The Toronto Blue Jays find themselves with a plethora of starting pitching depth this season, however, the team plans to keep their excess arms stretched out in Buffalo rather than task them with pitching out of the MLB bullpen.
According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays plan to keep the likes of Sean Reid-Foley and Jacob Waguespack stretched out in the minors if the hurlers do not make the starting rotation out of spring training.
Barring injury, there is only one unclaimed spot in the rotation up for grabs as we already know the rotation will consist of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Tanner Roark, Chase Anderson, and Matt Shoemaker. That leaves Trent Thornton, Shun Yamaguchi, Ryan Borucki, Anthony Kay, T.J. Zeuch along with the aforementioned Reid-Foley and Waguespack all vying for that final spot.
After utilizing 21 different starting pitchers in 2019, the Blue Jays made it their offseason mission to shore up the rotation and they did just that. The team currently sports nearly ten starters who could all pitch in the rotation if push came to shove.
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Borucki may have already squandered his opportunity to break camp with the team as he has been shut down for precautionary measures due to elbow tightness. The 25-year old missed the majority of his sophomore campaign due to nagging elbow issues in 2019.
Thornton and Yamaguchi would be the favourites for the remaining spot in the rotation although Yamaguchi has past closer experience working out the bullpen in Japan. Thornton led the team last season with 29 starts going 6-9 with a 4.84 earned run average with a 1.7 WAR in his rookie season.
The Triple-A rotation in Buffalo could conceivably consist of one of Thornton or Borucki along with Nate Pearson, Waguespack, Kay, Zeuch, Reid-Foley. Thomas Pannone will compete for a place in the MLB bullpen while Sam Gaviglio will be utilized as a reliever once again this season.
The surplus of starters is a good conundrum to have especially after the Jays were forced to dumpster dive to secure starting pitching last season. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out and who heads north with the team when they break camp at the end of March.