Jays taking it easy with Hill

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:42 PM ET

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Second baseman Aaron Hill played in his first regular scheduled spring-training game Tuesday but there’s still some concern that he may not be ready for the start of the season.

That downer came from Hill, who has been hobbled by a right quad injury.

“It was good to get out there and see what I’ve got,” said Hill who moved at half speed coming out of the box and three-quarters speed in the infield. “I can play but it’s going to be their decision (Opening Day). Hopefully it will be fine by then but it will be their decision if they want to go forward with me being at 80, 90%.

“It is better for the long run to not be stupid (and rush it), I guess.”

Even though it was his first day in an A game, the Jays plan to run him out against the Yankees Wednesday night in Tampa as he’d have more than 24 hours of recovery time between games.

Hill, who was 0-for-3, wasn’t the lone Jay making it back due to injury.

At the minor-league complex, right-hander Octavio Dotel, who has been out of action with a hamstring issue, threw one inning in a minor-league game.

“An encouraging outing just from an arm-strength standpoint and not favouring anything in his hamstring from his delivery. Everything was normal,” manager John Farrell said. “Right now we’re looking at one more minor-league game before we make that determination (Opening Day) and slot him back in an A game.”

Meanwhile, the news concerning closer Frank Francisco was both good and bad. An examination by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., showed no structural damage but confirmed tenderness in his right pectoral muscle and inflammation in his right biceps. He is not expected to be ready by the start of the season shifting the closer responsibilities to RHP Jon Rauch.


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