Blue Jays announce their playoff rotation, and I’m confused

TORONTO, ON - JULY 09: Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo and pitching coach Pete Walker wear masks during an intrasquad game at Rogers Centre on July 9, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 09: Toronto Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo and pitching coach Pete Walker wear masks during an intrasquad game at Rogers Centre on July 9, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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The Blue Jays announced their playoff rotation on Monday afternoon, and I can’t say that I understand what Charlie Montoyo is thinking at all.

Blue Jays’ manager Charlie Montoyo has made some confusing decisions at times this year, but Monday’s announcement might be the most baffling of them all. The club announced their starting rotation against the Rays in the first round of the playoffs with Matt Shoemaker getting the ball in Game 1, followed by Hyun Jin Ryu in Game 2, and Taijuan Walker in Game 3.

Where do I begin?

First of all, we’re talking about a three game series, and other than a one-game sudden death scenario, there’s no set-up that has more emphasis on Game 1. With that in mind, how can the Blue Jays start anyone other than Ryu, who might have been the AL Cy Young award winner in 2020 if not for Shane Bieber‘s freakish production in Cleveland. I understand that Ryu likes to perform on short rest, but this isn’t a time to worry about that, especially when he’d be pitching on his regular four days rest in Game 1.

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Let’s give Montoyo the benefit of the doubt on this though, and maybe it’s possible that Ryu asked for the extra day, as he has earlier this year. In that case, why wouldn’t the Blue Jays use Walker in Game 1? Granted he would be pitching on three days rest, but Montoyo pulled him after just three innings and 42 pitches in his last start of the season, and I’m confident that he would be ready to go if asked.

And if we’re talking about Walker, how about the fact that he’s posted a 1.37 ERA as a Blue Jay, and has been one of the best starters in the AL since the trade. In this set-up, he may not even make a start if the series doesn’t go to three games, and it’s hard to argue that this is the best use of your assets.

Finally, and I say this with all due respect to Matt Shoemaker, but why is he the Game 1 starter? I would have been happy to see him in Game 3 as opposed to the options, but the veteran has only made one start since returning from the IL, and he only threw three innings and 54 pitches. He might be able to throw 4-5 frames in a best case scenario, but then it’s a lot of innings from the bullpen after that. I imagine the Jays will use Robbie Ray as well, or perhaps another long-man, but it leads me to asking again, is that better than having Ryu or Walker out there in Game 1?

dark. Next. The results are in, and the OF was quite good in 2020

Maybe I’ll proven wrong and Montoyo will look like a genius when all is said and done, but on the eve of the first game of the Wild Card round with the Rays, I honestly have no idea what the coaching staff is thinking right now.

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