The starting rotation
Taking a trip down this memory lane was a good reminder of all of the potential that the Blue Jays have had in their rotation over the years, and then how many times we’ve been let down.
That’s not to say that the Blue Jays haven’t had talented starters, because they mostly certainly have, but when you see names like Josh Johnson, Dustin McGowan, Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, and more, it’s hard not to think about what could have been if they could have stayed healthy and reached their potential.
Still, the Blue Jays have had some very solid starters over the last decade, and here’s how I sorted out my starting five.
SP- David Price (2015- 2.6 bWAR in 11 starts with the Blue Jays)
SP- Ricky Romero (2011- 6.4 bWAR)
SP- Marcus Stroman (2017- 5.3 bWAR)
SP- Aaron Sanchez (2016- 5.1 bWAR)
SP- J.A. Happ (2016- 4.5 bWAR)
It might not be totally fair to include David Price and his 11 starts in a Blue Jay uniform, but I did it anyway. The man was absolutely dominant, and I don’t think the Blue Jays make the playoffs without making that trade. I mean, he earned 2.6 bWAR in 11 starts.
Many of you might have forgotten just how good Ricky Romero was at the start the decade, but I remember it all too well. I believe his downfall coincides perfectly with the day that I bought his jersey, which I still have.
Both Stroman and Sanchez had ups and downs, but at their best they were among the finest in the American League. It always felt like they could be a dynamic duo for the Blue Jays at the top of their rotation, but it just never worked out that way between health issues, and even a little bit of squabbling between the pair.
I gave the last spot to J.A. Happ, mostly because he had the best bWAR score in a single season of the rest of the contenders, and it was tough to decide. I considered Mark Buehrle (2014- 3.4bWAR), Marco Estrada (2015- 3.9bWAR), R.A. Dickey (2015- 2.7), and even Shaun Marcum‘s surprisingly good 2010 campaign, when he posted 4.1 bWAR.
In the end though I went with the starting five above, and they sure would be a formidable group if this fictional scenario became a reality. I also wanted to include Roy Halladay at the top of the group, but his last season was in 2009, so he just missed the window we’re working with here.