March 16, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (48) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s Going To The 7th First

It’s the second installment of “Who’s Going To The 7th First”. No Blue Jays starting pitcher has seen the 7th inning yet this season, so the search continues continues. The way the Toronto Blue Jays pitchers started the second time through the rotation it should have been called 5th inning is going to be an accomplishment.

Where’s Kyle Drabek, Brett Cecil, Henderson Alvarez, Joel Carreno, Aaron Laffey and all the other scrubs (to be honest) the Jays used last season when you need them? You know the Jays rotation had a horrible week when you can bet good money the Jays joke of a 2012 rotation would have been better than the Jays 2013 “World Series favorites” rotation this week. Saying the Jays starters were replacement level this week would be a compliment.

The Jays rotation changed our opinion of what worst case scenario is this week.

You know the Jays rotation had a horrible week when they could have let Ricky Romero start in place of anyone with the possibility that he would have a better start, working on new mechanics and all. Ricky was a leader on the Jays for a long time maybe he’s a trend setter to.

DON’T GET ME WRONG! I’m not a baseball rookie panicking from one week. I just want to make sure it’s clear how absolutely horrible the Jays rotation was the 2nd time through.

Hopefully this is the last installment of this post because a starter or three in the rotation gets their act together sooner rather than later.

At the end of the original post I said there’d be a second post if no one pitched into the 7th inning when the rotation was done a second time. The second time through the rotation isn’t finished because J.A. Happ hasn’t had a second start yet but if were going off every other starters most recent performance Happ is currently the staff ace. And since he doesn’t have that high a standard to live up to in his 2nd start to be declared the early April staff ace I’m betting on him having the best 2nd start of the season.

So with the rotation going back to the top with J.A.Happ let’s try answering that age old week and a half long question which Blue Jays starter is going to pitch into the 7th inning first?

Things in baseball change quickly but at this very moment Happ seems like the best bet. Happ went 5 ½ innings against the Red Sox in his last start and only gave up 1 hit. He starts against the Royals next. It’s too early in the season to say if the Red Sox have a better offense than the Royals so anything is possible. Happ will be pitching against the Royals in Kauffman Stadium which is a pitchers ball park opposed to Rogers Centre where he faced the Red Sox so that should only help Happ pitch deeper into the game. Between the Jays bullpen being overused lately and them not having an off day until April 29th it would be a big help.

In the original post I pointed to things each starter did in their first start that would be a sign they could go 7 innings in the next start. The rotation was so bad the second time through that literally the only thing I can go off of is they all have reputations of being able to pitch deep into games.

However we can look at their next opponents to try to take a guess.

Like Happ, Dickey and Morrow will face the Royals at Kauffman Stadium so they should be helped by the pitcher friendly ball park. Dickey, like Happ faced the Red Sox in his second start but like mentioned earlier it’s too early in the season to say if the Red Sox have a better lineup than the Royals so we’ll just have to see if Dickey can return to form.

Brandon Morrow faced the Detroit Tigers who arguably have the best lineup in baseball in his 2nd start. The Royals aren’t going to be as challenging so Morrow will have more time to make adjustments and get into a groove which is a luxury that you just don’t get against a team like the Tigers. We all know Morrow is capable of pitching deep against anyone.

Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson next starts come against the White Sox at Rogers Centre. They also were a victim of the Tigers so you would just hope that they’d be able to bounce back and pitch deep against a weaker hitting team because they have the talent and reputation.

It’s a lot harder to guess which Blue Jays starter will be the first to pinch into the 7th inning this season the 3rd time through the rotation which is a bad thing. Let’s just hope by the time we get to the 4th turn through the rotation that it’s a distant memory.

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