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After a winter of talking about pitching depth, this is what we have?

Edgar Gonzalez, gone again, but he'll be back.
Edgar Gonzalez, gone again, but he'll be back.
J. Meric

You remember this off-season, when it seemed like the keyword was depth. Especially depth in the starting rotation. Well, it hasn't worked out the way we hoped it would.

Right now the rotation looks like:

  1. R.A. Dickey: 7 starts in, R.A. is 2-5, with a 5.36 ERA. 42 innings (6 innings a start), 38 hits, 8 home runs, 17 walks and 33 strikeouts. He's had game scores of 74, 61, 60, 48, 43, 35 and 17 averaging 44.4. He's been battling a sore back, but it's safe to say we've been disappointed with how his season has started.
  2. Brandon Morrow: 7 starts in he is 1-2 with a 4.69 ERA, 40.1 innings (5.8 innings per start), 42 hits, 6 home runs, 17 hits, 34 strikeouts. Game scores of 71, 62, 54, 54, 47, 29 and 21 averaging 48.3. The nice part is that his best start was his last one, 8 innings just 3 hits allow (we'll ignore the 5 walks). After I typed this I see that Morrow is 'battling neck and back spasms' and might be moved back until Sunday. What more can happen?
  3. Mark Buehrle: 7 starts in, 1-2, 7.02 ERA, 41 innings (5.9 innings a start), 53 hits, 11 home runs, 11 walks and 25 strikeouts. Game scores of 59, 48, 38, 37, 33, 29 and 27, averaging 38.7. Like it or not, this is our 3rd starter, at the moment. He's gotta get better right?
  4. ?. With the Jays sending Ricky Romero down to Buffalo I don't know who is in this spot. Ramon Ortiz is up in his spot, but I'm guessing that he will be in the bullpen. We need a starter Sunday. I figure it is 50/50 that it is Ramon. Update: with the news that the Jays might be pushing Morrow back to Sunday, perhaps Ortiz will get the start Friday. Ortiz made 3 starts and had 1 relief appearance with the Bisons, 20.2 innings, 2.18 ERA, 15 hits, 4 home runs, 7 walks and 13 strikeouts.
  5. ?????? Your guess is as good as mine. With 2 off days next week, the Jays don't really need a fifth guy until the 21st.
The DL gang:

Josh Johnson: he is 0-1 with a 6.86 ERA in 4 starts, 19.2 innings (4.9 per start), 28 hits, 3 home runs, 9 walks and 19 strikeouts. Game scores of 67. 44. 37 and 15, averaging 40.8. He's eligible to come off the DL on May 13, it won't happen, but he's starting to throw now. All going well (when has all gone well with someone on our DL) soon after the 20th? Maybe he'll be able to make the start on the 21st?

J.A. Happ: he is 2-2, with a 4.91 ERA, 33 innings (4.7 innings per start), 32 hits, 3 home runs, 19 walks, 26 strikeouts. Game scores of 69, 66, 47, 42, 42, 39 and 27, averaging 47.4. He could come the DL on May 23 and it looks like he should be able to do that.

Dustin McGowan, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison are all at the starting to throw a ball stage. They are all doing the weighted ball routine, that Delabar and Cecil and others have tried. It will be at least a month, but likely more before any of them can be considered for a starting job with the Jays.

Possibilities on the 40 man roster:

Todd Redmond: He's on the DL for Buffalo and hasn't pitched this year, so not an option.

Chad Jenkins: Chad made 1 start for New Hampshire. For what it's worth, he went 5 innings, gave up 3 hits and a walk, 1 k and 2 earned in his Fisher Cat start. May 6. My memory says he was moved up to Buffalo but I don't' see him on the Bisons roster.

Other Buffalo starters (would have to be put on the 40-man roster):

Claudio Vargas: Claudio has been pretty good in Buffalo, 6 starts, a 3.86 ERA, 35 innings, 35 hits, 3 home runs, 17 walks, 28 strikeouts. Too many walks, but he has pitched in the majors before and started his career with the Expos, so he and Maicer Izturis would have things to talk about.

Justin Germano: In 5 starts, Justin has a 6.59 ERA in Buffalo, 28.2 innings, 46 hits, 4 home runs, 7 walks and 19 k. Batters are hitting .374 against him. He did pitch 2 innings for us, giving up 6 hits and 2 earned. I'm in no hurry to see him again.

Dave Bush: 5 Buffalo starts, 3.46 ERA, 26 innings, 28 hits, 5 home runs, 4 walks and 20 strikeouts. He pitched 3 innings for us, 5 hits, 5 earned, 4 (!) home runs, 1 walk, 1 k.

Miguel Batista: Miguel has made 5 starts for the Bisons as well. 4.87 ERA, 20.1 innings, 23 hits, 1 home run, 9 walks and 12 k. His first couple of starts were terrible but he's been better since. I have a feeling we'll see him sometime soon.

Edgar Gonzalez: Was just here, sent back today. In Buffalo he made 4 starts, with a 5.49 ERA, 19.2 innings, 26 hits, 2 home runs, 2 walks and 15 strikeouts. He has pitched 8 innings for us, 7.88 ERA, 9 hits, 2 home runs, 5 walks and 3 k.

So after a winter of talking about improving our starting rotation depth, we are still seeing the likes of Aaron Laffey (but not again, bet he wishes he would have taken the assignment to Buffalo now). When Hutchison and Drabek can pitch, it will look a little better, but, right now, Alex's best laid plans are falling apart.

UPDATE (Minor Leaguer)

The last time Ramon Ortiz started in Fenway Park was on August 7, 2003 when he went 3 innings, giving up 7 runs on 7 hits with 3 homers. Not that it is a prediction for tomorrow or anything....

Ortiz, at a tender age of 40 years and 47 days (as of tomorrow), will become the oldest pitcher to start for the Jays since Dave Stieb did it at age 41 years and 55 days back in his comeback bid in 1998. Since then, the oldest starter for the Jays has been R.A. Dickey, who is starting tonight at age 38 years, 192 days.