If there’s one area of weakness, and an area that still needs addressing, it’s the rotation. Depth really isn’t a problem at the moment, but they’re running pretty short on reliable track records.
As I’ve mentioned above, I believe that Atkins and the front office will still add another starter to the group. Whether that’s by re-signing Taijuan Walker, or by bringing in someone like Jake Odorizzi or James Paxton, there are still a handful of quality options available. The Blue Jays also have the resources to make a significant trade, if such an opportunity still exists this winter.
For now though, here’s how I think they start the year:
1- Hyun Jin Ryu
2- Nate Pearson
3- Robbie Ray
4- Tanner Roark
5- Steven Matz
They’re in a fortunate position to have a certifiable ace in Ryu, but there are a lot of question marks after that. Pearson’s talent is off the charts, but after a minor league career that’s been regularly interrupted by injury, it’s hard to know how many innings he can throw this year even in a best case scenario.
Roark’s debut season as a Blue Jay was a disaster, but I think he’s still part of the group if the season starts today. l also think he’d be the first starter bumped if they can make another addition, but we’ll see if that happens or not. As for Matz, I think he’ll be part of the rotation to at least start the year. In order to trade for him and take on his whole salary, I’m sure the Blue Jays see something they like in his left-handed arm.
They’ll have others in reserve in Triple-A like Trent Thornton, Anthony Kay, Thomas Hatch, and more, but the Blue Jays could still use a #2 or better starter to improve the depth chart even more.