convenient excuse back injury that J.A. Happ is going through, it looks like Ervin Santana will be the 4th starter after Alex signed him this weekend Drew Hutchison will be the 4th starter for the Jays (at least until he has a bad spring outing, then we'll be calling for someone else), i figured we could have a poll asking 'who should be the Blue Jays fifth starter?'.
I was torn between 'should be' and 'will be', because I expect the two questions could have different answers. Of course, the idea of choosing players off a handful of spring innings is silly. Teams generally, even if they say there is a battle, have decided on all the spots before the start of spring training. I'm sure the Jays had decided who the fourth and fifth starters would be, until Happ looked so awful in his first two appearances.
Anyway, let's look at the candidates for the 5th spot in the rotation:
- Esmil Rogers: It is hardly fair to run this poll just after Esmil has a terrible start. Everyone has a bad outing sooner or later, each spring. I hope that was his one. He's pitched 9 innings, so far this spring, allowed 11 hits, 7 earned, 3 walks with 4 strikeouts. Last year, with 20 starts (and had 24 relief appearances) he was 4-7 with a 4.89 ERA. His September was better, he had a 3.71 ERA in 5 starts. He doesn't have any options left, and I don't think the Jays will want to expose him to waivers, but it is possible they might decide to make him the long man out of the pen.
- J.A. Happ: Happ, until he touched a ball, had the fourth spot in the rotation all wrapped up. Unfortunately, he went on the mound a couple of times. 1.1 innings, 6 hits, 6 earned, 5 walks and 3 strikeouts. The back trouble might have something to do with that. He's pitching in a minor league game today.
- Todd Redmond: Another who hasn't impressed this spring. 9 innings, 11 hits, 7 earned, 4 walks, 2 strikeouts (almost the exact same line as Rogers). Last year, he made 14 starts (and 3 relief appearances) and was surprisingly ok. He had a 4.41 ERA, with 72 strikeouts in 69.1 innings. Again, he is out of options, but I'd doubt the Jays are all that concerned about losing him off waivers. He could get the long man out of the pen role too.
- Ricky Romero: Ricky hasn't been good since 2011, but he's been pretty decent this spring: 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned, 5 walks and 6 strikeouts. If he could be the pitcher he was in 2011, that would certainly help out. Just a little repair to his knees, and he's throwing 94 mph. And we all thought the problem was in his head. Obviously, 7 good innings doesn't erase the last two awful seasons. I think, even if he continues to pitch great this spring, he'll start the season in Buffalo and wait for an injury.
- Marcus Stroman: He's thrown some good pitches, and you can see the potential, but he hasn't been good this spring. 9 innings, 13 hits, 8 earned, 2 home runs, 3 walks, 7 strikeouts. I think he'd likely do fine, but it won't hurt him to start the season in Buffalo.
- Dustin McGowan: Being sick for more than a week, when they were going to bring you along slowly, doesn't help. He had scoreless 2 innings today. In all, 4 innings, 2 hits, 3 earned, 3 walks and 2 strikeouts. Again he could be the long man in the pen.
- Kyle Drabek: Kyle has pitched 5 innings, allowed 7 hits, 6 earned, 5 walks with 2 strikeouts. His last time out was better than his first couple of time on the mound, but I don't think we'll be seeing him in Toronto, at least to start the season.
Give us your vote?