Feb 18, 2014; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Mark Buehrle (56) throws as the Blue Jays workout at Bobby Mattick Training Center. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays: Hopes For A Starting Pitcher Fading

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The Toronto Blue Jays are currently in Dunedin, Florida and they are just beginning their spring training schedule. The question, is whether this is the group of players that the Jays will stick with until the start of the regular season.

As mentioned yesterday by Kevin Thang, the Jays are not likely to sign Ervin Santana, one of the few upper echelon pitchers left on the market.

After Ubaldo Jimenez was signed by the Baltimore Orioles, the Jays are now seeing their rotation options dwindling, fast.

With no other marquee free agents, and a miniscule chance of a trade in the coming weeks, for better or for worse, the Toronto Blue Jays are likely stuck with their current crop of starters.

With R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle the Toronto Blue Jays have two front line starters that they can rely on for 200+ innings. Looking beyond those two though, there is a decided drop off.

The 3-5 slots in the rotation will be for players coming back from injury (Brandon Morrow), up-and-coming prospects (Marcus Stroman and Kyle Drabek) and a one time ace looking to regain his form (Ricky Romero).  Oh, and Esmil Rogers. Can’t forget about him, or can we?

While this group is somewhat talented, it does not match up well with the rest of the AL East, arguably MLB’s toughest division.

After a less than stellar 2013 season, the Jays brain trust has to be hoping for a drastic improvement over last year’s disappointing last place finish.

If a part of that hope is the rotation, then that hope will quickly turn to renewed grief, as Dickey was beaten up in his first year in the AL and any team that has Buehrle as one of their best pitchers cannot rightly claim to be a contending team.

A lot will have to go right for the Jays to redeem themselves. However, banking on players with known durability issues in the field, and a less than impressive rotation, will see the Jays in the basement once more.

After the huge off season last year sparked huge amounts of hype, this year marks a disappointment. For the sake of GM Alex Anthopoulus and Manager John Gibbons, the Toronto Blue Jays have to be better.

The reality is that without another quality starter, the Jays are dead in the water, and it isn’t even March.

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