February 19, 2008
Jays escape the infirmary
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
It may not feel like it now, but in no time flat you will be hauling out the sunscreen in preparation for a Blue Jays game.
With the attendance at the Bobby Mattick minor league training facility in Dunedin growing by the day, all the signs point to everyone being "this close" to escaping those winter doldrums.
Jays camp is heavy with discussion surrounding those returning from injury after a 2007 season riddled with man-games-lost.
With pitchers and catchers reporting last week it was B.J. Ryan garnering the majority of the media attention. The lights-out closer drew a crowd as he threw from the mound showing how his rehab from Tommy John surgery last May is going well.
Yes -- Jeremy Accardo did an admirable job in Ryan's place, taking over as closer but facts are facts: No one but B.J. is B.J.
More notables returning from injuries and/or surgeries in a tough '07 include: Lyle Overbay (hand), Reed Johnson (herniated disc surgery) and Gregg Zaun (thumb). All were injured and returned last season, but all are ready for fresh starts.
While he played out the 2007 season, Vernon Wells wasted no time getting his ailing shoulder surgically repaired.
It is expected VW will be 100 per cent ready to start this season.
With the oft-injured, limp-a-long Troy Glaus gone many will likely spend much time scrutinizing the health of Scott Rolen. Rolen comes to his first Jays camp after needing a season ending operation to clean up scar tissue in his left shoulder in September.
Oh yes, we are talking baseball.
A few confused groundhogs can't tell you when spring has sprung, but who needs a rodent when we have Major League confirmations?