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03/11/11 6:32 PM EST

Blue Jays send four to Minor League camp

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays returned four players -- pitchers Joel Carreno, Alan Farina, Brad Mills and outfielder Darin Mastroianni -- to their Minor League camp on Friday.

The club was looking to trim the number of pitchers in camp, because starters are now going deeper into games and there are fewer innings to go around.

The latest move leaves the Blue Jays with 29 pitchers attending Major League Spring Training, with more cuts expected next week.

Mills was the only pitcher who had experience in the Majors. Over the past two seasons in Toronto, he is 1-1 with a 7.80 ERA in 30 innings. He likely will become a candidate to receive a callup if the Blue Jays' staff suffers a number of injuries during the year.

Toronto now has a total of 54 players left in camp, including 18 non-roster invitees.

Podsednik debuts, shows speed on bases

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays outfielder Scott Podsednik made his long-awaited Grapefruit League debut on Friday afternoon in a game against the Yankees.

The 34-year-old had missed the club's first 12 games because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Podsednik didn't record a hit, but he walked twice and scored a run.

"It's kind of what I expected," Podsednik said afterward when asked how his foot felt. "I'm not completely pain-free, and I wasn't expecting to go out there and be pain-free. But it's to a point where I can go out there and play. Now, it's just a matter of getting myself into baseball shape."

Podsednik, who has been experiencing pain in his heel, said the foot felt stiff early on, but loosened up as the game went on. The increased mobility allowed him to steal a base following his at-bat.

"It felt like I got three pretty decent breaks," said Podsednik, who stole 35 bases for the Royals and Dodgers last year. "I was able to steal that one. That's what it's down to now. Working on my timing at the plate, working on my rhythm on the basepaths and getting some reads in the outfield."

The native of Texas is facing competition from veteran Corey Patterson and utility player Mike McCoy for one of the final two spots available on the Blue Jays' bench.

In order to win one of the reserve roles, Podsednik will need to prove he is capable of playing center field. Farrell previously stated that when Juan Rivera needs a day off, Rajai Davis will slide over to right field with center being occupied by someone off the bench.

While Podsednik said he feels most comfortable in left, he does have experience playing in center. Over the past three seasons, he has started 74 games at that position and at this point in his career he willing to play wherever it takes to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster.

"I think I need to go out and prove myself everywhere," Podsednik said. "Whether it be in center, or left, or at the plate and on the base paths. It's a matter of going out and doing things within my skill set, playing my game. Not trying to be somebody that I'm not, just go out and play my game."

Podsednik has hit .279 with 41 home runs and 301 stolen bases over his 10-year career.

Shoulder soreness shuts down Jays' Richmond

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Right-hander Scott Richmond has been shut down after experiencing soreness in his right throwing shoulder.

Richmond underwent an MRI on Friday morning, but the results were not known. The club has decided to temporarily shut him down until more information becomes available.

The 31-year-old began experiencing the pain following a simulated game earlier in the week. The discomfort appears to be originating in a different area of the shoulder than the injury he suffered last year, which required surgery.

"He is going to be shut down now for five or six days," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He has been feeling some irritation in that shoulder that is kind of radiating down into the biceps area. We're going to back him out and hold him out of any throwing for the next five days."

Richmond was competing for one of the final two spots in the Blue Jays rotation, but was considered a long shot for the job. He was ranked behind Jesse Litsch, Marc Rzepczynski, Kyle Drabek and Jo-Jo Reyes.

Also being temporarily shut down is Octavio Dotel. The veteran right-hander suffered a leg injury during his one inning against the Rays on Tuesday.

"He felt a little twinge in the hamstring," Farrell said. "It's a minor thing -- he's going to throw long toss on some flat ground today, so ideally we'll get him back on the mound on Sunday."

In other injury news, second baseman Aaron Hill continues to make his way back from a right leg injury. The 28-year-old is scheduled to go through a running progression on Tuesday. There is still not timetable for Hill's return, but Farrell remains optimistic that it will happen in the near future.

"A week ago we had that progression in line and yet he plateaued," Farrell said. "The fortunate thing is that there have been no set backs. He's still going to be day to day -- that's how we have to list him at this point -- but I'd like to think that if he is feeling good on Tuesday after his running, we'll go through, I don't want to say an accelerated program, but one that will get him back in a game to get some at-bats."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.