Jun 10, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ (48) exits the game as he is relieved by manager John Gibbons (5) in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Rogers Centre. The Twins beat the Blue Jays 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Who would be removed from Blue Jays rotation if they acquire a starting pitcher?

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For all the talk about the Toronto Blue Jays needing to add a starter there hasn’t been much or any of who would leave the rotation to go to the bullpen or Triple-A if a starter was added.

So let’s have that talk now.

Mark Buehrle: Buehrle is the one guy who obviously isn’t leaving the rotation. He has an ERA under three and made his first all-star game since 2009.

R.A. Dickey: It would actually make sense for Dickey to be in the bullpen this season since he seems to dominate a team when he only faces them twice through a lineup. But the Jays aren’t paying him 12 million dollars to provide long relief.

Drew Hutchison: Despite his great year there’s plenty of reason to think Hutch could be the guy to get put in the bullpen if the Jays acquire a starting pitcher. He’s already thrown 105 innings with his previous high being 72 innings back in 2011 in Single-A. And he’s coming off Tommy John Surgery.

Plus, the Blue Jays have already skipped a start or two of his already since the start of the year so you know they are watching his innings. Hutch going to the bullpen would be a great way to reserve his innings so he could get the most out of him in a starting role in September and hopefully October.

J.A. Happ: Happ would seem to be the most logical choice to move to the pen. Like Dickey, he’s had a lot more success facing a lineup once or twice through. And when he’s in the rotation, the bad starts tend to be really bad.

Marcus Stroman: Stroman is in the same boat as Hutchison as he’s been great but he’s young and the Jays might need to monitor his innings. It would make sense to move him to the pen so the Jays could use him to the max in September and hopefully October.

If the Blue Jays acquire a starting pitcher someone in their current rotation is got to leave. I’m just happy not to be the one deciding who.

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  • http://www.jaysjournal.com/ Keegan Matheson

    I get so caught up in the roller coaster of the past month that I often forget the innings issue with Hutch and Stro. Would be very interesting down the stretch if the Jays are making a true run, how Gibby and AA would address their high inning counts. Could be further reason to add a reliable #4-5 arm.

    • JaysHopeful

      You know, it might not be the most popular idea, but you could always do split-starts between Stroman and Hutch. One do 3-4 innings and then the other do the same, alternating who pitches first each start. It could be a pretty powerful 1-2 punch and would limit innings and pitch counts, but one would have to sacrifice the wins to the other. Just a thought.

      (And to be honest, I think that they need(ed) a #1 starter, or at least a #2 – not another #4-5)

      • http://www.jaysjournal.com/ Keegan Matheson

        I’d certainly love it (the #1-#2), all comes down to “Is the price right”? Very interesting idea on the splits, JaysHopeful, but that might cause some problems with the 25-man, hmm.

        I know that earlier, AA and Gibby would call up Hendriks, etc., to “add” an extra days rest to the rotation, which I’ve heard as an argument against resting the rookies down the stretch. That’s more of a short-term, next-start aid. Not much in terms of long term.

        Who is your money on to keep it going (their current pace) through to the end of the season? I’m growing nervous with Hutch, but I’m hoping I can just write it off as paranoia..haha.

        • JaysHopeful

          I think there is room to work around the 25-man roster. Maybe not carry multiple DHs? I also think that an established major-league commodity *can* be a better investment than an ~A-ball prospect. It’s a long road from A-ball to the show and a lot can happen, especially with the Jays development history (harsh as that is).

          With two 23-year-old rookies, one coming off a TJ and one with limited minor league experience as a starter, I just want to have both make it through the season without injury and feeling strong and confident going into 2015. I am paranoid about both of them.

  • Andrew van Laar

    It has to be Happ. He has been better this year more so than last but man when he is bad, he is baddddddd. You can say the say with Hutch with his weird home road splits but he’s just got that killer instinct. I agree with Keegan though that innings limits could play a factor in the decision. I really don’t think the Jays are really looking for an arm as much as hitting help. The bats are an absolute joke lately.

  • RyanMueller

    I will play devil’s advocate here….why not go to a six man rotation or a type of modified six man rotation. Have the new guy, if he ever materializes, step into the rotation and have Drew and Marcus go on a 6-day schedule and attempt to keep the others on a regular schedule, but if Dickey and Buehrle were to get an extra days rest it wouldn’t be the end of the world. All these guys seem to pitch better with an extra day rest.

    • Andrew van Laar

      Interesting… Like Keegan said that could run into 25 man roster issues potentially. Similar to having the 8 man bullpen though so the Jays have worked with it before.

      • Wayne Cooper

        The Jays have worked with it before, yes, last year, and Gibby was shorthanded alot. Despite having Bonifacio playing infield and outfield. We need a guy like Brandon Inge (4 years ago) 3b,2b,1b, C, corner outfield. A guy like that would be amazing on the bench. But guys like that are few and far between. I like Jeff Baker too. Good bat, clutch hitter, used to being a bench guy. Multiple positions. I just th?k if they are going to carry 3 catchers, one should be able to play other positions. Much like Ed Sprague on the ‘trenches’ in ’92

  • http://www.tipofthetower.com William Wilson

    Happ, which would make me happy.