The Toronto Blue Jays acquired starter J.A Happ from the Houston Astros in a 10 player deal in mid-July last season. Happ saw action as both a starter and a swing-man in the bullpen since becoming a member of the Jays.
This season there were whispers Happ would start the season in Triple A with the Buffalo Bisons rather than the bullpen. The reasoning was Happ still had options and the Blue Jays wanted to keep him stretched out as a starter in case of injury to their front five.
However, we are three weeks away from opening day and fifth starter Ricky Romero has not shown any indication that he is poised to rebound from last season. Romero has been hit hard again this spring while Happ has put up decent numbers.
Since being acquired by the Astros, Happ posted a 3-2 record with a 4.69 in six starts fanning 46 batters in 40 innings pitched.
This spring Happ is 1-0 with a 1.93 era in nine innings pitched, although has surrendered 13 hits to the opposition.
On the flip side, Ricky Romero has posted a 6.93 era in 5.2 innings pitched this spring allowing four earned runs.
The Blue Jays will need to make a decision in the coming weeks on the fifth spot in the rotation and decide whether a change of scenery will help Romero regain the form he once possessed on the mound.
If the Jays are going to contend they need to break camp with the pitcher that will get the job done immediately and effectively.
No time for second chances this season.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.