For months on end the narrative to the Blue Jays 2015 season has been all run scoring without a credit in the run prevention department.
Rightfully so. To date, the Toronto Blue Jays rank above only six teams in starting pitcher’s ERA and none of the below teams hold a positive record never mind a current playoff spot. Certainly, there have been some shinning moments.
Take Marco Estrada‘s back to back near no-hitters for one. But for the most part, the rotation’s performance has been abysmal in the absence of the injured ace Marcus Stroman. It’s come to the point where trade rumours are creeping into the forefront of Jays’ conversation more than a month before the non-waiver MLB trade deadline.
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
But is the problem that bad? Are the Jays destined for failure if they don’t pick up someone or something before the deadline? Probably not, and the reason is that this rotation has been improving ever since they hit absolute rock bottom.
For most of the first month of the season, the story was fairly simple. Score a lot of runs and give up a lot of runs. In 23 games, they allowed 115 runs, a rate equating to a god-awful five runs per-game. Their ERA reeked to the brutal stench of a 5.20 rate and with a below replacement value at -0.2 WAR. But that wasn’t the end for them.
[table id=98 /]
As you can see, the Jays have improved every month in every category in unison with their improving win-loss record. Today, they sit just two games out of first place in a very competitive and offensive heavy AL East division.
Will this trend continue? Will Marco Estrada continue his dominance? Both aren’t meant to be rhetorical questions although they most certainly could be received as such.
The answer is that the Jays will likely need to outsource to find value for their rotation. Whether it be in the form of prospects like Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris or in trade acquisitions such as Johnny Cueto, Scott Kazmir and others, something will have to transpire for the continuation of this winning trend.
The easy solution would be to say Alex Anthopoulos should go out on a shopping spree and pick up a new starter to fall into the rotation tomorrow. The hard part being that he would have to part ways with the aforementioned prospects for what’s likely to be a rental player.
If you can stomach that, maybe you’re about to see a rotation of a championship calibre team. Even if you can’t, the rotation the Jays have assembled still might be enough to continue fighting for the top spot in baseball’s best division.