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Near 45, Vizquel earns roster spot

DUNEDIN — Omar Vizquel has played his way into another season in the majors.

Boosted by an excellent showing in spring training, the backup infielder will be added to the Blue Jays roster, making him the oldest active position player in the majors. Toronto told Vizquel of the decision Wednesday, a month before his 45th birthday.

The 11-time Gold Glove winner signed a minor-league contract Jan. 23. He spent the previous two years with the White Sox as a utilityman and mentor to younger players.

"We knew what his character was and what kind of guy he was going to be in the clubhouse," Jays GM Alex Anthopolous said after Toronto beat the Orioles 9-3. "So that obviously came out the way it was expected. Omar just had a very good camp, and he deserved to be on the team."

Vizquel turns 45 on April 24. The three-time All-Star shortstop from Venezuela is batting .433 in 15 exhibition games.

The team optioned Mike McCoy to Triple-A Las Vegas.

STILL ROLLING: Toronto's ninth straight victory made it a majors-best 21-4 this spring, tying the club mark for spring wins.

Yanks: Kuroda sharp

KISSIMMEE — Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda had his longest outing of the spring, going seven innings and allowing two runs and a homer and striking out six in a 5-5, 10-inning tie with the Braves.

Afterward, manager Joe Girardi said Kuroda solidified his spot as the No. 2 starter behind LHP CC Sabathia.

"He was great, just great," Girardi said. "We really got him stretched out good, so I was pleased with what I saw. He's the guy I thought we were getting, so I'm really pleased."

Recovering: RF Nick Swisher went 4-for-8 with a homer in an intrasquad game, his first game action since being sidelined by a groin injury a week ago.

TRANSACTIONS: The team signed 1B Jack Cust to a minor-league contract and claimed C Craig Tatum off waivers from the Diamondbacks.

Phils: Worley unfazed

FORT MYERS — Phillies RHP Vance Worley wasn't concerned after his first rough outing of the spring.

Worley gave up 11 runs, five earned, on 11 hits through four innings in an 11-7 loss to the Twins. He impressed in his first season in the Philadelphia rotation, going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA.

"Just the location (Wednesday) was the only thing that hurt me," Worley said. "I would imagine it's not going to be like that next time. If it is, we've got a problem and we'll fix it. It happens."

Worley had been tinkering with his changeup, with mixed results: "I did, and I gave up a home run with it. But the speed on it is better. I'm still working on it."

.LOCAL CAMPS

Blue Jays

Where: Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin

Today: at Red Sox, 1:35, Fort Myers

Info: bluejays.com/spring

training; (727) 733-0429

Phillies

Where: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater

Today: vs. Rays, 1:05, Clearwater

Info: phillies.com/spring

training; (727) 467-4457

Yankees

Where: Steinbrenner Field, corner of Dale Mabry and Martin Luther King, Tampa

Today: vs. Orioles, 7:05, Tampa

Info: yankees.com/spring

training; (813) 879-2244

Near 45, Vizquel earns roster spot 03/28/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:48pm]

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