Janssen remains on target for Opening Day

Janssen remains on target for Opening Day

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Casey Janssen remains on schedule to start the season on the Blue Jays' 25-man roster.

Toronto's closer threw 1 1/3 innings in a Minor League game versus the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon. It's another step in the right direction following a series of minor setbacks on his way back from right-shoulder surgery.

There had been some debate for the past month whether Janssen would be ready Opening Day, but the doubts seem to have been erased and he's on track to head north April 2.

"Early on I didn't think there was [a chance of being ready], and even on the 10th or 12th of March I thought it was going to be a stretch," Janssen said. "Then one day, I just saw a little bit more carry and that was the one day I was like, 'Alright, if this keeps up I have a shot.'

"It started to come back. I started to regain some of the strength, arm speed and most important, the command."

Janssen retired the first three batters he faced on Wednesday, including a pair of three-pitch strikeouts. The side was retired so quickly that the Blue Jays opted to extend the inning to give Janssen some more work.

The 31-year-old reliever then surrendered a pair of back-to-back doubles -- neither of which was very well hit -- before getting another out and having his day come to an end.

Janssen will remain in Florida to throw another side session before making one final spring appearance in a Minor League game on Sunday.

"We have a job to do," Janssen said. "Spring doesn't matter. I'm happy that things are going good but when the lights turn on, what you did this spring, nobody really cares about. It's all about April 2 and beyond.

"We want to win, I want to be a part of the winning, so I'm not taking a deep breath yet until we're flying home at the end of the year."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.