The day came and went but no celebratory cake was placed in the vicinity of Jason Frasor’s locker.
No birthday candles to blow out or anniversary gift to buy for his wife. March 30, though, is the eighth anniversary of the trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that brought Frasor to Toronto — the first time.
Last season, Frasor was traded to the White Sox on July 27 but that deal ended up being more of a loaner as the Blue Jays reacquired him on New Year’s Day.
The March 30 date, though, is the most meaningful one of the right-handed relievers’ career.
“I remember that day and it feels like a long time ago,” Frasor said. “I remember walking into the clubhouse (Dodgers) and one of my teammates, I can’t remember his name now, he said: ‘Frasor, you’re still here?’ He knew before I did. I said: ‘What do you mean?’ Then I saw a coach and he walked me into the manager’s office.
“But I’ll never forget the ‘Frasor, you’re still here?’”
Keeping on memory lane, Frasor carried on.
“I didn’t know anything about the Blue Jays,” he said. “At that point, I didn’t know who Roy Halladay was. I knew who Vernon Wells was but I couldn’t name two guys on the team at that point.”
There’s been a lot of water pass under the bridge since the day the Dodgers sent Frasor over for outfielder Jayson Werth.
“Looking back it’s the greatest thing that ever happened to Jason Frasor besides meeting my wife,” he said. “With L.A. it would have been tough for me to establish myself. I wasn’t one of their guys.
“I get traded here and got an opportunity that I wouldn’t have had with them and it worked out great. It feels right being back.”
This marks the ninth season that Frasor has suited up for the Jays and the organization’s career leader in pitching performances believes it’s one of the best.
“I like this team, I like this team a lot,” he said. “We’re very athletic and that hasn’t been the Blue Jays way up until the last few years. We’re bigger, stronger, faster, quicker and a great bunch of guys.
“We’re just a more exciting, younger, more athletic team and that’s great.”
Adam Lind had a smile, not a grimace which is all the news you need to know considering his lower back pain.
Thing was that Friday morning both before and following his baseball activities — some work in the indoor batting cage — Lind wasn’t feeling any pain at all.
“It’s much better, I’m doing all the treatments,” Lind reported. “I did everything for baseball today except fielding. I’ll do everything tomorrow, batting practice, everything except the game.
Lind, who spent a stretch on the disabled list last season because of lower back pain, felt tightness in his back while preparing for Tuesday night’s game against the Yankees. Initially the Jays had him pegged to be in a game Saturday but they pushed that plan back a day and he is now scheduled to start at home Sunday.
“I think they want to take it slow,” Lind said of what it all means.
What does he feel when he’s taking his cuts?
“Nothing, it felt good,” he replied. “It’s nice to be soreness free. It felt good.”
While Lind is walking around and smiling and set to play this weekend in preparation for next Thursday’s season opener in Cleveland, Dustin McGowan won’t be making the trip.
The big right-hander, who is bothered by plantar fasciitis, which first surfaced last Sunday, is not even playing catch and Friday, manager John Farrell said he is likely heading for the disabled list.
“Everything’s pointing in that direction,” Farrell said of the DL. “With us opening up less than a week from today and he's unable to throw a baseball, it’s likely that he goes on the disabled list.”
The Jays remain coy about announcing their rotation even though everybody knows it will be Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Henderson Alvarez and Kyle Drabek as No. 5 over Aaron Laffey.
“We haven’t made that announcement official,” Farrell said. “We’re getting close to a decision.”
The Jays are treating the makeup of their rotation as a state secret and Farrell won’t even concede that Cecil will be their No. 3 starter.
“Well, Brett lines up for that three hole,” he said. “He’s scheduled to pitch again over in Lakeland (Monday, the penultimate spring training game). Without officially naming it, he’s the guy that lines naturally for that.
“We want to get through this rotation one last time before we make any final announcements.”