Blue Jays: Promising Starting Pitching Depth Waiting in the Minors
The Blue Jays starting staff has had more than their fair share of struggles this season. Despite being advertised as the strength of the 2018 Blue Jays, the rotation has often hindered them, rather than helping them.
For all the struggles of the big league rotation, the Blue Jays have had a few starters quietly playing well in the minor leagues. All of Deck McGuire, Chris Rowley, Sean Reid-Foley, Justin Dillon, and Ryan Borucki have pitched well at certain points in the minor leagues.
Starting pitching depth in the minor leagues is always an important topic, but it could become integral to the team’s success after this season. J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada are bound for free agency. As well, Jaime Garcia’s team option for next season may not be picked up. Therefore, the Blue Jays could potentially need to fill three rotation spots on next year’s roster.
Since Deck McGuire and Chris Rowley are both still toiling in the minors at 28 and 27 years-old, respectively, I don’t see them making significant contribution to a major league rotation. This is not to say that they couldn’t find a spot in the majors, but I don’t believe they will be impact starters for the Blue Jays. Therefore, I won’t spend much time focusing on what they’ve done this season—instead focusing on who I think have a strong chance to become a starter in the major leagues.
The Blue Jays also have both Taylor Guerrieri and T.J. Zeuch. Both have shown some promise in the minors, but not anything worth an in depth look, right now. Also, before his suspension, Thomas Pannone would have been an interesting name on the Buffalo roster.
However, each of Ryan Borucki, Justin Dillon, and Sean Reid-Foley are under 25 years old and have been quietly making names for themselves in double-A New Hampshire and triple-A Buffalo.