Busy Offseason Ahead For Crouse

Despite being voted to both the Midseason and Postseason Midwest League All-Star teams, Michael Crouse's season didn't end the way he would've liked. Instead of coasting to the playoffs, Crouse missed three weeks in August with a mild quad strain. He made his return in the playoffs, however, and now he had a busy offseason ahead.

"The quad is 100% and everything is feeling great," Crouse said. "[The] DH spot [gave] me time to run and stretch in the clubhouse during the game and in the outfield you can be out there for quite a while doing nothing and then there's a ball in the gap and you have to take off."

Couse finished his first full season in professional baseball like so many of his teammates and will also join some of his teammates briefly in Instructional League.

"I'll be down in Instructs for about a week," he said. "Then I'll be taking off with [Marcus] Knecht to play with team Canada in the Pan-American games in Mexico."

Crouse is excited about the opportunity to play for his country once again, which he hasn't done since the 2008 World Junior Triple-A Championships.

"Looking forward to getting back with Team Canada," he said. "I haven't played with them since the Worlds in '08, so to get back with the team and coach Gregg Hamilton is going to be great."

Crouse is as competitive as anyone in the Lugnuts clubhouse, but there's even more at stake when National pride is involved.

"Team Canada is one of those things where you play one year and you just want to come back the next time because it was such a great experience," he said. "Playing for your country is great because your not just playing for your team or your name, you're playing for Canada.

"It's a competitiveness factor where everyone wants to win for their country. Baseball is baseball, you compete and you do your best no matter what, but playing for Team Canada definitely adds something to it."

Before he goes on to play with Team Canada, Crouse will be going down to Instructional League to work on his swing.

"You're always going to be adjusting in this game," Redmond said. "Whether it's power going the other way or just making solid contact, just consistency. It takes so long to be consistent in this game and you need to work on your swing to do it.

"He's gotta work on his swing and be consistent and continue to get at-bats. He's got a lot of work to do on his swing, working on making contact. Michael just needs to stay healthy and keep playing."

That's truly the only key for Crouse, a player who signed for $150,000 in '08 and could pay big dividends for the Blue Jays down the line.

"He's a special player, he's a game-changer," Redmond said. "He can get a big hit, steal a base, score from second on a high chopper. Those guys don't grow on trees."


Future Jays Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"The quad is 100% and everything is feeling great,\" Crouse said. \"[The] DH spot [gave] me time to run and stretch in the clubhouse during the game and in the outfield you can be out there for quite a while doing nothing and then there's a ball in the gap and you have to take off.\"
\r\n
\r\nCouse finished his first full season in professional baseball like so many of his teammates and will also join some of his teammates briefly in Instructional League.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'll be down in Instructs for about a week,\" he said. \"Then I'll be taking off with [Marcus] Knecht to play with team Canada in the Pan-American games in Mexico.\"
\r\n
\r\nCrouse is excited about the opportunity to play for his country once again, which he hasn't done since the 2008 World Junior Triple-A Championships.
\r\n
\r\n\"Looking forward to getting back with Team Canada,\" he said. \"I haven't played with them since the Worlds in '08, so to get back with the team and coach Gregg Hamilton is going to be great.\"
\r\n
\r\nCrouse is as competitive as anyone in the Lugnuts clubhouse, but there's even more at stake when National pride is involved.
\r\n
\r\n\"Team Canada is one of those things where you play one year and you just want to come back the next time because it was such a great experience,\" he said. \"Playing for your country is great because your not just playing for your team or your name, you're playing for Canada.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's a competitiveness factor where everyone wants to win for their country. Baseball is baseball, you compete and you do your best no matter what, but playing for Team Canada definitely adds something to it.\"
\r\n
\r\nBefore he goes on to play with Team Canada, Crouse will be going down to Instructional League to work on his swing.
\r\n
\r\n\"You're always going to be adjusting in this game,\" Redmond said. \"Whether it's power going the other way or just making solid contact, just consistency. It takes so long to be consistent in this game and you need to work on your swing to do it.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's gotta work on his swing and be consistent and continue to get at-bats. He's got a lot of work to do on his swing, working on making contact. Michael just needs to stay healthy and keep playing.\"
\r\n
\r\nThat's truly the only key for Crouse, a player who signed for $150,000 in '08 and could pay big dividends for the Blue Jays down the line.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's a special player, he's a game-changer,\" Redmond said. \"He can get a big hit, steal a base, score from second on a high chopper. Those guys don't grow on trees.\"
\r\n
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