02/18/2013 6:12 PM ET
DeRosa taking Lawrie under his wing this spring
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It's no accident that veteran infielder Mark DeRosa's locker at the Blue Jays' Spring Training complex is beside the one owned by Brett Lawrie.
The hope is that DeRosa will be able to provide some guidance throughout camp and the season to Toronto's young third baseman.
It's often hard to gauge just how valuable leadership is inside of a clubhouse, but manager John Gibbons believes there will be a clear benefit to the pairing.
"That's his reputation -- he's a great teammate, he gets the most out of guys," Gibbons said of DeRosa. "He's one of the those guys you never hear a bad thing about. Guys want him on their club, even through all the injuries and things.
"That'll do wonders because Brett's still a young kid learning at this level. [DeRosa's] been through it."
DeRosa was signed to a one-year contract to provide a veteran presence in the clubhouse. It's a role that was filled by Omar Vizquel in 2012.
DeRosa seems to be taking a different approach. He's been attached at the hip to Lawrie during the early stages of camp as the two have gone through infield drills together and shared plenty of stories along the way.
That might not lead to better results in the field, but could become beneficial when Lawrie's -- at times -- over-aggressive approach needs to be reined in.
Romero's knees feel fine after second 'pen session
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The Blue Jays will have to keep a close eye on left-hander Ricky Romero this spring as he attempts to battle back from tendinitis in both knees.
He received platelet-rich plasma injections in both knees during the offseason to help alleviate the chronic pain, but the treatment was met with mixed results.
Romero currently isn't in any danger of being shut down, but it's still relatively alarming the discomfort didn't completely subside during the club's down time.
"We keep an eye on him," manager John Gibbons said. "If he's barking, we'll shut him down or lighten the load, but when you have them at this stage of your career, it's probably going to bother you your whole career. You basically just have to deal with it, there's not structural problems, but you just grin and bear it, I guess."
Gibbons went on to say that he has yet to receive any kind of report on Romero's status. That's positive news because the medical staff would only go to him if the situation became problematic, and so far, Romero has been able to maintain a full workload.
The 28-year-old was back on the mound Monday afternoon for his second bullpen session while also throwing to live hitters for the first time this spring. Romero engaged in a friendly back-and-forth with first baseman Edwin Encarnacion as the intensity at camp slowly picks up.
Romero jammed Encarnacion with an inside pitch, but the slugging first baseman still managed to almost hit it out of the park. That prompted Romero to say, "You got lucky," which generated laughter from a group of reporters watching nearby.
It's all fun and games for now, but the most important aspect is that Romero got through his session just fine and continues to build up strength for the start of the season.
"Right now, the good thing is that everything is coming out free and easy and just trying to build off that," Romero said.