Blue Jays: The Triple-A rotation has been lights out lately

SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: Starting pitcher AFL West All-Star, Nate Pearson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a warm-up pitch during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, AZ - NOVEMBER 03: Starting pitcher AFL West All-Star, Nate Pearson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a warm-up pitch during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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The Blue Jays have some starting rotation talent in their minor league system, and their Triple-A rotation has been particularly dominant lately.

The biggest perceived area of need for the Blue Jays going forward would be with their pitching staff, at least in comparison to the talented lineup that is starting to come together for the big league squad.

While they’ve had an up and down performance over the last month or so, you have to hand it to Charlie Montoyo and his pitching staff for the most part, as they’ve actually improved since the Blue Jays traded Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and three relievers before the July 31st trade deadline. Still, there’s no denying that the pitching staff has some catching up to do in terms of the rebuild.

On that note, there have been some very encouraging performances in Triple-A Buffalo this week, and with three key arms that could help the Blue Jays as soon as this season, and likely no later than in 2020.

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First it was T.J. Zeuch who threw the 2nd no-hitter in Buffalo Bisons’ franchise history (following Bartolo Colon doing it 22 years ago, of all people), which would be enough to make the week noteworthy. From there though, the excitement grew when Nate Pearson made his Triple-A debut on Tuesday and absolutely dominated, throwing seven shutout innings and allowing just three hits against no walks.

On Wednesday it was Anthony Kay‘s turn to impress, as he threw six innings of shutout baseball of his own, also allowing just three hits. It was the third straight quality start for Kay after a dud in his first outing with the Bisons, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a big league opportunity before the season is done. Zeuch could be in the same boat, especially after rosters expand in September.

Pearson, on the other hand, will likely have to wait until 2020 to make his MLB debut, even if he has the most talent of any pitching prospect in the Blue Jays minor league system. The 23-year-old started his season with six dominant starts in High-A Dunedin, made 16 starts in AA with New Hampshire, and just threw his first seven innings in Triple-A. After missing most of last year due to a broken arm, chances are the Blue Jays are going to want to build up his workload slowly, and there’s no reason to rush him along this year, especially as the top prospect in the system now that Bo Bichette is in the big leagues.

Pearson may be the only one of the bunch with ace potential, but don’t be surprised if the Blue Jays end up with more pitching talent than most people give them credit for. Between Kay, Zeuch, and others like Trent Thornton, Jacob Waguespack, Sean Reid-Foley. Ryan Borucki. and more, they have plenty of candidates to at least fill out the back half of their rotation, both now and in the future.

Next. Marco Estrada reportedly set to retire. dark

The good news is that the pitching prospects are taking positive steps in the right direction lately, which is great news for a rebuilding club that’s trending in the right direction.

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