Blue Jays’ Happ set to make triple-A rehab start

J.A. Happ (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Left-hander J.A. Happ is scheduled to make a rehabilitation start at triple-A Buffalo Thursday. The Bisons announced that Happ will make his second rehab outing against the Pawtucket Red Sox at Coca-Cola Field.

Happ, who was placed on the disabled list with lower back tightness after a poor spring training showing, made his first rehab start in the Class A Florida State League Saturday. He pitched five innings, allowing two earned runs, three hits and one walk while striking out five.

Happ had been slated to open the season as Toronto’s fourth starter, but back soreness pushed him to the disabled list and opened up a rotation spot for Dustin McGowan. It’s not clear how the Blue Jays will align their rotation once Happ returns, as McGowan, Drew Hutchison, Brandon Morrow, R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle are all healthy one week into the season.

McGowan is scheduled to start Thursday for the Blue Jays against the Houston Astros. He struggled in his season opener against the New York Yankees, and if he falters again it would be possible for the Blue Jays to substitute in Happ the following turn through the rotation.

Happ also had a rehabilitation assignment with the Bisons in 2013.