The postponement of the Blue Jays season has definitely benefited pitcher Ryan Borucki, the southpaw is completely healthy and poised to crack the rotation when the season eventually commences.
According to Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker, pitcher Ryan Borucki has been throwing side sessions and his arm feels great. Walker also conceded that the lefty will be a big part of the mix when the season officially gets underway.
Borucki was expected to be an integral part of the Blue Jays rotation last season but the hurler dealt with elbow issues for the entire campaign. The lefty made just two starts last season totaling 6.2 innings and was once again shut down during Grapefruit League action this spring.
The 26-year old made his debut in 2018 and impressed with a 3.87 earned run average over 17 starts leading the staff in ERA and WAR. Unfortunately for Borucki, his career has been derailed since that promising rookie season.
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Prior to the pandemic shutdown, Trent Thornton would have been the fifth starter in the rotation so it will be interesting to see where Borucki slots in once the season ramps back up. The layoff has allowed the lefty to build up his arm strength and work through any lingering elbow fatigue putting him now in a position to give Thornton a run for his money.
Initially, before the start of spring training, the fifth spot was going to come down to Borucki, Thornton, or Shun Yamaguchi, however, it is probably safe to say that Yamaguchi will begin the season in the bullpen after struggling in his first taste of pro ball in North America.
Thornton is fresh off a rookie campaign where he posted a 4.84 earned run average in 32 games including a team-leading 29 starts. To me, Borucki has more upside than Thornton but injuries have played a huge factor in his young career.
If Borucki does make the rotation, it will be interesting to see if can maximize his full potential and become something more than a fifth starter. However, first, he needs to prove he can remain on the field for an extended period of time.