Podsednik debuts, shows speed on bases

Podsednik debuts, shows speed on bases

Podsednik debuts, shows speed on bases
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays outfielder Scott Podsednik made his long-awaited Grapefruit League debut on Friday afternoon in a game against the Yankees.

The 34-year-old had missed the club's first 12 games because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Podsednik didn't record a hit, but he walked twice and scored a run.

"It's kind of what I expected," Podsednik said afterward when asked how his foot felt. "I'm not completely pain-free, and I wasn't expecting to go out there and be pain-free. But it's to a point where I can go out there and play. Now, it's just a matter of getting myself into baseball shape."

Podsednik, who has been experiencing pain in his heel, said the foot felt stiff early on, but loosened up as the game went on. The increased mobility allowed him to steal a base following his at-bat.

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"It felt like I got three pretty decent breaks," said Podsednik, who stole 35 bases for the Royals and Dodgers last year. "I was able to steal that one. That's what it's down to now. Working on my timing at the plate, working on my rhythm on the basepaths and getting some reads in the outfield."

The native of Texas is facing competition from veteran Corey Patterson and utility player Mike McCoy for one of the final two spots available on the Blue Jays' bench.

In order to win one of the reserve roles, Podsednik will need to prove he is capable of playing center field. Farrell previously stated that when Juan Rivera needs a day off, Rajai Davis will slide over to right field with center being occupied by someone off the bench.

While Podsednik said he feels most comfortable in left, he does have experience playing in center. Over the past three seasons, he has started 74 games at that position and at this point in his career he willing to play wherever it takes to secure a spot on the Opening Day roster.

"I think I need to go out and prove myself everywhere," Podsednik said. "Whether it be in center, or left, or at the plate and on the base paths. It's a matter of going out and doing things within my skill set, playing my game. Not trying to be somebody that I'm not, just go out and play my game."

Podsednik has hit .279 with 41 home runs and 301 stolen bases over his 10-year career.