Blue Jays: How the 2019 rotation stacks up heading to Dunedin
In a season that saw every opportunity for young pitchers in the organization to step up at the major league level, Ryan Borucki did just did that. He was the team’s best pitcher in 2018 and will look to carry that momentum into his first full season with the big club.
In 97.2 innings, Borucki pitched to a 3.87 ERA with 67 strikeouts and an ERA+ of 109. Borucki uses a three pitch combination of fastball, changeup, curveball, and his changeup, which he used 23.3 per cent of the time, and was what led to his success. His average fastball last season clocked out at 91.9 MPH and thus used his changeup to keep hitters off balance. He had a very respectable 1.7 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) as a rookie, especially considering he didn’t even reach the 100 innings threshold.
It’s one thing to come up to the big leagues in the middle of the season and find success, but it’s another to follow up that season with an even better one. Opponents, especially within the division, will now have a better understanding of what Borucki is looking to do on the mound and he must find a way to counter that as he’s already put himself high enough in the depth chart, it’s just a matter of staying there.
He may have been mentioned fifth in this article, but as mentioned above Borucki was arguably the Blue Jays’ best starter last year. Barring injury or some sort of Spring Training disaster, he’ll be a lock for the rotation, and will look to prove that his rookie cameo was anything but a fluke.