03/15/11 7:30 PM ET
Injury may cost Podsednik chance to make club
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Doctors are hopeful that the cast will help Podsednik's nagging plantar fasciitis injury that has been bothering him since he first reported to Spring Training. His foot will be completely immobilized and there is no timetable for his return.
"We haven't really set an exact date for when we're going to try and make it back," said Podsednik, who hit .297 with 35 stolen bases last season.
"We don't know exactly what the foot's going to feel like after the 10 days. There's a possibility we might have to go back in a cast for another week. So kind of just playing it by ear at this point, we don't really know exactly how it's going to respond."
2010 Spring Training - Toronto Blue Jays
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He's been told surgery likely wouldn't be the best solution, so the only remaining option is to just let the foot rest and see how it feels once the cast is removed.
"Completely shut it down from all activity," Podsednik said of his plan. "That's kind of where we are. Our backs are pretty much against the wall, so we just have to let it try to heal on its own and try to let it calm down."
Podsednik spoke to reporters while he was cleaning out his locker at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. He was set to return to the Bobby Mattick Training Center, where he will continue his rehab with the Blue Jays' Minor Leaguers.
His status for Opening Day appears very much in doubt. Podsednik was facing competition from Corey Patterson and Mike McCoy for one of the final two spots on Toronto's bench, but with his return date unknown Podsednik's season likely will start at extended Spring Training when the season opens on April 1.
"It does me or the Blue Jays no good to just limp around the baseball field," said Podsednik, who is signed to a non-guaranteed Minor League deal. "I understand the Blue Jays have to do what they have to do and I'm fine with whatever decision they make. But the bottom line is I have to get both of my feet back underneath me."
Hill to DH in Minors game Wednesday
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill took a big step forward in his return from a right quadriceps injury on Tuesday when he successfully went through a series of running tests.
Hill, who has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game, did sprints in the outfield before moving in to take ground balls and batting practice.
The 28-year-old is now set to appear in a Minor League game on Wednesday. He will serve as designated hitter in his first action since a "B" game against Philadelphia on March 2.
"We made a big stride today just getting out and doing some sprints," Hill said. "They're still going to take a guarded approach, I guess, but we're still going to plan on everything. If it feels the way it did today, then we're planning on getting some at-bats in the Minor Leagues."
Hill believes the biggest test for his injured leg will come during his first few steps out of the batter's box. The California native promised manager John Farrell that he would take it easy during Wednesday's game and be careful not to put too much pressure on the leg.
"I think out of the box, the first couple of steps will be more of a test," Hill said. "I didn't feel anything out there and the jogging hasn't really been much of an issue. It's been the short bursts, so that's something we're going to gradually get into ... in the next few days."
If all goes well on Wednesday, Hill will continue getting regular at-bats before eventually getting back on the field. His goal is to be ready for Opening Day on April 1 against the Twins.
Romero scratched from start with sore finger
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Toronto left-hander Ricky Romero has been scratched from Thursday's scheduled start because of a sore middle finger.
Romero began experiencing discomfort in the finger during his start on Saturday against the Pirates. In that outing, Romero allowed four runs on four hits while walking five over 3 2/3 innings.
"As a precautionary move, we had him checked out by a hand specialist," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "There's some minor inflammation that's causing a little bit of that discomfort that he's feeling."
Romero has dealt with the issue before and it's not expected to have any long-term effects. The 26-year-old is scheduled to make his next turn in the rotation, and the club believes it won't cause any problems for his Opening Day start against the Twins on April 1.
"That would still give him time to make two more starts in camp," Farrell said. "It would get him to 90 pitches, which is the goal for every starter. So nothing has changed in terms of the regular season, but [as a precaution], we're going to hold him out of Thursday's scheduled work."
Romero went 14-9 with a 3.73 ERA in 2010 while throwing a team-high 210 innings.