DUNEDIN ó Thereís a fine line between an injured shoulder and one with normal springtime soreness. Blue Jay bullpen candidate Frank Francisco insists his is the latter.
ďI donít know if itís really sore,Ē said Francisco, the favourite to win the closerís role with Toronto. ďItís just adjusting to spring training. Itís getting ready, getting looser.
ďItís just me. Itís the way I start every year. Itís me.Ē
Francisco had asked to slow things down on Monday and on Tuesday he threw on flat ground, more long toss than throwing. Heíll do that for the next few days and is expected to go back to the mound on Thursday or Friday.
ďIím going to take a couple of days before my next bullpen, then two days rest. After two bullpens, Iím going to throw every other day and after four or five of those Iím going to try and pitch in a game.Ē
That would take him into the second week of Grapefruit League action before he pitches in a game.
ďItís not alarming,Ē said manager John Farrell. ďHeís still throwing a baseball. Weíve got a progression mapped out for him. In our conversations of late and over the winter with the people in Texas, this is very normal for him in the early days of spring training.
ďHe has a little bit of soreness but I wouldnít say itís an injury. He just likes to take things a little more slowly, a little more gradual buildup until he is able to get in games. Once he gets to that point, heís off and running like any other pitcher.Ē