Blue Jays: Around the diamond, who might be the next man up
The starting staff has been the pleasant surprise in the early going, and the biggest reason for that is health. We all know that could change in a hurry, especially with this cast of characters, and fortunately the Blue Jays have plenty of reinforcements if that happens.
The top four of Marcus Stroman, Matt Shoemaker, Aaron Sanchez, and Trent Thornton have been very good so far, and chances are at least those first three have a permanent spot in the rotation as long as they’re healthy, and haven’t been traded anywhere. Shoemaker was signed this winter but he’s also on a one year deal, so he could be a prime candidate to move this summer if he keeps this up, and the same could happen for the two long-time Blue Jays as well.
It sounds like we’ll finally see Clay Buchholz make his Blue Jay debut this weekend, and he’ll round out the rotation for now. We’ll see what happens to Thornton’s spot once both Clayton Richard and Ryan Borucki get healthy, but having seven feasible options for the rotation isn’t a bad thing. The Blue Jays can also turn to young arms like Sean Reid-Foley and Thomas Pannone, who have each had an unsuccessful turn so far, but have shown enough upside last year. Sam Gaviglio could always fill in as a starter as well, and don’t be surprised if we see David Paulino, Jacob Waguespack, or others before the season is out.
The point is, the Blue Jays actually have a lot of starting depth at the moment, so if they have a few injuries throughout the year they should be able to weather the storm, at least with arms capable of pitching at the highest level. They may not be able to perform the way the top four have so far, but I’m not sure we can expect that kind of production out of anyone anyway.