When the 2019 season began, I really thought the Blue Jays were going to have to lean heavily on Ryan Borucki. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get healthy enough to stay on the mound and that just wasn’t an option.
What should have been a sophomore season to build on for the 25-year-old turned into a frustrating year spent mostly on the Injured List. Borucki made just two starts at the MLB level last season around some elbow issues, and only four other MiLB appearances as well.
What made it particularly disappointing was that the southpaw had looked so good as a rookie in 2018. Over 17 starts, he finished with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.321 WHIP, showing the poise of a far more experienced hurler. The hope was that he would join Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez last season to form a solid top-three, but obviously that didn’t work out.
Depending on who you ask, there are several writers that believe Borucki could be the guy to win the fifth starter’s job this coming spring. He’ll have to prove that he’s healthy of course, but all reports indicate that he should be all clear by the time things ramp up in February, and hopefully he can avoid the IL in 2020.
If you ask me, the Blue Jays bringing in Ryu and Roark should all but cement his place in Buffalo to start the year. After a mostly lost season in 2019, I’d rather see him build up confidence and arm strength in Triple-A, and he still has minor league options the team can use. If he’s outperforming the competition at that level and staying healthy, perhaps you re-evaluate, but to start the year I think it’s more than fair that he has to prove he’s ready for the highest level again.
Suddenly the Blue Jays aren’t going to be in a position of trying simply to fill five rotation spots, and perhaps ask too much of their young pitchers. For a guy like Borucki, that should go a long way toward keeping him healthy, and hopefully getting the most of out him at the big league level. If he can get back to the pitcher we saw in 2018, the Blue Jays have a real asset in their rotation.