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2010 A.D. or 1 A.H. (After Halladay) as We'll Know it in Toronto

Hi everone.  This is a guest post by Mylegacy, one of the many fantastic members of the Bluebird Banter community.  I asked him if he'd like to do a guest post, and he responded with this great bit about possible rotation candidates.  Have at it in the comments, and take it away Mylegacy!    

     - Hugo


Whether they end up in first or fifth in 2010 - the Jays will need 162 games to be "started."  Started they will be - but by whom? That is the question.

In 2009 the Jays used twelve starters: 

Leading the way was a Mr. R. Halladay who had 32 starts. Followed by Ricky Romero with 29, Brian Tallet with 25, Scott Richmond with 24, Brett Cecil with 17, Marc Rzepczynski with 11, Dave Purcey with 9, Casey Janssen with 5, Robert Ray with 4 and three with 2 starts each: Jessie Litsch, Brad Mills and Brian Burres 

Apparently, in 2010 Roy Halladay will not be available for his usual 32 starts - a serious pity. However, there are thirteen starting pitchers who will be available at some point over the year and they will decide how the team fares, where it finishes and how ravished the bullpen will be by the time the cold winds of October blow over Rogers Dome by the Lake.

In the order in which I expect the following 13 to make the MOST starts in 2010, I see: 

1) Romero. A healthy horse, set up for a full season of play, I see 32 starts.

2) Marcum. Hopefully, a now healthy horse. Could have pitched late last year but was rested. I see 28 starts. 

3) Cecil. While I slightly prefer R-alphebetsoup-ski Brett would appear to be the better long-term prospect. I expect 25 starts.

4) Rzepczynski. Marc is the guy I'd most like to see surprise - he just might - in any case I see 25 starts. 

5) Morrow. While Brandon will start 2010 in the rotation I don't see him lasting. I just don't think his control and command are nearly ready. However, I do have very high hopes for him in 2011 and going forward. In 2010 I see 20 starts.

6) Richmond. Every ready, fairly steady I see 10 starts for Scott mostly just after Morrow goes down. 

7) Drabek. I see 10 starts for Kyle when they deem him ready to take over from Richmond. I don't see him called up too early - I expect August sometime. From 2011 on this guy will be a top two starter for us with 32+ starts per year.

8) Stewart. I see 10 starts for Zach as well. IF there is a REAL sleeper on the list so far it is Zach - he has quite exceptional stuff and could be an Ace in the making. In any case I see Zach as a horse in the starting rotation in 2011 and going forward. 

9) Mills. Brad is the BEST YOUNG guy on this list that just won't make it with the Jays long term - unless he's in the pen. However, he'll get 5 starts in 2010 and probably be trade bait thereafter. IF - he had to be in the starting rotation - he'd be good. Just not good enough in the AL East.

10) McGowan. Dustin could well end up in the pen. However, he'll get 2 fill in starts this year. When (IF) he returns to full health in 2011 he'll be a very serious candidate for a 25 game spot in that rotation. This year I think he'll be working the starting kinks out in AAA with a possible move to the pen there IF he just doesn't look physically up to starting. Either starting OR in the pen - Dustin is not done yet! 

11) Purcey. Dave is the worse case scenario for Morrow. Purcey has had to take so much off his faastball to be able to throw it near the plate that he's not really a top starting prospect. However, in the pen in shorter uses - who knows? In 2010 I see him making 2 make up starts in TO.

12) Litsch. Jessie will get two starts in the bigs - mostly in a fill in role. He'll be back in a AAA or AA rotation by mid to late August. Another wild card in 2011. 

13) Ray. Robert will get 1 fill in start in 2010. Rob is not a bad prospect - however on this team - he either makes a career in the pen or on some other team.

In addition to the Bakers Dozen above, mid-2011 Chad Jenkins should be ready to make his big noisy entrance pitching in the Bigs. AND - Chad looks to be a very solid number 2 or 3 MLB starter. He'll rip a place for himself in the top 5 - no question by opening day 2012.  A bit later - possibly by mid-2012 or early 2013 Henderson Alvarez will also be FORCING his way into the rotation. On starting day 2014 - in some order or another, we'll have the FOUR HORSEMEN: Jenkins, Stewart, Drabek and Henderson with ONE of: Morrow, Romero, Cecil or Rzepczynski. However it goes - the Bullpen will not want for great arms just from the starters that fall through the cracks. 

Now if only AA can grow us a few more position studs - this is going to be a very interesting team to watch as we "Grow Them in 2010" and "Launch Them in 2011."