Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Bourjos 'back to normal' after hamstring injury

VIERA, Fla. -- If Peter Bourjos had any necessary convincing left to do to prove himself past a hamstring injury, the speedy center fielder took care of offering the proof in his first inning back on the field Sunday.

He opened the game with a walk and later easily scored from second on a single to left field. In the bottom half of the frame, he chased a ball to the center field wall before watching it go over as he slowed from his sprint.

In it all, there was no sign of an outfielder recently hampered by a cramp in his right hamstring.

"All felt great, back to normal," said Bourjos, who played five innings in the field and had three plate appearances. "I wasn't even worried about testing it out there or on the curves itself. I have felt great since probably Thursday. Everything loosened up, and I've been moving around pretty well."

"Watching him in BP, too, really going after some flyballs, I could see plenty of reason to be excited about him," added manager Mike Matheny. "It's just nice to see him out there healthy and moving well out there."

Now healthy, Bourjos has three weeks (18 exhibition games) left before the regular season to make up for the missed playing time. He has averaged 59 spring at-bats in the last three seasons but sits at only eight after his 0-for-2 day on Sunday.

It's not so much getting to a certain number again, Bourjos said, as it is honing in on his timing and pitch recognition. The first-inning walk Bourjos drew was a positive development in that regard. Bourjos, who has a career .306 on-base percentage, is looking to better that this season.

"I felt like I saw the ball pretty well, especially for not playing for a week and only having two games before that," Bourjos said. "I'm seeing the ball well, and that's what is important. … I'll take [as many] at-bats as I can get."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.
Read More: St. Louis Cardinals, Peter Bourjos