Blue Jays' SOS is DOA

Blue Jays starter Joel Carreno tries to get the bad taste out of his mouth after giving up five...

Blue Jays starter Joel Carreno tries to get the bad taste out of his mouth after giving up five runs to the Brewers in the second inning of their game at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisc., June 20, 2012. (DARREN HAUCK/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:43 PM ET

MILWAUKEE - Right-hander Joel Carreno was the Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Wednesday, and if he appeared to be a little bleary eyed out there in the Milwaukee heat, you couldn’t blame him.

After relieving Jesse Chavez from his disastrous start Tuesday, Carlos Villanueva was scratched as Wednesday’s starter against the Brewers.

As a result, the Jays sent out an SOS to their Las Vegas triple-A club, which was playing in Tucson Ariz. Carreno was driven to Phoenix where he caught the overnight red-eye flight to Milwaukee. No word on if he caught any Zs on the flight.

Such is the chaotic situation regarding the Jays’ rotation these days thanks to injuries suffered by Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison last week.

Manager John Farrell said that the Jays will likely continue with the ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ routine with their starters for the next little while.

“The fact that we had to use Carlos last night so early in the ball game caused us to go into Plan D and revamp some things for today,” Farrell said in explaining the presence of Carreno. “At this point, Joel is here to start today and we’ll continue to work our way through the situation that we’re in.

“We’ll just take it day-to-day and go from there.”

Plan D, however, didn’t go quite the way it was drawn up.

Farrell said that Carreno had 110 pitches in him with the hope that he could go a solid five innings, maybe six. Instead, the Brewers pulled a page from the Jays’ offensive playbook and ripped him for three homers and five runs in the second inning en route to an 8-3 victory.

You can’t really blame Carreno for what happened as he shouldn’t be up here in the first place. Neither should Jesse Chavez, who was ineffective the night before.

“It’s not the ideal situation when you’ve got to take an overnight flight in here but that’s the circumstances we’re in and we’re not going to use it as an excuse,” Farrell said.

In the three-game series, Henderson Alavrez lasted four innings Monday, Chavez 2 2/3 and Carreno three. No team can survive with that type of starting pitching.

The sad reality is that the Jays are running out of plug-in minor league starters and options.

“I think with the situation we’re in right now I’m looking at the use of our bullpen because we have guys that we have targeted for our rotation,” Farrell said about his rotation plans. “The use of the bullpen is going to come into a little bit of the rotation as well — whether it’s (Luis) Perez (Aaron) Laffey or Villanueva — they’re going to be on a three-day rotation themselves and you begin to match them up on their availability in behind a given starter on a night.”

The Jays offence was terrific in the opening two games of the series but ran out of gas in the rubber match.

For the third consecutive game, the Jays muscled their way into the lead, this time on a leadoff homer by Edwin Encarnacion in the second.

It was his 20th dinger of the season, and coupled with the 22 that Jose Bautista has smote, it marked the first time the Jays had two 20-homer sluggers prior to July 1 since 2006 when Troy Glaus and Vernon Wells did the deed.

But after Encarnacion’s blast, the offence cooled down.

With an off day Thursday, the Jays, beginning Friday, will roll out the trio of Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil and Henderson Alvarez against the Marlins. At least that will give Toronto a semblance of normalcy.

“We’re going to the next game of the schedule and who the next starting pitcher is, that’s the name that gets written on the lineup card,” Farrell said. “We’re all aware of the situation that we’re in. We need a day to regroup and get ready to face the Marlins.”

Then, it’s on to Plan E for the games in Boston.


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