Could this be Toronto’s Opening Day rotation?
There’s a good chance, now that Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has finalized a trade to bring right-hander Brandon Morrow north of the border. The way things stack up right now, you could be looking at a rotation of Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Marc Rzepczynski, Brett Cecil and Morrow.
Not too bad, if you ask me. Not going to win the East, but that’s a starting five with plenty of upside. If Marcum’s healthy, he’s in. After winning 13 games last year, Romero is a virtual lock as well. Cito loves Rzepczynski and Cecil would seem to have the best shot of landing the fifth spot at the moment.
Obviously, things could change.
Other pitchers in the mix are David Purcey, Scott Richmond, Brad Mills and Robert Ray. Don’t forget about recently-acquired Kyle Drabek, who could be a darkhorse candidate, though the addition of Morrow helps the Jays send Drabek to the farm for more development. The same would seem to apply to guys like Zach Stewart and Reidier Gonzalez. Casey Janssen and Brian Tallet seem destined to wind up back in the bullpen.
If the season started today, what’s your starting five?
ON LITSCH, MCGOWAN:
During the conference call today, Anthopoulos explained how he and his staff do a detailed evaluations of expected innings from all of their starters, something that is especially important in light of the fact that Toronto does not have Halladay to count on this season. I asked the Jays GM if he includes Jesse Litsch or Dustin McGowan in his evaluation for the upcoming season. Here’s what Anthopoulos said:
“We’ve talked about Litsch being back in July and McGowan, we’re still not certain what his role is going to be and what his health is going to be. So, we don’t really factor them in when we look at the offseason, because you just don’t know when it comes to the health of starters. Will they have a setback? Will they come back sooner? Will they come back later? So we’re not making plans of expecting them back at certain dates. We’re trying to go into the season and go into the spring with the guys that we know are ready to open the year with us and can come in and compete. The same way with some of our young guys, we think some of them might be ready to go hopefully in the middle of the season, or late in the season, but we’re not going to count on them, because we don’t want to rush anyone’s development because we’re short starters.”