SEATTLE -- Blue Jays manager John Farrell is contemplating the idea of going to a six-man rotation following the club's off-day on Monday. Farrell would like to find a way to insert recently acquired left-hander J.A. Happ into the starting rotation. The veteran hurler is currently pitching out of the bullpen, but that is expected to change in the relatively near future. To accommodate a spot for Happ, the Blue Jays would either have to remove someone who is currently starting or simply bump everybody back a day through a turn in the rotation.
"The one thing we strongly consider is how far away we get from J.A.'s last start and then realistically how far he can go in his first start in the rotation," Farrell said. "Because you combine that with the return of Brandon [Morrow] at some point, where he's going to have limits on him and it's tough to have two guys in the rotation looking at 80-pitch limits. Then we're back into chasing our tail, as we've done before, where you're carrying that extra pitcher." Happ hasn't started since July 16, when he was still a member of the Astros. Since then, he has pitched a total of five innings in three games for the Blue Jays while allowing three runs. The 29-year-old has a strong preference to start, and the club would like to accommodate. With Brett Cecil and Aaron Laffey pitching relatively similar, Farrell has yet to decide whether one of them would be moved to the bullpen or if the club would be best served letting everyone have at least another turn. "I don't know that there are too many drawbacks," Farrell said of the six-man rotation. "You're looking at young guys in Henderson [Alvarez's] case, you want to control the number of innings thrown, give a breather to some guys, get J.A. in the rotation, there are more positives than drawbacks for sure."