Gibbons not ready to set Blue Jays' rotation

Gibbons not ready to set Blue Jays' rotation

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- John Gibbons says the Blue Jays still aren't prepared to announce the configuration of their starting rotation.

Toronto's manager hinted that the club is nearing a decision, and an announcement could be coming relatively soon. But there were some things that needed to be worked out.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has been the Opening Day starter each of the past two years, but both times the announcement came early in camp.

The Blue Jays have taken a different approach to 2015.

"Everything's going to factor [in]," Gibbons said. "We'll see who's done what against some people. ... Not so much the ballpark, but we'll know something pretty soon I would think."

The assumption all along has been that Dickey would get the first start of the year. But the Blue Jays might be better served going in a different direction simply because of matchups, weather and the ballpark factor.

If Dickey started the second game of the season on April 8 he would get to avoid Camden Yards in Baltimore from April 10-12 and would then make his next three starts in a dome.

That would be an ideal situation because the weather is often unpredictable in April and cold temperatures aren't usually ideal for the grip on a knuckleball.

Marcus Stroman likely was receiving strong consideration for Opening Day until he suffered a season-ending knee injury. That could open the door for right-hander Drew Hutchison to pitch on April 6 in New York against the Yankees, if the Blue Jays decide to maximize the number of times Dickey gets to pitch indoors.

Whichever pitcher starts the year in the No. 2 slot would then receive the honor of pitching the home opener vs. Tampa Bay on April 13.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.