When it comes to pitching needs, there are very few teams in baseball with a greater need than the Toronto Blue Jays. A sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays was enough to show that the four days off was not enough to right what ails Toronto’s starting rotation. They need an upgrade and they need it fast.
Hello J.A. Happ.
The 30-year-old left-hander has been sidelined since taking a Desmond Jennings line-drive off the head on May 7th. While it was the line drive that appeared to be the scary part of the injury, it was the strained knee Happ suffered on the way down that has kept him out for an extended amount of time.
However, it appears that Happ is making progress in his rehab assignment, as Gregor Chisholm and Evan Peaslee of MLB.com report, and he could be on his way back to Toronto shortly.
After throwing five shut-out innings on Thursday for Single-A Dunedin, the Blue Jays have opted to make Happ’s next rehab start at Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. From there he will be reevaluated and will likely make a second start before moving on to Toronto, per Chisolm.
Happ had been relatively solid for the Blue Jays in his 7 starts in 2013. While his ERA is a bit inflated at 4.91, if you take away that last start in Tampa where four earned runs were attributed to him in 1.1 innings of work, his mark is a much more respectable 3.98. He currently has a 2-2 record and a 7.1 K/9 ratio, but also sports a high 5.2 BB/9 ratio as well.
With the trade deadline approaching and the Blue Jays postseason hopes sinking daily, Alex Anthopoulos and the front office have been relatively quiet, with the exception of stating that they are not likely to move Josh Johnson prior to the deadline. That said, the small internal improvements may be the only moves made this summer.