Old habits haunt Rios

MIKE RUTSEY

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

Alex Rios is falling back into old habits.

When he first arrived in the major leagues, Rios, the Jays right fielder, had the bad habit of having a reverse weight shift in his swing, which led to a reduction in power.

Through constant practice with hitting coach Mickey Brantley and a lot of hard work on his own, Rios gradually corrected the flaw.

Through spring training and into the opening games of the 2007 season, however, Rios has reverted to his old mechanics.

"Alex is getting caught back there," Brantley said of Rios' swing mechanics. "He's not making that little positive (forward) step.

"When you get caught back, the ball is travelling too far. If he doesn't make that positive move, the barrel (of the bat) stays behind him and he can't get it out. So he's making a negative move when he shifts (back) which is good, but he's not coming back to his target and getting his momentum going to the ball."

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Despite throwing 24 pitches in his disastrous ninth inning Friday, closer B.J. Ryan was available for duty last night.

"Yeah, why wouldn't he be?" Jays manager John Gibbons replied when asked. "If he had thrown two games in a row, then probably not. But at this time of the year, yeah, he's available."


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