TORONTO — In case the news hasn’t reached you yet, Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum is done for the season — next season, that is. Marcum needs Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and won’t be able to pitch for Toronto until 2010. Bad news in Bird Land.
So, if A.J. Burnett opts out of his contract — the most likely scenario — Toronto’s projected rotation for Opening Day 2009 includes Roy Halladay, Jesse Litsch, David Purcey, aaaaand….Casey Janssen? Brett Cecil? Ricky Romero? Scott Richmond? Behind the top three, it’s all up in the air.
But, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi the sudden loss of Marcum doesn’t figure to impact any of his offseason plans. So, while he’s said Toronto might offer another year or two on Burnett’s contract in an effort to sway him to stay, Ricciardi said he won’t be pushing any panic buttons due to the rotation’s cloudy forecast.
“We’re not going to do something out of panic,” Ricciardi said. “I don’t feel like we have to do anything. I feel like we’ve got young pitchers here who we’re pretty much convinced that they can come here and pitch. We’ll go with those guys.”
Marcum, meanwhile, fought back tears as he delivered the news of his upcoming surgery to reporters this afternoon. Toronto hasn’t heard back from Dr. James Andrews just yet, and there’s no schedule date as of now for the operation, but the procedure is coming and it’ll take Marcum out of the picture for all of next season.
“You’ve got to deal with it,” Marcum said. “It’s part of the game — injuries happen. I’ve just got to move forward and try to get healthy as soon as possible and be back here to help this club in 2010.”
BOSTON (89-63-83) at TORONTO (82-71)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Sean Casey, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Mark Kotsay, RF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Jason Varitek, C
PITCHING: RHP Paul Byrd (11-12, 4.53)
Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, SS
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Adam Lind, DH
Scott Rolen, 3B
Gregg Zaun, C
Travis Snider, LF
PITCHING: RHP A.J. Burnett (18-10, 4.19)