J.A. Happ is preparing like the major league starting pitcher that he is, methodically building his pitch counts and innings to be durable enough to handle the job when the need arises.

It really doesn’t matter that he is currently a man without a rotation because if he keeps doing his job in a professional manner, that will take care of itself in the course of a season.

Tuesday, in his third start of the spring, Happ was dinged for his first runs on a wind-blown, two-run home run by Baltimore’s Alexi Casilla in the second inning. Happ bookended that inning with two scoreless frames.

“I thought it went all right,” he said. “I wanted to get through three innings and felt strong in the first and third, building my pitch count. I gave up some hits (six in all) but for the most part they were balls through the infield.

“It’s the plan to keep going one more inning each time, build my arm strength so that when you go out for your next inning, you still feel as strong as you did in the first. That’s the goal.”

Happ’s chance to make the Toronto opening day roster rests with a spot in the bullpen. There is also the chance he will go to Buffalo to anchor that starting rotation until there is a need in Toronto.

“I feel like I’m focused on being a starter, building up and doing what I’ve done best,” he said. “I think it’s possible to do both but my value is strongest as a starter.”