Jenkins, Nolin close to entering rotation mix

Jenkins, Nolin close to entering rotation mix

BOSTON -- The Blue Jays have been exposed in the past couple of weeks for having a lack of depth in the rotation, but the positive news is that some new candidates are about to enter the mix.

Double-A New Hampshire starters Chad Jenkins and Sean Nolin recently returned after missing the first month of the year because of injuries.

Jenkins was dealing with a sore shoulder, while Nolin had problems with his groin muscle. Both have one outing under their belts as they begin the process of being stretched out.

Neither is prepared to make the jump to the big leagues right now, but the Blue Jays hope it won't be too long before they can both be considered viable candidates on the depth chart.

"Nolin is someone that just got back to New Hampshire, just saw him throw the other day, and he's just not ready yet," Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "It's his first start back. He's still not sharp. If Sean Nolin ends up getting on a roll, he could definitely end up being a candidate for us.

"Jenkins same thing, he just had a 75-pitch outing. Solid start. Five innings. Probably need to see a few more, but he certainly could be an option as well going forward."

Another candidate that could soon enter the mix is promising right-hander Marcus Stroman. The 22-year-old was taken in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, but was suspended during the final month of the year after testing positive for an over-the-counter banned substance.

Stroman is eligible to be reinstated in the Minor Leagues on May 19 and is expected to be inserted into New Hampshire's rotation. His ascension to the big leagues would come quicker as a reliever, but for the time being, the Blue Jays intend to see how he handles a starting role.

"He just threw a four-inning outing in extended, was 91-96 mph, looked outstanding," Anthopoulos said. "We're anxious to get him going, which will be soon."

All three pitchers were considered possibilities to have an impact on the Blue Jays' 25-man roster this year, but because of the various setbacks have yet to play a role.

That has left the club going with various veteran options from Triple-A, including Ramon Ortiz, Aaron Laffey, Dave Bush, Justin Germano and potentially Claudio Vargas.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.