Jays Watch: Francisco still the closer

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:07 AM ET

Frank Francisco remains the Blue Jays’ closer of choice, but that designation may be up for review at a moment’s notice.

Francisco failed to hold a one-run lead for Ricky Romero in the ninth inning Tuesday. Manager John Farrell gave him an endorsement Wednesday, though it came across as somewhat lukewarm.

“We haven’t anointed anyone else,” Farrell said, “yet we still have other options to close. Frank is still looked upon as a guy who will finish out games in the ninth inning. If availability or matchups prove otherwise, then we’ve got other options, that being (Octavio) Dotel, (Jason) Frasor or (Jon) Rauch.”

Farrell doesn’t see velocity or pitch movement as a problem but Francisco’s command within the strike zone has been flawed.

“There’s not a dropoff in velocity. I didn’t think there was a difference to the finish of his secondary pitches.

“When he’s missed, he’s missed on the plate.”

Lind improving

Adam Lind is expected to get back into some extended spring training games this weekend as his sore lower back continues to improve.

“Adam continues to ramp up the intensity of the work and feels no restrictions swinging,” Farrell said. “He took some ground balls at first, so he feels better making all those movements. I can’t say it has sped up his time frame.”

Litsch hurting

The shoulder impingement that put Jesse Litsch on the disabled list last week continues to cause him pain. He will be seeing Dr. Tony Mirabella in Florida tomorrow to have the injury assessed.

Litsch had Tommy John surgery to reconstruct his pitching elbow two years ago but has not previously had any shoulder problems. He had hoped to get back on the mound this week but that process is now on hold.

Bronx bummer

The Blue Jays have now lost 25 of their last 41 games in the Bronx and are 9-15 at the new Yankee Stadium.


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