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Blue Jays' Happ headed to DL

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Updated: 3/26/2014 2:59 pm

Dunedin, FL ( - The Toronto Blue Jays announced Wednesday that pitcher J.A. Happ will open the season on the disabled list due to tightness in his lower back.

Happ has endured a rough spring, having been tagged for 16 runs and 21 hits while issuing nine walks over just seven innings in four starts, and lost out to Dustin McGowan for the final spot in the team's rotation.

The left-hander made 18 starts for the Blue Jays a year ago, missing three months after being struck in the head by a line drive in a May 7 game at Tampa Bay, and went 5-7 with a 4.56 earned run average.

Toronto also optioned catcher Erik Kratz to minor league camp as it continued to pair its roster down to the 25-man limit.

Kratz, who hit nine homers with the Philadelphia Phillies in each of the past two seasons, was beaten by Josh Thole for the backup catcher's job behind Dioner Navarro.

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