Notes: Glaus endures pain, returns
Third baseman accustomed to playing through injuries
TORONTO -- Playing through pain is nothing new for Troy Glaus. So it came as no surprise when the third baseman's name was listed on Toronto's lineup card for Monday night's home opener.
As Glaus scooped up ground balls at third base during pregame drills, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons sat in Toronto's dugout discussing the bone spur in the slugger's left foot. If the injury was cause for concern, though, Gibbons wouldn't have inserted Glaus back into the starting lineup after one day of rest.
"He's feeling better, so we've got him in there today," Gibbons said. "It's not a big deal, but it irritates him enough that it was probably good to give him a day off yesterday."
The injury flared up on Saturday, when Glaus felt something in his heal as he ran out of the batter's box in the first inning. The 30-year-old third baseman remained in the game until Gibbons pulled him in the fifth. Afterward, the Jays said Glaus had aggravated his Achilles' tendon in his left foot -- an ailment related to the bone spur.
It's something that Gibbons said Glaus dealt with at times last season, too. Still, the 6-foot-5 infielder appeared in 153 games and recorded 38 home runs and 104 RBIs. In 2005, Glaus hit 37 homers in 149 games with Arizona, despite playing with a strained tendon behind his left knee.
"Every now and then it flares up," Gibbons said. "Sometimes when you jam your foot on the bases it just jars it a little bit. There's a lot of body on top of that heal."
Entering Monday's game against Kansas City, Glaus was hitting .286 with a home run and four RBIs in five games. He was available as a pinch-hitter on Sunday, but didn't appear in Toronto's victory over Tampa Bay.
Well rested: Josh Towers has been itching to get back on the mound. The right-hander hasn't started since March 31, when he made his last appearance of Spring Training. Towers will be coming off nine days of rest when he takes the hill against the Royals on Tuesday.
"It won't be easy. It's just like [Tomo] Ohka the other day," Gibbons said. "Those finesse guys, a big part of their game is location, and sometimes you can lose that if you're off too long."
Ohka, who started on Saturday after seven days off, allowed five runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings of a no-decision against Tampa Bay. Gibbons mentioned that Towers was actually available out of the bullpen for that game, but wasn't needed in relief.
Lining things up: For the fourth time this season, Gibbons slotted second baseman Aaron Hill higher than catcher Gregg Zaun in the batting order against a left-hander. On Monday, Hill was hitting seventh and Zaun was moved down to eighth against Royals left-hander Odalis Perez.
"I just like the way Hilly is swinging it," Gibbons said. "I like him up there sitting behind Rios against some lefties."
Hill entered Monday batting .293 vs. left-handers in his career. He hit .298 against lefties in 2006. Zaun, who has typically batted seventh against right-handers this season, has hit .269 in his career against left-handers.
Hardware: Prior to Monday's game, Toronto center fielder Vernon Wells and designated hitter Frank Thomas were each presented with some 2006 trophies. Wells received his American League Gold Glove Award -- an honor he's won three consecutive seasons. Thomas, who had 39 home runs and 114 RBIs for Oakland last year, was given the Players' Choice AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.
The countdown: Entering Monday, Thomas was 12 homers shy of 500 for his career, and five homers shy of tying Fred McGriff and Lou Gehrig for 21st on the all-time list with 493.
Quotable: "It was a little raw getting off that bus, but we got a little taste of that in Detroit." --Gibbons, on arriving to cold temperatures in Toronto
Coming up: Towers (2-10, 8.42 ERA in '06) is scheduled to make his first start of the season when the Blue Jays host the Royals at 7:07 p.m. ET on Tuesday at the Rogers Centre. Kansas City will counter with right-hander Zack Greinke (0-1, 1.29 ERA).
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.