Happ unhappy as odd man out in Jays' rotation

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Veteran left-hander J.A. Happ indicated after Saturday's Grapefruit League start that he will huddle with Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos to voice concern over being the odd man out of a rotation competition that seems decided.

Happ, unhappy that there is no spot in the Toronto rotation for him, said he has not yet spoken with Anthopoulos.

When asked whether he's planning on doing so, Happ said, “Yeah, probably.”

Happ appears headed either for the rotation at Triple-A Buffalo or, possibly, Toronto's bullpen, neither of which he's enthused about.

He told Toronto reporters last week he considers himself a “major-league starting pitcher.”

Problem is, there is no major-league starters' job at the moment in Toronto. Even though he's having a good spring, Happ ranks behind R.A. Dickey, Josh Johnson, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Romero in the loaded Jays rotation.

“I'm trying to keep the positivity going,” Happ said after striking out six in a 3-1 exhibition loss to the Orioles on Saturday. “I'm not trying to cause a big deal here. It is what it is.

“That stuff will be handled in private.”

Happ has produced a 2.77 ERA over six appearances (five starts) for Toronto this spring, striking out 11 in 13 innings.

In six seasons with the Phillies, Astros and Jays, Happ is 35-35 with a 4.19 ERA in 116 appearances (96 starts). For the Astros and Jays last season, Happ worked 144 2/3 innings over 28 appearances (24 starts), going 10-11 with a 4.79 ERA.

“He can help us one way or another,” Jays manager John Gibbons said.

The skipper said he has not spoken with Happ.

“He knows what his situation is,” Gibbons said. “He doesn't need stroking. He's not that kind of guy.”

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