Blue Jays: Tandem of starting pitchers hold key to 2019 success

TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 5: Aaron Sanchez
TORONTO, CANADA - JUNE 5: Aaron Sanchez /

The Toronto Blue Jays could be a surprise team in 2019 if pitchers Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman can finally have productive campaigns during the same season.

Both Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman have impressed early-on in Grapefruit League action, however, that will have to transcend into the regular season if the Blue Jays plan on having a fighting chance in the always tough American League East.

The duo has both the talent and pedigree to be front of the rotation talents if they can put it all together and avoid injury and lackluster performances in 2019. Sanchez has yet to give up a run in three preseason appearances and appears to have put his past blister issues behind him for the time being.

Sanchez has only made 28 starts over the past two seasons and hasn’t seen his earned run average dip below 4.25. In 2016, Sanchez was one of the most dominant hurlers in the league going 15-2 with a 3.00 earned run average finishing 7th in Cy Young voting.

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Stroman sports an impressive 2.25 earned run average thus far and hasn’t yielded a run in his last two Grapefruit League visits to the mound. The 27-year old is attempting to rebound from an ugly 2018 campaign where Stroman sported an inflated 5.54 earned run average in 19 starts. The Stro-Show will attempt to catch lightning in a bottle and clone his breakout 2017 season where he finished 8th in Cy Young voting.

The two hurlers have never managed to put it all together in the same season hence why they hold the key to a successful season for the Blue Jays in 2019. The likes of Matt Shoemakers, Ryan Borucki, and Clay Buchholz could be the perfect compliment and form a solid MLB rotation with the tandem anchoring the front.

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Lots have to go right in 2019 but Stroman and Sanchez could be the most important pieces to the puzzle.