In the past couple of weeks the Blue Jays have seen three starters land on the disabled last: Kyle Drabek with season-ending Tommy John surgery; Drew Hutchison, out at least a few weeks with a sore elbow; and Brandon Morrow, out with a strained oblique. On Monday, Henderson Alvarez was pulled from the game in the sixth inning with a sore elbow.
It's been a devastating turn of events for the Blue Jays, a team that is currently 38-35 and scoring a lot of runs lately as Jose Bautista (12 home runs in June), Colby Rasmus (.330, 23 RBIs in June) and Brett Lawrie (.400 OBP since moving to the leadoff spot) have heated up, joining Edwin Encarnacion (21 home runs) for a high-scoring top of the order.
The rotation currently includes Brett Cecil and former reliever Jesse Chavez, who has allowed 10 runs in 8.2 innings over two starts. Aaron Laffey starts tonight and Joel Carreno has also started. So the team has nothing to lose with Moyer, who did pitch well in three Triple-A starts for the Orioles, allowing four runs in 16 innings with no walks and 16 strikeouts. But Norfolk is a long ways from the AL East and Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium.
"It's challenging, there's no doubt about it," general manager Alex Anthopoulos told MLB.com. "But I'm sure if you sit with the other 29 GMs, they have their own challenges. Other teams have had their position players go down. At the end of the day, you just put your head down and accept the challenge and do what you can."
Laffey was getting pounded in Triple-A (77 hits and just 38 strikeouts in 63.2 innings), but that's in Las Vegas where pop flies can turn into home runs. Scott Richmond -- who started 29 games for the Blue Jays in 2008 and 2009 -- was also just recalled; he's another potential starting option. Considering the list of options, I have little doubt Moyer will soon get a start for the Jays, especially if Alvarez is forced to miss a turn or two.
The Jays have survived the injuries so far. Morrow went down on June 11 and the club is 7-6 since his start. But that was mostly against the National League. We'll see if the patchwork rotation can hold things together and whether the offense can keep scoring five and six runs a game.