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Monday, April 7, 2014

Blue Jays' J.A. Happ (back) to make rehab start Thursday


By on 4/07/2014 01:30:00 PM

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ began his 2014 regular season on the 15-day disabled list with lower back tightness. After beginning his rehab assignment in High-A, he will take another step forward later this week.


By Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons
The southpaw allowed two runs on three hits, one walk and five strikeouts in five innings pitched for the Dunedin Blue Jays on April 5. Shi Davidi of SportsNet Canada tweeted about the next step in Happ's rehab:
Even if Happ was healthy to enter the season, it would have been interesting to see if he would've been a part of the big league rotation. In seven innings this spring, he posted a 20.57 ERA and 4.29 WHIP, including 21 hits and nine walks allowed.

The injury made it an easier decision for manager John Gibbons to name Dustin McGowan his fifth starter, but his first appearance of 2014 didn't go well, either. Facing the New York Yankees, he lasted 2.2 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, one walk and three strikeouts.

His return date is still to be determined, and will likely be clearer after his appearance in Triple-A on Thursday. Last season, Happ went 5-7 with a 4.56 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 77 strikeouts in 92.2 innings pitched. If McGowan keeps struggling, the lefty may squeeze his way back into the big leagues once deemed healthy.

You can follow Matt on Twitter: @mmusico8.

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