Sunday, April 15, 2012

Who Will Pitch on April 21st?

The Blue Jays are currently using a 4-man rotation because they have been blessed with many off days this month. On Saturday, April 21st, a 5th starter will be needed once again, but the question that has not been answered yet is who will become that 5th starter? There are options at AA, AAA, and in the Jays Bullpen, and a final decision isn't likely to come until later this week.Here is the list of pitchers that could fill the role.

Carlos Villanueva
Joel Carreno
Aaron Laffey
Drew Hutchison
Deck McGuire
Brett Cecil
Chad Jenkins

From that list, these are the guys who will not be considered.

Carlos Villanueva- He is the Jays long man in the bullpen, and has been very dominant so far. I don't think he will get the start because Dustin McGowan's return date is still unknown, and he is only a spot starter, not someone who can fill the role for a month and a half if needed.

Drew Hutchison- I don't believe the Jays want to call him up and send him back down, so he won't get the job for a month, just to be sent down in mid-May. Also, the Jays want to save his arm for August-September, when he could really impact this club, so his chances are slim.

Deck McGuire- AA stated on the Fan 590 today that Deck is not being considered. He has gotten off to a bad start this season in New Hampshire for the Fisher Cats, but he will most likely be in Toronto some time this year.

Brett Cecil- Cecil Spring Training struggles have continued into AA, as he has given up 9 runs in just 11.2 innings pitched, in the span of just 2 starts. He has a WHIP of 1.65, and a BABIP of .435, both horrible numbers. I still think its going to be a few months before Cecil makes it back to Toronto, if he makes it back to Toronto.

The Remaining 3 pitchers are: Aaron Laffey, Joel Carreno, Chad Jenkins. These are the reasons why I think they have a chance.

3. Aaron Laffey- Laffey was just sent down yesterday to make room for Sergio Santos coming back from his paternity leave, and because the Jays wanted to stretch him out again. He has not pitched in a long time, so his chances of getting this spot aren't very high because he needs to work up his arm to be a starter again.

2. Joel Carreno- Carreno was the original 5 starter to start the season, but was sent down after his only start to keep him on a starters routine, and not out him in the Jays bullpen. I see him as a reliever, and I do not want him to get this opportunity to start. He doesn't have enough quality pitches to start, so the only way I see him being in Toronto in the future is as a reliever. Because he is on a starters schedule, he has a better chance of getting the spot ahead of Laffey.

1. Chad Jenkins- Jenkins has been solid so far in his two starts in New Hampshire, but what really rose his stock was his very impressive spring. He pitched to a 1.13 ERA in 8 innings pitched, and looked great on the mound.Jenkins throws a four seam and two seam fastball, and the 2 seam has a ton of movement. His strikeout pitch is his slider, and he also throws a Change up that is developing. I see him being called up later this week, and becoming the Jays number 5 guy. Hopefully he proves his worth, and runs with the job.

Who do you think should get the job? Leave your comments in the section below!

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