DUNEDIN, Fla. — Jo-Jo Reyes is going through a trial by fire.
When the Jays travel to Tampa to take on the Yankees on Wednesday night, they will have Reyes make the start with Brandon Morrow scheduled to pitch the same day in a minor league game.
Manager John Farrell said the plan wasn’t to hide Morrow, the Jays No. 2 starter, from the Yankees, but to see what Reyes, who is in competition for a spot in the rotation, could do against what will be their ‘A’ lineup at home.
“We want to find another opportunity that might be one of the more challenging settings that spring training has to offer and to see Jo-Jo in that situation,” Farrell said. “It’s a natural fit to challenge him as much as we can to continue to get the best read in spring training on our spots in the rotation.”
With Mark Rzepczynski out of the rotation battle, the Jays now have three candidates for the two final spots — Reyes, Jesse Litsch and Kyle Drabek.
In his previous start, filling in for Ricky Romero, who was out with an inflamed finger, Reyes faced the Phillies at Clearwater and allowed three earned runs over five innings. In four appearances, including two starts, Reyes has allowed just six hits in 13 innings and has a 3.46 ERA.