In the three days leading up to Toronto's day off, the rotation will remain unchanged. Halladay is scheduled to start against the Pirates on Saturday, McGowan is on deck for a road start against the Twins on Sunday and A.J. Burnett is slated for a start against Pittsburgh on the road Monday.
Following Tuesday's off-day, the Blue Jays plan on hiding three of their starters from the American League East rvial Yankees and Red Sox. Halladay, McGowan and Marcum will each face either New York or Boston in their first starts of the regular season, and Toronto pitching coach Brad Arnsberg would prefer to not give those clubs a free preview.
Marcum, who is penciled in for a start against Boston in the Jays' home opener April 4, is scheduled to throw in a Minor League game Wednesday, when Toronto is on the road for a Grapefruit League game against Boston. Halladay -- the Jays' Opening Day starter against the Yankees on March 31 -- will forego Toronto's game against New York on Thursday in favor of a Minor League outing.
McGowan, who is the planned starter for Toronto's April 3 tilt in New York, will pitch in a Minor League game on March 22 instead of against the Yankees in Tampa. Jesse Litsch, who started against the Rays on Friday, will make his next turn on six days' rest on March 21 on the road against the Tigers. Burnett will have five days in between his next two starts and will pitch against the Phillies on March 23.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.