4/11/2014 6:45 P.M. ET
Gibbons shrugs off Blue Jays' slow offensive start
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- The Blue Jays have struggled at the plate throughout the first two weeks of this season, but manager John Gibbons wants his players to avoid pressing too much.
Toronto came into Friday's series opener with the Orioles tied with the Yankees and Rays for first place in the American League East at 5-5, but the offense has been a problem so far this season as the Blue Jays were ranked next-to-last in the American League with a .223 team batting average.
Houston is last at .203 while Baltimore sits third at .274.
Gibbons said everything is kind of magnified at the beginning of the season, but he wants all of his players to stay focused even if they start slowly.
"A fast start's so important to everybody, but it doesn't necessarily determine what kind of year you're going to have," Gibbons said. "If you start worrying about that and you start panicking, that's when you'll run into big problems."
Colby Rasmus is one of the players who needs to stay settled. He went 3-for-4 on Thursday against the Astros after beginning the season hitting only .100 (3-for-30), which made the skipper happy because he said Rasmus tends to be a streaky hitter anyway.
Reyes feels good running, inches closer to rehab trip
BALTIMORE -- Jose Reyes appears to be moving closer to a rehab assignment and a return to the Blue Jays' lineup.
Reyes, who has been out since the team's Opening Day loss in Tampa Bay on March 31 due to a left hamstring injury, did some running before Friday's series opener against the Orioles and fared well.
The shortstop and manager John Gibbons both said if all goes well after Reyes pushes things while running the bases Saturday, that they'll start planning details for a rehab assignment, which would eventually lead to his return.
"He'll head out in the next few days," Gibbons said. "We'll see how he bounces back [Saturday]. [He'll] run the bases [Saturday], and we'll see where we're at."
Reyes was happy with how his hamstring felt after his running.
"This is the first time [I've] run in a little while," Reyes said. "It feels good. Hopefully, [Saturday I'll] run the bases a little bit and see how it feels after that."
Reyes came out in the first inning of the season opener after he flew out, and proceeded to go on the disabled list one day later.
He's hoping to push it more when running the bases Saturday, but he admitted that keeping the injury out of his mind isn't the easiest thing to do. That's another part of his rehab.
"It's still a little bit in my mind," Reyes said. "When you have a hamstring injury, it's going to be in your mind for a little while. "
Gibbons reacts to substance seen on Pineda's hand
BALTIMORE -- Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda got plenty of attention after appearing to have something on his hand during part of Thursday's win over the Red Sox. His first game of the year was vs. the Blue Jays last week, and they didn't see anything.
But manager John Gibbons said that if Pineda did have stuff on his hand, he wouldn't be the first pitcher in baseball to do that.
"It was obvious he had something on there," Gibbons said. "A lot of guys in baseball use that stuff. A lot of guys use stuff and they use it for grips. That's just a fact. That's been going on in baseball forever. I mean, that was pretty obvious what he had on there."
Pineda gave up one run and threw six innings in Toronto's 4-0 win over the Yankees last Saturday. He earned the win in Thursday's game vs. the Red Sox.
Gibbons said things will be different now because so many people noticed what Pineda had on his hand Thursday.
"If you can hide [it] a little better than that, you probably won't run into troubles," Gibbons said. "I've got to believe teams will be looking for it now."
• Jose Bautista is off to a good start this season. He has reached base in all 10 Blue Jay games and in 19-of-42 plate appearances this season. He also is first in the Major Leagues with 12 walks so far this year.
• Colby Rasmus needs just one home run to reach 100 for his career, and Edwin Encarnacion needs one to tie Fred McGriff for 10th on the club's all-time homer list (125).
• Despite Toronto's hitting problems, the Blue Jays still rank third in the American League with 12 home runs. In fact, 18 of the team's 38 runs have come on home runs so far this season.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.