Blue Jays officially name their starting rotation


As expected, John Gibbons named his starting rotation on Tuesday morning, and handed the Opening Day assignment to veteran lefty, J.A. Happ.

Now that we’re inside 10 days before the Opening Day game for the Toronto Blue Jays, some pieces of the roster are going to be finalized in the coming days. The first of which was announced on Tuesday morning, with the Blue Jays naming J.A. Happ as their Opening Day starter, and the rest of the rotation order being laid out as well. For Happ, it’ll be the first time receiving the honour of the Opening Day game across his 11 seasons as a pro.

Happ will be followed by Aaron Sanchez, who has looked fantastic during Grapefruit League action, and hopefully has put the fingernail/blister/tendon issues behind him that derailed his 2017 season. If spring action is any indication, it looks as if Sanchez is poised for a big year.

Following Sanchez is Marco Estrada, who enters his fourth season as a member of the Blue Jays and will look to improve on last year’s numbers. The 34 year old went 10-9 last season with a 4.98 ERA, which followed up his first All-Star appearance in 2016, when his numbers were significantly better with a 3.48 ERA. After getting things back on track during the final two months of the season, there’s plenty of reason to have faith in Estrada pitching like he did the previous two seaosns.

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Following Estrada is Marcus Stroman, who likely would have received the Opening Game nod if not for dealing with some shoulder inflammation earlier in spring camp. He looked great on the weekend against the Team Canada Jr.  National team, and is confident he’ll be ready in time to start the fourth game of the season. Obviously Gibbons shares that confidence, otherwise he likely would have held off on naming him to the opening series at this point.

Last but not least is next acquisition, Jaime Garcia, who signed a one year deal worth eight million with a club option for 2019. Garcia has a career 3.69 ERA in 174 starts across nine seasons, and has the potential to be a very savvy pick up for John Gibbons’ rotation. While he likely won’t perform as the ace he appeared he would be earlier in his career, he should be a very strong option to bring up the rear of the rotation, and gives the Jays some badly needed depth among their starters.

The Blue Jays will open their season up at home against the Yankees for a four game set, and then will host the White Sox for three games before they have their first road trip in 2018.

The Yankees have also named their rotation, and the Blue Jays will line up against Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, and Sonny Gray in the first round games.

Next: The Case Against a Marcus Stroman Extension