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MacArthur: Gibbons says Janssen ready; Janssen not sure

Scott MacArthur
3/23/2013 5:30:40 PM
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DUNEDIN, Florida - Casey Janssen's efficient one inning appearance in Saturday's game against the Red Sox has manager John Gibbons confident he'll break camp with the club.

"Yeah, I don't see why not," said Gibbons. "He's good to go with no setbacks. I thought he looked pretty good."

Janssen, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, says he's "hopeful" but is noncommittal when pressed for a schedule.

"I think it's more realistic as you continue to go out there and the bouncing back kind of stuff," said Janssen of being ready for opening day. "But I've said it before I don't want to go up there and find my way. I want to be good when I'm up there and I don't think it's fair to the team or myself to be figuring out stuff or be working on stuff during game situations."

Janssen threw 11 pitches on Saturday; on Sunday his shoulder was sore but it's pain Janssen says he expected.

"Everybody has general soreness," said Janssen. "Sometimes dialing it back up is okay; sometimes it's a little more difficult. In July, you have an 11-pitch outing and normally it doesn't feel like you pitched. Today, I definitely knew I threw yesterday."

Janssen is the Blue Jays' closer if he's ready. If not, Sergio Santos will be in the ninth inning role to start the season. The state of Janssen's health potentially will have residual effects on Brett Cecil, Jeremy Jeffress and David Bush.

It's that depth, Janssen feels, that allows him to take his time.

"We've got a lot of great arms, Sergio's more than capable (of closing,") said Janssen. "I don't want to be a disservice to what we've got going."

BRANDON MORROW

Morrow pitched 5.1 innings, allowing five earned runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out two in the Blue Jays' 10-5 loss to Atlanta on Saturday.

Morrow had a good outing until the fifth inning when, after their first two hitters were retired, Atlanta batted around.

"It was hot out there today," said Morrow. "Mother Nature flipped the switch on us, went from winter to summer in 48 hours, my legs were getting a little tired."

Morrow expects to throw about 85 pitches in his final spring start, likely Thursday against the Phillies in Clearwater.

Of note, struggling former Blue Jays' ace Roy Halladay is scheduled to pitch that game for the Phillies.

DUSTIN McGOWAN

McGowan, who turns 31 on Sunday, threw 15 pitches in a minor league game on Saturday. He's attempting to come back from three shoulder surgeries and has pitched in just five major league games in five seasons, all in September 2011.

McGowan has managed to maintain perspective despite a promising career derailed by injuries.

"I believe everything happens for a reason and we'll see what that reason is down the line," said McGowan. "People learn from their mistakes; this, you learn how to be strong and how to go through it. If it ever arises again you know what to expect."

If all goes according to plan, McGowan will pitch in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Pirates.

BRETT LAWRIE

Lawrie, 23, hit off a tee for the first time since suffering a strained rib cage muscle March 5. He's been taking groundballs, too, and the next step is batting practice. The Blue Jays hope to get him in to a game next week and the sooner the better.

Manager John Gibbons has said Mark DeRosa will be the opening day third baseman if Lawrie isn't ready to start the season.

EDWIN ENCARNACION

Encarnacion jammed his right index finger in his final at-bat at the World Baseball Classic. The injury isn't considered serious and manager John Gibbons suggested Encarnacion could play in Monday's game against the Phillies.

SUNDAY

The Blue Jays travel to Fort Myers to visit the Twins on Sunday, 1:05 ET.

Dave Bush and Jeremy Jeffress are scheduled to pitch in the game.

Most regulars will not make the trip and take the day off from baseball activities. After Sunday, manager John Gibbons plans will use his regulars all week through to the end of Grapefruit League play.

Mark Buehrle will be on a 90-pitch limit in a minor league game at the Bobby Mattick Training Center in Dunedin.

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