Blue Jays duo look strong in camp
On August 14 of last season, the Bisons defeated the Red Wings 8-3 in a game that was started by Drew Hutchison and then won by shutout relief work from Kyle Drabek. It was Drabek's Herd debut and only the second outing in Buffalo for Hutchison. For both, it was just another step in a long journey together.
While in Toronto, the two young hurlers suffered arm injuries just days apart in June of the 2012 season, causing both to need 'Tommy John' surgery soon after. Since that moment, the two have been joined in the fight to reestablish themselves as starters at the major league level.
Toronto Sun's Ken Fidlin reports both Drabek and Hutchison are looking strong in Blue Jays camp and both are in position to challenge for the fifth spot in the Jays rotation. Drabek's delivery in the first few days has been "free and natural" while Hutchison mechanics make it "difficult to tell that he has been away for the better part of 20 months."
Jimenez builds frame for long season
Speaking of 'Tommy John' surgery, The National Post's John Lott reports that bulking up has been the answer for catching prospect A.J. Jimenez in his return.
The prospect has put on 25 pounds to help combat the natural weight loss most catchers endure during a long baseball season. Jimenez says that has helped his arm strength return after only being about 85% last year in his return from surgery in 2012.
With the additions of backstops Dioner Navarro and Erik Kratz this winter and Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas in the mix, there's a good chance Jimenez will test out his new frame and rebuilt arm with Buffalo in 2014. He hit .233 in eight August games for the Herd last year before being shut down on August 28.
Reyes putting past behind him
For four days in June last year, Bisons fans got to experience the fun-loving, excitement that is having Jose Reyes on your team. The rehabbing star hit in every game he played in and scored the game-winning run in each of his first two contests. Nearly 50,000 fans came out to see Reyes don the Bisons red, white and blue.
But it's quite understandable that Reyes wants to put last year behind him. He was limited to just 92 games with Toronto because of his broken ankle and says he did not feel 100% even after returning to the bigs. AP writer Jeff Odom reporters in the Toronto Star that Reyes is eager to turn the page on the "hardest [two years] of his major league career."