Sometimes bad situations have good consequences. Because Josh Johnson is returning from an injury J.A. Happ will take his spot in the rotation on Thursday and Johnson will start in Happ’s spot on Friday.
If you remember Happ’s spot was the 5th spot in the rotation.
With Johnson taking Happ’s spot you could argue the 5th spot is now the 1st spot because starting Friday the Toronto Blue Jays rotation will have Josh Johnson, R.A. Dickey and Brandon Morrow pitching back to back to back.
That’s more like it.
The new rotation order helps the Blue Jays immediately because the one and only King Felix will be pitching for the Seattle Mariners on Friday. So the Blue Jays will have Josh Johnson pitching against him instead of Happ. Ace against ace is always better than ace against 5th starter.
The Mariners are also going to be the first victims of the Jays having their 3 best starters pitch 3 days in a row.
And don’t overlook the value of having R.A. Dickey pitching after Johnson. It’ll be hard for teams to make the adjustment from facing the power arm of Josh Johnson to facing Dickey’s knuckleball the next day.
The Blue Jays having nothing but aces on the mound for consecutive games can also help start win streaks or stop losing streaks a lot quicker.
The Jays big 3 in the rotation haven’t been at their best yet. That’s one of the reasons the Jays are 10-18. If they all start pitching like they’re capable of they should all pitch deep into games every night so the Blue Jays will be able to give the bullpen a lot of rest.
The rotation switch means Happ will pitch after Buehrle. In a perfect world you’d like to be able to split up the lefties but they’re both very different pitchers so it’s not like the Jays would be giving teams the same look back to back days. Buehrle and Happ can also keep games competitive and are capable of pitching deep into games which is all you can ask from your 4th and 5th starter.
Johnson will have to pitch after Happ now which doesn’t really give him any extra advantage the way Dickey and Morrow have an advantage because of the pitcher that starts the day before them. But whatever, Johnson can take advantage of the fact that he’s Josh Johnson.
Unfortunately the Blue Jays have 2 off days in the same week in the middle of the May so the rotation order is bound to have to be changed again soon. Hopefully the Jays can find a way to keep their 3 aces pitching back to back even with the off days. For however long it lasts it’s going to be fun seeing the Jays have Johnson, Dickey and Morrow pitching back to back to back.
It’s not going to be fun for the teams that have to face all the Jays aces on consecutive days.
Good luck to the rest of the Major League Baseball! You’re going to need it.