On Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays and manager John Gibbons announced a tentative pitching schedule for Spring Training. And as expected, the World Baseball Classic is already throwing a monkey wrench into the works.
Brandon Morrow, who has been penciled in as the team’s number two starter when the season begins, will take the mound first for the Grapefruit League opener. The righty will get the nod to appear against the Tigers in Lakeland on Saturday at 1:05pm EST. The 28-year-old Morrow led the Blue Jays with 10 wins and a 2.96 ERA in 2012, but also missed a chunk of starts from June 11th through August 25th due to a strained oblique.
Gibbons also announced that he would take veterans Brett Lawrie, J.P. Arencibia, and Adam Lind to Lakeland with the team, but that most other regulars would likely stay back for Sunday due to a split-squad schedule.
Mark Buehrle, acquired in an offseason trade with the Marlins, will get the nod in the Dunedin side of the split-squad day, toeing the rubber against the Baltimore Orioles. J.A. Happ will start the other half of the split, traveling to Tampa to match-up against the New York Yankees.
That leaves Josh Johnson or R.A. Dickey to meet up with Boston in Dunedin on Monday. Dickey is the most likely be the recipient of that start as the team will try to line him up with his first expected start at the World Baseball Classic, where he will suit up for the United States team.
Dickey has already been named the team’s Opening Day starter, followed by Morrow, Buehrle, Johnson, and Ricky Romero.