Blue Jays to deploy thirteenth different starter of the season

MIAMI, FL - JULY 17: Tom Koehler
MIAMI, FL - JULY 17: Tom Koehler /

The Toronto Blue Jays will hand the ball to Tom Koehler on Thursday versus their division rivals in Tampa making him the thirteenth different hurler to start a contest for the Blue Jays this season.

Tom Koehler was acquired from the Miami Marlins earlier last week in exchange for prospect Osman Gutierrez. The 31-year old struggled in 12 starts for the Marlins this season accumulating an inflated 7.92 earned run average.

Koehler will be the thirteenth hurler that Manager John Gibbons has handed the ball to this season, a far cry from the seven starting hurlers the Blue Jays utilized for the entire season in 2016. Last season only Drew Hutchison and Liriano started games aside from the rotation arms of Stroman, Sanchez, Estrada, Happ, and R.A. Dickey.

Thus far Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Francisco Liriano, Marco Estrada, Nick Tepesch, Chris Rowley, Mike Bolsinger, Cesar Valdez, Mat Latos, Joe Biagini and Casey Lawrence have all toed the rubber to start a contest.

Koehler started over 30 games the previous three seasons for the Marlins from 2014-16 experiencing his most success in 2014 when he went 10-10 with a respectable 3.81 earned run average and 1.296 WHIP in 32 games. The hurler has made 132 starts in his 6-year career posting a career 4.43 earned run average. Koehler is earning $5.75 million this season and is arbitration eligible in 2018.

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The quality of starting pitchers that the Blue Jays have been forced to rely upon this season is a tell tale of why they are where they are in the AL East standings and losers of their last four. The likes of Bolsinger, Valdez, Lawrence, and Tepesch should all be used as organizational depth in Triple-A not starting games for a team with postseason aspirations.

However, their hand has been forced with the lingering injury to Sanchez and more recently the trade of Liriano at the deadline has handcuffed the starting rotation on the big league squad. Don’t be surprised if you also see Brett Anderson start for the Jays before the conclusion of the season as well.

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Hopefully, Koehler can right the ship and turn over a new leaf with the Blue Jays in an attempt to salvage his 2017 campaign.