Evaluate the pitching staff
The biggest challenge for Ross Atkins and the rest of the Blue Jays’ front office will be putting together a pitching staff that can keep up with their quickly evolving lineup. That might not even be possible, but they’re going to have to do their best, and they’re basically starting from scratch.
With that, one of the major advantages for young arms in the organization has been opportunity and some have seized it more than others. For example, Jacob Waguespack may not have been as sharp on Wednesday as he’s been over his last five starts, but he’s gone from a organizational depth arm to someone who is legitimately on the radar for 2020 Trent Thornton has taken advantage of a rotation decimated by injuries throughout the year to move himself up the depth chart as well.
Beyond those two, the Blue Jays need to take the opportunity to evaluate their internal arms, especially at a time when the win-loss column really doesn’t matter much. Sure, the team wants to be competitive, but if taking a few extra losses in September helps them to develop some arms, then so be it.
September also brings the opportunity to expand the big league roster, and I’m sure the Blue Jays will use that to have a look at a few pitchers that are currently in the minor leagues. I would venture to guess that we’ll see Anthony Kay get an opportunity or two at some point, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened for T.J. Zeuch, who threw a no-hitter in Triple-A earlier this month and has had a pretty solid season.
I expect we’ll continue to see a glut of relievers get opportunities as well, which will give the Jays a chance to evaluate arms like Jordan Romano, Buddy Boshers, and several others. With the stakes in the standings being at a low pressure point, it’s a great time for opportunity and we’ll see how many of these pitchers snap it up.