Blue Jays: 5 reasons not to fear the Kansas City Royals

2 of 6

Sep 3, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitchers Johnny Cueto (left) and Jordano Ventura (right) look on from the dugout against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Rotation

While the Blue Jays’ pitching saw a resurgence in the second half that left Toronto with one of the best starting rotations for the latter half of the season, the Royals spent the year being middle-of-the-road rotation and struggling to find a true ace. Johnny Cueto was brought on to be that Ace. Yet, the Ace who pitched to a 7-6 record with a 2.62 ERA saw his time in KC be less favorable as he posted a 4-7 record with an ERA of 4.76.

While Cueto has shown flashes of brilliance as a Royal, he has not been the remedy that the Royals so desperately needed. Instead, their rotation continued to struggle down the stretch. A part of the Royals’ success has been removing their starters early and let their dominant bullpen do the rest. This has already proven problematic for the Royals this post season, as their starters simply aren’t used to going deep into games. So while their bullpen might be commanding, their starting rotation won’t be as much a problem for the Jays as an entirely right handed staff should.

Elsewhere in their rotation they have Yordano Ventura, Kris Medlin, and Edison Volquez who have all been hit or miss all year. Where Cueto was supposed to provide a calming effect, much like David Price did for the Blue Jays, his continued struggles only made the difficulties of the Royals’ rotation more pronounced.

When the Jays laned their Ace, their luck changed. Price is sensational, Dickey rebounded and pitched some of the best two months of his career, and Estrada continued to baffle batters and statisticians alike. When your Ace no longer comes with the clout and fear of one, it’s time to wonder if the Royal’s rotation can hold up. If they can’t, the bullpen will see even more work.

Next: Cracks in the armor of the Royals' Pen?