Toronto Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna was adamant Wednesday that the cervical spasms that landed him on the disabled list were not a result of playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Osuna told ESPN’s Marly Rivera that sleeping arrangements contributed to the tightness in his neck and upper back, and an MRI did not reveal any damage. He expects to join the active roster once he is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday.
“I now feel better [because] we have done some exercises to relax the muscle, which was really tight,” Osuna said (translated from Spanish). “I was having a really hard time pitching toward the end of spring training; started the last two weeks.”
Osuna is scheduled for a bullpen session Thursday and would like to remain with the major league team pitching simulated games as opposed to a full rehab assignment.
“We will see how I feel [Friday],” Osuna said. “I would really like to stay here with the team and face my own hitters, because they would be much more aware of what I would be trying to work on.”
Osuna said that the apartment he rented for spring training aggravated an injury he suffered last year, and when he moved to a hotel the condition began to improve. The WBC did not contribute to the injury, but Osuna, who pitched for Mexico, still has hard feelings about the event. Mexico was eliminated in controversial fashion due to a tiebreaker rule that was not fully communicated to the team, according to its players. He says he won’t play in the next WBC as a result.
“It’s not that [Adrian González and I] don’t want to play for Mexico; we want to play for Mexico. We love Mexico. But we feel disrespected after what I believe was a lack of coordination by the WBC committee.” Osuna said. “They told us one thing the day before, said the same thing before the game, and then when we won, the whole picture changed.
“It does not seem like they’re being professional when it seems like they not only disrespected us the players, but our country. So I will not allow that to be done to our country, when we did our best to represent it. I think it was disrespectful, and it has nothing to do with not wanting to represent Mexico. I love Mexico, but I don’t think what was done was ethical, and I will not give them credit by taking part in such an event.”
Osuna, 22, was 4-3 last year with 36 saves and a 2.68 ERA in his first full season as the closer for the Blue Jays.