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Happ still preparing for season as a starter

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DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Even though there aren't any jobs in the Blue Jays' rotation currently up for grabs, J.A. Happ is still preparing for life as a starter.

Happ continues to be stretched out and made his second start of the spring Tuesday afternoon against the Orioles. He allowed a pair of runs on six hits while striking out one in three innings.

The Blue Jays' starting five is currently locked in and it's possible Happ will begin the season at Triple-A Buffalo, but according to the veteran pitcher that's not on his radar right now.

"Right now I'm focused on being a starter, building up and doing what I've done in the past," said Happ, who is also in the mix for one of Toronto's final spots in the bullpen. "I think it's possible to do both [roles] but I think my value is strongest as a starter."

Happ appeared guaranteed of a starting job until the Blue Jays embarked on an eventful offseason. Following the acquisitions of R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, it was Happ who all of a sudden went from the No. 3 starter to possibly being out of a job.

That will be tough to swallow for the six-year veteran, but something he'll likely have to come to grips with. In the meantime, it's business as normal for Happ who is doing his best to focus on the present rather than the future.

"That's the plan, to keep going one more inning each time," Happ said of extending his workload this spring. "Just build the arm strength and be able to go out there that next inning, and feel as strong as you did in the first. That's the goal."

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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