We all saw the moves coming, but the Toronto Blue Jays finally made it official with a flurry of moves for the rotation that will take place within the coming days, as reported by Gregor Chisholm at MLB.com.
First up, lefty J.A. Happ will start Monday afternoon’s tilt with the Oakland Athletics, getting the nod one day earlier than his next scheduled start. Happ made it through just four innings in his first start since May 7th, surrendering 7 runs (6 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks while striking out a pair against Seattle last Wednesday.
Happ gets moved up in the rotation for two reasons. First, his grandfather passed away recently and he is expected to go on bereavement leave to attend the funeral.
Secondly, this start was originally scheduled to go to Josh Johnson, but his start has been moved back until Wednesday. Before Jays fans get overly excited and expect some announcement about a trade, there is no pending move involving Johnson. Instead, he experienced some forearm tightness during his last start, which could help explain the decision by John Gibbons to lift him after just 85 pitches during that outing. The Blue Jays expect that a couple extra days of rest should help Johnson out, but it’s just another chink in the armor for Toronto’s struggling bust.
The final move was the expected one. The Blue Jays have opted to move Esmil Rogers back into the bullpen. His recent struggles have been well documented and Toronto has decided that it was time to start limiting
the damage his innings, hoping that helps right his ship.
Rogers’ scheduled start on Tuesday will then go to Todd Redmond, who is expected to be recalled from Buffalo to take that turn in the rotation. This will be Redmons’d third tour of duty with the Blue Jays, with the 28-year-old right-hander making 8 appearances (5 starts) and posting a 1-1 record, a 4.22 ERA, and a 9.8 K/9 ratio. His best start of the season came on July 28th against Houston, where he struck out 10 and allowed just a single run over six strong innings. Unfortunately, Redmond followed that up with a 3.2 inning appearance against the Angels where he surrendered 3 earned and seven hits before being demoted on August 2nd.
If Happ hits the bereavement list following his start on Monday, that will open the roster spot for Redmond on Tuesday. However, the Blue Jays will need to make a corresponding move prior to reactivating Happ, especially if they intend to keep Redmond in the rotation again. Brad Lincoln still has options available, and would be the most likely arm to be sent down. However, Toronto could opt to designate Mickey Storey for assignment again and keep Lincoln, who has thrown 10.1 consecutive scoreless innings, in the bullpen.