TORONTO — Could this be A.J. Burnett’s final start in a Blue Jays uniform? That seems to be a very realistic possibility. Burnett could come back on short rest and potentially go for win No. 20 on the season’s final day, but he’s already said he won’t do that.
Why would he? Burnett is on the verge of cashing in big time as a free agent, if he opts out of his contract, and winning 20 won’t fetch him much more dough that he would get otherwise. So why risk a possible injury in your final start?
Aaron Hill took some time to speak with reporters today and Toronto’s second baseman is feeling good. He has an appointment with a neurologist in the area on Thursday, and he said he full expects to be cleared to begin his normal offseason routine. So, good news.
Hill was asked if he’d be willing to potentially move to shortstop next season, if the Blue Jays asked as much from him. Hill said he’d prefer to stay at second base, and said most of his teammates have told him they’d prefer him there as well. Hill said it’d take his teammates telling him a move to short was best for the team for him to move.
Also, manager Cito Gaston said last week that he believed his contract extension might be announced before the end of this homestand. Well, that’s tomorrow, so we’ll see if his prediction holds up. Cito didn’t sound entirely confident that it’d be settled as early as Thursday when the topic came up today:
“I dont know. I’m going to probably be back for a day or so next week. If it doesn’t happen tomorrow, who knows? Hopefully, before the week’s up.”
NEW YORK (86-71) at TORONTO (83-74)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre
Brett Gardner, CF
Robinson Cano. 2B
Bobby Abreu, RF
Xavier Nady, LF
Jason Giambi, DH
Wilson Betemit, 3B
Cody Ransom, SS
Juan Miranda, 1B
Chad Moeller, C
PITCHING: RHP Phil Hughes (0-4, 7.96)
Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, SS
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Travis Snider, LF
Gregg Zaun, C
PITCHING: RHP A.J. Burnett (18-9, 4.18)