The Toronto Blue Jays open a 10-game homestand against the Texas Rangers Friday, and it’s not an overstatement to say this could be a turning point for the club.
Winners of three straight, the Blue Jays will look to expand on their mini roll against the Rangers, followed by the Cincinnati Reds then the American League East-leading New York Yankees. One key to maintaining the momentum will be Tuesday’s game, for which the Blue Jays have yet to announce a starting pitcher.
With three-fifths of their starting rotation on the disabled list, here’s a closer look at who could potentially take the ball against the Reds that day.
Happ tossed three innings for the advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays on Thursday in his first rehab start since going on the DL with left elbow inflammation. This Tuesday would align with his throwing schedule as he’d be on regular rest, but given that Happ tossed just 56 pitches on Thursday, it might be slightly aggressive for the Blue Jays to call on him.
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins said recently that Happ — who allowed three runs on seven hits over three innings in the minor-league outing — could need as many as three rehab starts. The 34-year-old last pitched for the Blue Jays on April 16.
Like Happ, Latos pitched on Thursday, meaning he would be in line to make his next start on Tuesday. The right-hander comes with a few caveats, however. First off, he’s not currently on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster, so some tweaking would be required to accommodate Latos. Secondly, he didn’t impress during a stretch of three appearances as spot starter for the club earlier this season, allowing 11 runs on 19 hits over 15 innings before being designated for assignment and eventually returning to triple-A Buffalo.
The 29-year-old has looked good in his past two starts with the Bisons, allowing a total of three runs over 11.1 innings.
The Blue Jays’ front office is familiar with House from his time with the Cleveland Indians and it would make for a nice story if he’s able to crack the big leagues again after sustaining a scary head injury in spring training. But the left-hander is not on the 40-man roster and is coming off a string of ugly triple-A starts.
The 27-year-old, who’s got 117.2 MLB innings under his belt, surrendered four earned runs on seven hits across five frames last Tuesday, and would need to be held back from his next scheduled start in order to be ready for the spot appearance in Toronto.