Francisco's shoulder "getting looser"

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:31 PM ET

DUNEDIN Theres a fine line between an injured shoulder and one with normal springtime soreness. Blue Jay bullpen candidate Frank Francisco insists his is the latter.

I dont know if its really sore, said Francisco, the favourite to win the closers role with Toronto. Its just adjusting to spring training. Its getting ready, getting looser.

Its just me. Its the way I start every year. Its me.

Francisco had asked to slow things down on Monday and on Tuesday he threw on flat ground, more long toss than throwing. Hell do that for the next few days and is expected to go back to the mound on Thursday or Friday.

Im going to take a couple of days before my next bullpen, then two days rest. After two bullpens, Im going to throw every other day and after four or five of those Im going to try and pitch in a game.

That would take him into the second week of Grapefruit League action before he pitches in a game.

Its not alarming, said manager John Farrell. Hes still throwing a baseball. Weve 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.

He has a little bit of soreness but I wouldnt say its 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, hes off and running like any other pitcher.


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