Last but not least is the bullpen, and it’s likely the group that’s the hardest to predict. Regardless, I’m still going to give it the ol’ college try here.
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1- Kirby Yates
2- Rafael Dolis
3- Jordan Romano
4- Ryan Borucki
5- Tyler Chatwood
6- David Phelps
7- Ross Stripling
8- Francisco Liriano
On paper, that actually looks pretty good to me. You’ve got a trio of hard-throwing, late-inning arms in Yates, Dolis, and Romano, all capable of closing out games. Borucki has transitioned well to the bullpen and is a nice southpaw weapon, and Phelps could be a solid addition for the middle innings. You have some length with Chatwood and Stripling, who could both start as well, and Liriano might be able to do that and bring a second left-handed arm to the ‘pen.
There will be other candidates like A.J. Cole, Joel Payamps, Tim Mayza, and more, and as I said, I suspect that they’ll keep shopping too. They’re in a strong position at the moment, provided the majority of their arms can stay healthy. And if they can, Atkins may have quietly put together a pretty strong bullpen.
The Blue Jays still have to produce on the field, but looking over my projected 26-man line is pretty encouraging for the most part. At worst, this is the strongest starting position they’ve been in since 2016, and that’s a very exciting thing to think about.