02/28/11 4:38 PM EST
Gose, Hechavarria impress with their defense
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
The two players aren't expected to play in the Major Leagues this season, but they have been impressing the organization with their abilities on the field.
Gose and Hechavarria both need to mature at the plate before they can take the next step, but Blue Jays manager John Farrell thinks their defense is already big league caliber.
2010 Spring Training - Toronto Blue Jays
News & Features
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Spring Training Info
"Defensively, one could say that you could live with those two types of athletes up the middle," Farrell said. "Well above-average range, well above-average throwing arms. They are premium prospects.
"With a position player you have to be careful of them getting over-exposed. You want to make sure you err on the side of caution when they're ready to arrive [in the Majors]. But when you look at their overall tools, they are as good as you're going to find in the game."
In high school, Gose reportedly was clocked throwing fastballs in the mid-to-high-90s. He has carried that ability into his work in center field where he possesses a well above-average arm and impressive range.
On the infield, Hechavarria has displayed a dramatic flare with an ability to make acrobatic throws across the diamond.
"What's impressive is the amount of range and the efficiency to his movements," Farrell said. "On a ground ball, you typically see a guy set his feet and get his momentum headed in the direction of his target -- in this case, the throw to first base.
"Seemingly he's just redirecting the ball even on a routine ground ball, but it lends to his arm strength and how good of an arm he has. That's not to be flashy, or to say his internal clock is really speeding up on him, it's just the way he is. His athleticism, his hands and the overall strength is really a rare combination."
Carlson shut down with shoulder injury
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays left-hander Jesse Carlson has been shut down because of inflammation in his left shoulder.
Carlson was set to have his shoulder examined on Monday and the severity of the injury won't be known until the results are revealed.
"We're going to back him out for a couple of days," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He has some inflammation and some irritation in the shoulder. We'll have more on his exam after it's over and completed."
The 30-year-old is competing for one of the final two spots available in the Blue Jays' bullpen. He spent the vast majority of his 2010 campaign playing for Triple-A Las Vegas where he went 3-1 with a 4.24 ERA in 45 appearances.
Carlson's best season in the Major Leagues came in 2008. In 60 innings that year, he went 7-2 while posting an impressive 2.25 ERA.
Injured Blue Jays' regulars on the mend
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill is expected to make his Spring Training debut in a "B" Game against Philadelphia on Wednesday morning.
The 28-year-old has yet to appear in the Grapefruit League season because of tightness in his right quadriceps muscle. Hill went through full baseball-related activities on Sunday and is now able to set a timetable for his return.
"He feels like he is starting to turn the corner with this quad issue and he's encouraged," Farrell said. "He's upbeat and feeling a little bit better about himself and the fact that he can feel it resolving itself is lending to that attitude and being positive."
Blue Jays outfielder Travis Snider took batting practice on Monday morning for the second consecutive day. He has been out for the past two weeks because of soreness in his upper rib-cage area but the club is optimistic he will get into a game either Saturday or Sunday.
Veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik also was scheduled to take batting practice on Monday. He had been limited to hitting off a tee because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
MLBPA visits Blue Jays' clubhouse
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Major League Baseball Players' Association paid a visit to the Blue Jays' clubhouse at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Monday morning.
Executive director Michael Weiner was on hand to talk with the players about upcoming negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The current deal expires following the 2011 season.
"This was a great meeting today," Weiner said. "It is a young ballclub, but we've got really excellent veteran leadership. We have a number of guys on this club that have been involved in union affairs for a number of years, so that's always a big help."
Outfielder Vernon Wells was Toronto's union representative last season but this year, the duties will be split between Jose Bautista, Aaron Hill and left-hander Ricky Romero.
Weiner said he was impressed with the interest in the clubhouse with regard to the issues facing the union, particularly the younger players who had not been exposed to a lot of the information before.
"Without getting into specifics, they were firing questions at me left and right," Weiner said. "It was great, it was everything that I could ask for in my position. The most important thing I have to do as executive director is to make sure that we have an informed and engaged membership and the Blue Jays I have absolutely no concerns about."