpen.

"It was extremely good," Ryan said.

"It's good to get out there and get people out.

"Now it's just a matter of getting my work in and staying strong."

Ryan was shut down after he experienced some pain in his lower back.

"I've always been able to bounce back quick," Ryan said. "And I worked (exercise and strengthening programs) at keeping my arm strong."

If he's going to be injured, spring is the time.

"I wasn't worried," he said. "But it stinks sitting and watching the team play every day. "But you have to be smart about it and get ready."

MAKES THE LIST

Veteran right-hander John Thomson will open the season on the disabled list because of soreness in his shoulder.

"We want him to keep strengthening his arm" general manager J.P. Ricciardi said.

"I think more time will allow him to keep building and getting where he was."

It also allows the Jays to retain an arm in case something happens to a starter.

'We know we're going to need more than five starters," Ricciardi added.

Ricciardi hopes Thomson can be the sixth or seventh starter.

READY TO RUMBLE

A.J. Burnett had his final outing of the spring yesterday against triple-A Ottawa. He didn't allow a run, gave up three hits and a walk against nine strikeouts.

"I wanted to end up on a positive note and I did,'' he said. "I feel great."

ROTATION CHANGE

With Kenny Rogers of the Tigers being placed on the disabled list with shoulder fatigue, Detroit's rotation for the opening series against Toronto will have Jeremy Bonderman pitching Game 1 on Monday, left-hander Nate Robertson going in Game 2 and Justin Verlander in the finale.


Videos

Photos