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Preview: Blue Jays (14-17) open home and home with Phillies (15-14)

ja-happ-and-young-fan-cf1309c0689115ef_largeMarcus Stroman J.A. Happ gets the start tonight against his former team trying to prove he’s still a useful MLB starter, but more so trying to prove that he’s a better option than Marcus Stroman. Well, he’s not. To put it simply: if the Jays move forward with Happ in the rotation and Stroman in the bullpen, there is something seriously wrong with this organization. And to put it even more simply: I do not share the same emotion as the kid in this picture.

Happ’s 4.15 ERA this year isn’t awful in his extremely limited sample size out of the bullpen. But his 1.84 WHIP and .200 BABIP suggest that’s more the result of luck than anything. His FIP is 7.75. His BB/9 is 10.4. Those are both absolutely abysmal. But hey, why not take him out of the bullpen and throw in our top prospect starter who has been lighting up AAA this year.

It makes absolutely no sense. Plus, as Asher mentioned on the podcast, Stroman is in the midst of developing a changeup to add to his fastball/slider repertoire. Do relievers often need more than 2 pitches? Not really. With Stroman obviously looking to impress in his first shot in the big leagues, is he going to stick to what he does best and throw his fastball and slider, or is he going to mix in his changeup to continue to develop it? Probably the former considering he’s only going to be seeing batters once so he doesn’t need to really mix his pitches up, just throw his best stuff and try and beat them. So not only are the Jays not putting their best foot forward starting Happ instead of Stroman, they are using that foot to step on the development of arguably their top prospect. Unbelievable.

As for the lineup, Navarro is out again tonight but is reportedly available to pinch hit and hopefully will be ready to catch Buehrle Wednesday.

Brett Lawrie, drama over him playing 2B aside, continues to hit the ball well and has bumped his average up to .233. Colby Rasmus has also struggled to start the year, but had a lovely weekend going 5 for 13 with 2 homers, including one on a curveball!!! That’s right, he was thrown a curveball (with 2 strikes!!!) and managed to not only make contact with hit, but hit it out the park!!! You’re not alone if you’ve started questioning everything you thought to be real.

With those two starting to break out, the focus inevitably shifts to Jose Reyes, who’s been more or less useless at the plate this year. Sure, he was injured to start the year, but he had all of spring training plus the last two weeks to shake the offseason rust off. No excuses.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Blue Jays 05/05 (14-17)
OBP HR RBI
SS 7 Jose Reyes .235 1 6
LF 53 Melky Cabrera .364 6 14
RF 19 Jose Bautista .458 9 20
1B 10 Edwin Encarnacion .336 2 17
3B 47 Juan Francisco .382 3 6
2B 13 Brett Lawrie .280 6 21
CF 28 Colby Rasmus .265 7 16
C 22 Josh Thole .455 0 2
P 48 J.A. Happ .000 0 0
ERA WHIP K/BB
P 48 J.A. Happ 4.15 1.84 4/5

And finally, to end this on a positive note, this could be fun for tomorrow’s game:

As always, don’t forget to follow on Twitter:

@JaysBalk
@The_PistolPete

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