Toronto Blue Jays: Who is the Ace?
As of right now, it looks as though the Toronto Blue Jays are content to enter 2015 with the starting rotation it has. Granted, a lot can happen in the next 2+ months of the winter, but right now, it looks as though the rotation will include (in no particular order): R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Drew Hutchison, Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez. At first glance, it would look as though they do not have an ace to lead this staff. Now, leadership can take many forms, but on field performance is what makes an ace. The Blue Jays do not appear to have one.
We could debate whether Aaron Sanchez, or Marcus Stroman for that matter, has the potential. But, I’m not interested in potential, here.
I’m talking about right now. Come Opening Day, there is no clear choice as to whom manager,John Gibbons
will give the ball. But, one question nags at me: If they are not going to bring in an ace, just who would fill that role for the Blue Jays? Who is the ACE of the Blue Jays pitching staff?
In order to answer this question, I went searching for the definition of an “ace”. I came across a beauty of an article from Zachary D. Rymer at BleacherReport.com. He outlines what makes a true #1 starter and what separates the big guns from the merely ‘good’. In this piece, Rymer points to a few categories of statistics that define an ace. I’m going to use that as my basis for this discussion. We’ll look at a pitcher’s stuff, their consistency and their ability to dominate a game. Let’s look at how each Blue Jays starter matches up. All the info I used is from both Baseball-Reference.com and Fangraphs.com. These sites are amazing!