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MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Early Grades for Toronto Blue Jays’ Starting Rotation, Bullpen

Early Grades for Toronto Blue Jays' Starting Rotation, Bullpen

R.A. Dickey Blue Jays
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The recent cold-front the Blue Jays have endured brought back a few fond memories of the organization's first ever game played; where a 1977 snowstorm ensued. However, past similarities are also bringing back some opposite flashbacks. It's early, but a progress report is mandatory. The staff and their bullpen mates have displayed dominance, yet frustrating inconsistencies at the same time. It's time for a report card.

R.A. Dickey: F+

R.A. Dickey Blue Jays
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R.A. Dickey: F+

R.A. Dickey Blue Jays
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Which poison should I pick first? Well, let's investigate Dickey's disturbing case file. R.A. has gone 15-16 in a Blue Jays' uniform, and the knuckleballer has allowed at least five earned runs in 12 starts over the last two seasons (an MLB-high). A bone can be thrown in respect to the sporadic brilliance, but the de facto "No.1" on this staff continues to collapse one big inning at a time. This year has witnessed another failing grade so far.

Drew Hutchison: A

Drew Hutchison Blue Jays
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Drew Hutchison: A

Drew Hutchison Blue Jays
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Time for the bright side. Tommy John surgery has snake-bitten a countless number of arms; Hutchison falls on its victim list. Last year held a staggering statistic, as 34 percent of all pitchers who made an appearance, underwent the ominous operation. That only proves one can complete a comeback, and Hutch has picked the perfect time. Many expected a few bumps, but few expected a rise to the occasion this fast. The Jays' secret No.1 starter.

Mark Buehrle: A+

Mark Buehrle Blue Jays
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Mark Buehrle: A+

Mark Buehrle Blue Jays
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The crafty lefty deserves respect, especially after another stellar showing on Saturday afternoon. Buehrle's recent revival to the tune of a 4-0 record, 0.64 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, coupled with a 19/5 K/BB ratio is nothing short of sensational. A track record exists, however, the impressive start can come to an abrupt league-average halt at a moment's notice. Enjoy the "elite" ride while it lasts, but for now, this is vintage Buehrle, circa 2005.

Brandon Morrow: D-

Brandon Morrow Blue Jays
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Brandon Morrow: D-

Brandon Morrow Blue Jays
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Big plans have always been in the back of Blue Jays' fans minds when it comes to the power righty. Nowadays, a backlash of those same supporters is brewing citywide. The perennial tease needs to end. Morrow the "ace" was recently spotted toying with the Houston Astros' lineup only to follow-up that optimism by needing 98 pitches to get through 3.2 innings of his next start. I'm afraid Morrow's upside just might remain forever untapped.

Dustin McGowan: C+

Dustin McGowan Blue Jays
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Dustin McGowan: C+

Dustin McGowan Blue Jays
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Every team needs a feel-good story; look no further than Dustin McGowan, one who has an entire country rooting for his success. Even though endless waist-high fastballs were thrown, a mulligan can be awarded for his comeback jitters. Its been a tale of two worlds since, one showcasing his true arsenal of mastery, the other a four-BB in four IP head-scratcher. The sky really is the limit on the ability side, but health is the broken record.

Bullpen: B

Sergio Santos Blue Jays
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Bullpen: B

Sergio Santos Blue Jays
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Overall the bullpen has remained this squad's backbone. Did anybody witness Nuke LaLoosh take the hill for the Jays on Thursday night? My apologies, Sergio Santos was the one who left his strike-zone GPS in the clubhouse. OK, I must admit, he has been downright filthy at times this season. With that said, Brett Cecil is the one in need of a shout-out, continuing to cement his anchor-status.