Now Commenting On:

{"event":["spring_training" ] ,"content":["injury" ] }

Anthopoulos: Happ absent to rest injured back

Anthopoulos: Happ absent to rest injured back play video for Anthopoulos: Happ absent to rest injured back

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- J.A. Happ didn't report to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Saturday, the second day in a row the veteran left-hander has been absent from the Blue Jays' clubhouse.

Some might view it as an odd coincidence that Happ hasn't been seen since general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Happ's spot in the rotation was no longer guaranteed, but manager John Gibbons said Saturday there's nothing to those conspiracy theories. Instead, Happ is simply staying off his feet and resting his sore back at home.

"Why is that odd? I think they just want him to stay off his feet," Gibbons said. "If the doctor tells you stay off your feet, stay off your feet.

"He's not dead, I'll tell you that," Gibbons added, laughing.

Anthopoulos said Thursday that Happ, who had been considered a lock for the Opening Day rotation along with R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow and Mark Buehrle, has been battling a sore back amid two rough Grapefruit League appearances, but the club expects the lefty to be a part of the rotation. Still, Anthopoulos told reporters, "there could be two" rotation spots up for grabs this spring.

Gibbons insisted Saturday that Anthopoulos' comments and Happ's absence were unrelated.

"He's staying off his feet. There's no conspiracy. You follow the doctor's orders," Gibbons said. "Put it this way: I wouldn't read too much into it."

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.

{"event":["spring_training" ] ,"content":["injury" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] ,"content":["injury" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español