Toronto Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons without hesitation named his opening day starter and the order the four remaining hurlers would follow at the recent “State of the Franchise” at the Rogers Centre this past week.
Gibbons matter of declared newly acquired National League Cy Young winner R.A Dickey the Blue Jays opening day starter against the Cleveland Indians on April 2nd.
Following Dickey will be fireballer Brandon Morrow who is coming off a successful campaign but one in which he still spent time shelved on the disabled list with an oblique strain. Morrow was the Blue Jays most consistent pitcher and led the team in wins last season with 10.
Toeing the rubber for the final contest of the three-game series will be newcomer and seasoned veteran lefty Mark Buehrle who Toronto acquired in the mega deal with the Miami Marlins. Buehrle is coming off a 13-13 season with the Marlins last season and will definitely add some much needed leadership to the rotation.
The fourth game of the season will see the return of John Farrell and company as the Boston Red Sox visit Toronto. The contest should be a heated affair for the fans as they welcome back Farrell who fled to Boston to pursue his “Dream Job” leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of Blue Jays Nation. Newcomer and potential ace in his own right Josh Johnson will take the bump for Game four. Johnson is a year away from a huge pay day and looks to improve on a disappointing 8-14 season.
The 5th starter in the revamped rotation is the Blue Jays opening day starter from just a year ago Ricky Romero. The former number one looks to rebound from a miserable 2012 campaign where he posted a 9-14 record with an astronomical 5.77 era and inflated whip of 1.674. The Jays need Romero to regain his All-Star form in the five slot otherwise Mr. Romero could find himself touring minor league parks on a bus as a member of the Buffalo Bisons. The Blue Jays have swing-man J.A Happ should Romero falter.
Gibbons credits that all five of his starters could pitch anywhere in the rotation but attempted to separate the soft tossing lefties with the hard throwing righties.
On paper this is how the rotation plays out:
- R.A Dickey 20-6
- Brandon Morrow 10-7
- Mark Buehrle 13-13
- Josh Johnson 8-14
- Ricky Romero 9-14