Brandon Morrow wanted to pitch Wednesday and says he was ready to pitch Wednesday, but the Blue Jays have instead decided to once again bump the right-hander’s scheduled start to ensure he can put his nagging back and neck tightness completely behind him.

“We just want to make sure he’s as close to 100 per cent as possible,” said Jays manager John Gibbons.

Journeyman minor-league call-up Ramon Ortiz — who pitched five solid innings in the Jays’ 5-0 loss to Boston on Friday — will start in Morrow’s place on Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants, while the club hopes Morrow will be available to start Saturday in New York against the Yankees.

“I was confident I could go tomorrow,” Morrow said before Tuesday’s game. “It wasn’t my decision. They’re being extra cautious, taking the extra couple days.”


Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said with the need to use a spot starter either Wednesday or Saturday anyway, and Ortiz on schedule, it made sense to give Morrow the days off.

“If it was a playoff game or something like that, we would certainly have him throw.”

The Jays’ rotation is already hobbled by injuries to J.A. Happ and Josh Johnson, as well as the minor-league retooling of Ricky Romero. Happ, who suffered a skull fracture while also spraining his right knee when he was struck in the head with a line drive last week in Tampa, continues to rest in Florida.

Johnson, meanwhile, is making progress from his triceps inflammation. He is expected to make a minor-league rehab start on May 20 or 21, Anthopoulos said, and he could potentially rejoin the rotation by the end of the month or in early June.

With Thursday’s off-day, the Jays’ starting rotation will now be as follows: Ortiz on Wednesday, Mark Buehrle on Friday, Morrow on Saturday and Dickey on Sunday. Ortiz and young right-hander Chad Jenkins, who looked great in a spot start on Sunday in Boston are the leading candidates for next Monday’s start. Jenkins will also be available out of the bullpen this week.