First of all, no it’s not good that Brandon Morrow, expected to NBA jerseys be the Jays’ No. 3 starter after the Dec. 23 trade with the Mariners, couldn’t make his start on Friday due to a sore shoulder. Let’s all take a step away from this news and don’t gather around the burning garbage can, breaking into a serenade of "Here we go again."
Now, before you all start getting red in the face and hyper-ventilating; let’s take stock of exactly what has transpired over the last couple of days.
And it was also not good news when Dustin McGowan, making his first appearance in a game since July 8, 2008, couldn’t break 89 m.p.h. on the radar gun in a Triple-A start on Friday, throwing 36 pitches. In what is being described as going through a "dead arm" period, something that happens to many pitchers during spring training, the Jay are going to shut McGowan down for a week before he steps up on the hill again. There’s nothing wrong with that. Having him make the Opening Day roster was overly ambitious and not realistic.
According to the 25-year-old right-hander, he’s gone through bouts of soreness in previous pre-seasons, so it’s nothing new for him and his new team to worry about. Morrow will see a doctor on Sunday and he is likely to make his next assignment, scheduled for Wednesday against division-rival Tampa Bay in nearby St. Petersburg. Of course, the Blue Jays are going to err on the side of caution, seeing as this is Morrow’s first spring with the team and they don’t have intimate knowledge of his past health. So it will be up to the doctors to give Morrow the clearance before he toes the rubber again.
With the Blue Jays not expected to challenge for the post-season in 2010, rushing McGowan back makes absolutely no sense. He should start the season on the disabled list, stay in warm weather Florida to build up his stamina, and then make several rehab starts before they think about making any regular season appearances. Unfortunately, the Jays no longer have any options allowing them to send McGowan to Triple-A Las Vegas to get game-ready. He wouldn’t be the first pitcher to need extra time to return from shoulder surgery, so an extremely cautious approach makes the most sense.
Am I the only one that feels that Saturday’s starting lineup against the Braves might very well be the one Cito Gaston has stand alongside him on the third baseline at The Ballpark in Arlington when the Blue Jays open their 34th season against the Rangers in Texas? I would have no problem if the following nine is handed to umpires before the game:
With Edwin Encarnacion still bothered by a sore wrist after off-season surgery and yet to take part in exhibition games with two weeks left on the schedule, it would make sense if he starts the season on the bench or even the disabled list. That would allow Bautista to play third, Lind left field and Ruiz, who has done nothing but hit this spring, to get some early action as the designated hitter. In fact, Saturday’s starting lineup might be the best nine that the Jays can put out there.