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Brandon Morrow On The DL. Blue Jays Starting Rotation Set, At Least for the First Five Games

There is some real Blue Jay news today.

As Masterkembo noted in a Fanshot, Brandon Morrow will start the season on the DL. They Jays can backdate the start of his DL time to his last spring appearance, so he may only miss one start. It doesn't sound like a serious injury. I saw him in his last spring start and he looked pretty good to me. 3 hits and 6 strikeouts in 5 innings, doesn't shout out arm injury. Jays are listing it as a forearm strain and he can be back on April 6th.

So our rotation, at least for the first time through will be Ricky Romero, Kyle Drabek, Brett Cecil, Jesse Litsch and Jo-Jo Reyes. I saw each of them pitch in Florida except for Romero.

Kyle looked good in 6 innings against the Pirates. As Blair says, he doesn't strike out a lot of batters but then Roy Halladay didn't strike out a lot of guys until the last two or three years.

Cecil had a tough first inning against the Yankees but settled down after that. I wrote yesterday that after the first inning, Don Wakamatsu started calling the pitches from the bench. I'm not sure if JP's pitch calling had anything to do with the poor first inning, the Yankees are a pretty decent offensive team and it often takes an inning for a starter to get into the game.

Litsch had a poor start int he first game I saw in Dunedin, giving up 5 runs in 3.1 innings. The next day I saw him and Pat Hentgen talking about strides while pitching out of the stretch. I don't know if that had anything to do with it but Jesse's next start was very good. 

Jo-Jo pitched in a game against the Phillies. He didn't impress me all that much but he has had a decent spring. 3.46ERA in 13 innings, but only 6 hits and 3 walks. Those are good numbers. He has struck out 8. I really don't see Reyes being part of the Jays' pitching staff in the future but it is out of options and he is too good a prospect not to take a look at. 

It is too bad that Brandon is on the DL but there is an upside to it. The Jays don't have to make a tough decision on Reyes/Litsch/Drabek and since Morrow's innings will be limited again this season, having him miss a start or two at the start of the season will give him an extra couple near the end of the season. As long as the injury doesn't turn out to be serious, it isn't that bad of a thing for the Jays.