No relief: Francisco, Dotel still hurting

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:24 PM ET

TAMPA — Another day and more bad news on the reliever front.

Specifically, we’re talking about the Blue Jays new closer Frank Francisco and veteran right-hander Octavio Dotel.

Francisco threw a bullpen session on Saturday back at the Jays camp in Dunedin and afterwards said he still felt a knot and had some discomfort in the pec area of his right shoulder, so the plan to have him throw in a minor-league game on Monday was cancelled.

“Again we have to continue to evaluate it day to day and hopefully opening day is still a possibility, but without anything definitive today we’re still uncertain about it,” manager John Farrell said.

As for Dotel, he threw a bullpen session Saturday as well but still is hampered somewhat by the hamstring issue.

With the clock counting down to the April 1 season opener, it seems unlikely that either reliever will be ready for duty.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos said that the Jays would make a decision by mid-week on both relievers.

The good news is the Jays came into camp armed with a glut of relievers, so their butts are covered in that department.

Farrell said that Francisco had an MRI on Friday and it came back “completely clean.” However, Francisco had this problem at the end of last season and now it has cropped up again.

That’s not a good sign.

Farrell added that veteran right-hander Jon Rauch, who had 21 saves for the Twins last season, would be the closer supported by Jason Frasor if Francisco has to go on the disabled list.


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