Toronto Blue Jays Pitching Update: The Mysterious Fifth Starter and McGowan

Stephen BrownCorrespondent IIApril 19, 2012

DUNEDIN, FL - MARCH 10: Pitcher Dustin McGowan #29 of the Toronto Blue Jays starts against the Houston Astros March 10, 2012 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida. The Jays defeated the Astros 5-2.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

It is Thursday afternoon and there is some new information about the Toronto Blue Jays pitching.

We will give you a quick overview of important news and notes regarding the Blue Jays pitching staff.

Let's get to it.

 

Dustin McGowan returns to his throwing program

Although there is no update or timetable for his return, McGowan has begun to the process of rehabbing his right foot.

He is currently working at the Bobby Mattick Training Centre in Dunedin, Florida (the Spring Training home of the Blue Jays) and according to the Blue Jays website, McGowan will need roughly six weeks to build up enough arm strength and return to the club.

McGowan will begin by throwing from 60 feet everyday in two days followed by 90 and eventually 120 feet before he gets back on the mound.

Hopefully McGowan will make his first start at the beginning of June.

 

Who is the mysterious fifth starter?

I have always been a Luis Perez fan, but due to his workload in the pen and consequent success, I doubt he will have a shot at the fifth starting job.

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 8:  Starting pitcher Joel Carreno #34 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on April 8, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Word on the street is that either Double-A Drew Hutchison or Triple-A Jesse Chavez are the front-runners for the job.

The omission of Joel Carreno seems a bit odd as discussed by Gregg Zaun on the pre-game yesterday. But according to GM Alex Anthopoulos, "The other two guys have just thrown a little better up to this point."

The worry with Hutchison is that he is 21 years old and could use some further seasoning but Anthopoulos compares him to Alvarez who has made a smooth transition to the bigs. 

All in all, compared to poor projections as to who will pitch on April 21 it seems, barring a trade or waiver claim, it will be Hutch or Chavez. I have my money on Hutch.

 

Has Morrow's hot spring been quenched?

Morrow looked primed for a big year and he has all the ability in the world but his past two starts have been mediocre with familiar demons coming to get him.

In yesterday's start he gave up three more home runs with many other hard hit balls all around the diamond.

His command was poor and the Rays clearly had a strategy to attack his first-pitch fastballs, as was the case when Zobrist hit one over the fence in the first.

As I mentioned in my previous piece, he needs to mix his pitches and hit his spots every at bat. He can't miss up in the zone, especially at home, and needs to feel comfortable to throw more than his fastball when he gets in a jam.

John Farrell will not change any of his off-day routines.Yet something needs to be changed as Morrow stated

"I tried a number of times to get my curveball over, that wasn't working for me. Had a decent changeup, but when you've got poor fastball command like that, things aren't going to go well."

I expect Morrow to bounce back in his next start against the Royals on the 23rd.

There is your update on Blue Jays pitching.

Get at me on Twitter @the__ste (Double Underscore) for Blue Jays updates and info.