Blue Jays: Could the delay help Ryan Borucki crack the rotation?
Could the delay of the start of the season actually in fact help Ryan Borucki crack the Toronto Blue Jays starting rotation when the season commences?
Coming into spring training, it appeared to be a three-horse race between Ryan Borucki, Trent Thornton, and Shun Yamaguchi for the final spot in the Blue Jays starting rotation. Borucki was quickly eliminated from the race after suffering tightness in his problematic throwing elbow even though it was deemed precautionary.
The setback officially took Borucki out of the running and before the season was delayed it appeared that Thornton was going to come away with the job. However, Borucki was reportedly pain-free and throwing again before the campaign was halted.
The 25-year old made just two appearances last season due to elbow issues following a successful rookie campaign in 2018. Borucki went 4-6 with a 3.87 earned run average with a 1.7 WAR in 17 starts in his first taste of the majors in 2018. The young hurler has just been unable to get back on the bump to build off his success.
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
Thornton has the advantage in the “What have you done for me lately” category recording a team-high 29 starts last season. The rookie went 6-9 with a 4.84 earned run average with a 1.7 WAR as well. This spring, Thornton had surrendered five earned runs in 10.2 innings of Grapefruit League action.
The delayed start of the season could be just what the doctored ordered to close some ground on Thornton and be prepared for game action when the season resumes. The hurler will be undoubtedly utilizing this time-off to build up his arm and play catch-up.
It was expected he would begin the season in Triple-A Buffalo but that could potentially change if he can prove he is healthy and able to get major league hitters out. Yamaguchi in all likelihood is destined for the bullpen although his last outing was respectable.
The Japanese native has coughed up nine runs including five long balls in nine innings of work thus far this spring.
Thornton is still the odds on favourite to win the job, but the break definitely benefits Borucki. We will have to wait and see if Borucki can take advantage of the mulligan he has been afforded.