The health of the starting rotation
Speaking of precarious health, the Blue Jays have had a tough time putting together a five-man starting rotation this season and sometimes had a more complete rotation on the IL than they did on the active roster.
Matt Shoemaker was sensational in his first few starts as a Blue Jay before he went down with a season-ending knee injury. Ryan Borucki‘s minor issue this spring turned into a 60-day stay on the IL and we still haven’t seen him on a big league mound yet. Clay Buchholz has spent the majority of the year on the injured list as well, and Clayton Richard only just recently got back.
When you consider that Marcus Stroman is the only projected starter who has been healthy and active all season, the shortcomings of the rotation make a little more sense. Stroman was supposed to be joined by Sanchez, Shoemaker, Buchholz, and Richard, with Borucki battling with the veterans for a spot at the back of the rotation. Borucki is arguably the biggest loss, especially after the way he pitched as a rookie in 2018.
Thankfully Trent Thornton has produced well enough to fill one of the spots in the rotation and Charlie Montoyo has managed to cobble together a group one way or another to get us to this point in the season. However. if the Blue Jays are going to make significant improvements in the second half then they’re going to need a lot more help from their rotation, plain and simple.
Of course, that could be very difficult if the front office does go through with trading one or both of Stroman and Sanchez, but perhaps they get a rotation option as part of the return. If not though, Montoyo is going to be hoping for a healthier group in the second half, and praying for some young arms like Jordan Romano to step into the role as well.