Jays playing it cautious with Hill

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:39 PM ET

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Blue Jays are treating Aaron Hill like a china doll.

The Blue Jays second baseman who has yet to play in a regular spring training game due to a quad injury and has been getting the velvet glove treatment as the Jays seem to be spooked by the events of a year ago.

In the season opener in Texas last April, Hill tweaked his right hamstring and eventually was put on the disabled list April 12. It was an injury that nagged him all season and was a contributing factor in his wretched season where he hit all of .205.

On Thursday, Hill appeared in a minor league game following four at-bats in an inter-squad minor league game on Wednesday. In both games he was the DH.

“He’s clear to do all pre-game and baseball activities,” manager John Farrell said Thursday. “The one area that he’s still guarded and going at a controlled pace is when he breaks out of the box. I think there’s some confidence growing internally there with him as he gets some repetition under his belt with that.

“He’s obviously very important to us and at a minimum he is at least getting some timing down and getting live at-bats.

“I think at the outset we want to be sure that he comes out of the box without any restrictions and that will be the telltale sign because all the baseball activity, all the infield work, all of that is still being done. We feel like as long as he doesn’t have that reservation as strong in his mind there won’t be a hesitation to put him back into an A game.”

But it’s a chicken-and-egg type of thing. They’ve told him to take it slow coming out of the box and he won’t know how much it has healed unless he pushes it a bit.


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