Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays: Why the rotation will do, for now

Sep 30, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu (99) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2020; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu (99) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 17: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays strikes out against Masahiro Tanaka #19 of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on September 17, 2020 in New York City. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 10-7. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Rest of the East

While the Blue Jays figure to have a starting rotation full of question marks, they’re not alone. In fact, I can’t remember a time when the AL East was so uncertain when it comes to starting pitching.

For example, the Yankees decided to roll the dice on a pair of new rotation additions, and it could go either way. Brian Cashman may look like a genius because he signed Corey Kluber for one year and 11 million, but he’ll also turn 35 in April and has only made eight starts over the last two seasons thanks to injury. It’s a similar story for Jameson Taillon, who didn’t pitch at all last year while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Beyond those two, the Yankees figure to use some combination of Jordan Montgomery, Deivi Garcia, and eventually hope to include Luis Severino. They still have Gerrit Cole to lead the rotation, but after that comes a lot of question marks. Admittedly it could go well, but there’s also the potential for disaster.

As for the Rays, they went from the best rotation in the division to a mixed bag that’s hard to predict. Gone are Blake Snell (traded to San Diego) and Charlie Morton (signed in Atlanta), and in their places are Michael Wacha and the return of Chris Archer. Tyler Glasnow and Ryan Yarborough are still around, and they also just signed 41-year-old Rich Hill, but there’s no denying there’s been a step back here.

The Red Sox should get Chris Sale back this summer, but it’s hard to imagine him performing at his usual level right away. Eduardo Rodriguez will return and he looked great in 2019 before health issues sidelined him last year, and their rotation is likely rounded out by the likes of Nate Eovaldi, Garrett Richards, Martin Perez, and Nick Pivetta, which shouldn’t intimidate anyone. As for the Orioles, well, the fact that Matt Harvey has a chance to make the team should tell you all you need to know.

I don’t mean to suggest that the Blue Jays should be satisfied with their own rotation simply because the rest of their division is so volatile. However, there’s reason to think they could get away with what they have for now, at least to start the year.

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