2008 Reunion Could Be Enough to Contend


August 10, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay (34) throws a pitch during the first inning of game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIREPitching, pitching, pitching and more pitching. Everyone always says the main ingredient to a successful baseball team is pitching. The people who say this obviously never heard of the Seattle Mariners or the AL East. In 2008 the Toronto Blue Jays had the best starters and bullpen ERA in all of baseball. Despite this they finished the season with a 86-76 record in 4th place in the AL East and 11 games back of the first place Tampa Bay Rays. The Blue Jays offense in 2008 just didn’t score enough to take full advantage of the great pitching they had. Many people felt that if they had a great offense that season they would have contended for a playoff spot.

In 2012 before all the Blue Jays position players got hurt they were always at least in the top 4 in runs scored and at were the first team to score 500 runs. During the end of the season Alex Anthopoulos said he felt the Blue Jays had a “championship caliber” offense and bullpen and that his main focus would be upgrading the starting rotation.

The 2008 Toronto Blue Jays were one of the better Blue Jays teams they’ve recently had. If you’re nostalgic about that team but you don’t like living in the hypothetical and you’re delusional about how easy it is to make free agent signings and trades you can’t help but wonder if the 2013 Blue Jays could contend with the 2008 rotation.

There are obvious flaws in bringing back the 2008 rotation. There all 5 years older and haven’t pitched in the AL East as recently as you would like. Most teams would still take a chance on these starters.

The Blue Jays already have Dustin McGowan but he would obviously just be an insurance starter. The Blue Jays could sign Shaun Marcum this offseason. Marcum can pitch 150-200 innings a season and gives the Jays a solid Number 2-3 starter. AJ Burnett has pitched in the AL East as recently as 2011 even though it didn’t go well he bounced back in 2012 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. That gives a lot of people the impression that when he’s not pitching under pressure the way he was with the New York Yankees he can perform well. There wouldn’t be that much pressure playing for Toronto either so he could also make a solid Number 2-3 starter.

Last but not least if the Blue Jays brought back Roy Halladay it would be exciting for Blue Jays fans everywhere regardless of what he did. Even though Doc is older now and obviously not the same pitcher as 5 years ago, at his worst he’s still better than most starting pitchers.