Back of the rotation
Ross Stripling – 5-7 | 4.80 ERA | 1.27 WHIP | 101.1IP | 94K
The 2021 season was a roller coaster ride for Ross Stripling. Early in the year he looked like he could be designated for assignment as he had a 0-3 record with a 7.20 ERA through his first six starts. However, a small change in his mechanics saved his season and maybe his career. After the legendary Pete Walker helped Stripling change the positioning of his hands during his delivery, he went on to post a 3-1 record with a 2.35 ERA over his next eight appearances. In fact, from the time of his pitching mechanics change after his May 19 start and until he went down with an injury on August 10, Stripling made 14 appearances and posted a 3.29 ERA while averaging almost five innings an appearance.
Stripling missed nearly a month of baseball during his injury and when he came back there was not a spot in the rotation, so he pitched out of the bullpen. Ideally in a full season, you would like to see Stripling in a similar spot he was in at the end the year, where he is used for long relief, but if an injury arises he can jump into the rotation. Stripling is in the last year of arbitration, which MLB Trade Rumors has slated him for around $4.4 million for the season.
Nate Pearson – 1-1 | 4.20 ERA | 1.73 WHIP | 15 IP | 20K
Originally I had Trent Thornton slated as the number five man in the rotation, but I ended up putting Nate Pearson in this spot. I really do not want to see him in the rotation and it’s not because I don’t think he has the talent. Pearson has had injury trouble for his entire professional career and I would like to see an entire major league season from him, which right now I feel the bullpen is the best spot.
I often think about Dustin McGowan and Aaron Sanchez with Pearson, as the team kept pushing them as starters, but had they used them as relief pitchers they may have had longer and better careers. With that being said, Pearson has electric stuff and finished off the season very well. After battling injures through the beginning of the season, he came back and made 11 appearances in September. In those relief appearances, he posted a 2.84 ERA with 20 strikeouts over 12.2 innings pitched, however, over the last two seasons he has thrown a combined 63.2 innings split between the Blue Jays and Bisons.
Trent Thornton – Made 29 starts in 2019 and made 37 relief appearances for the Jays this season.
Thomas Hatch – If Hatch could stay healthy he is likely a better option than Thornton, but he has not been able to stay off the injured list.
Anthony Kay – 2021 was a forgettable season for Anthony Kay, who couldn’t get anything going in Buffalo or Toronto. Control and home runs have become his biggest problem that he needs to get over.
Nick Allgeyer – Made one appearance out of the Blue Jays bullpen, and led the Triple-A Bisons in innings pitched.
Jacob Waguespack – Forgotten prospect, turned 28 this week and spent entire season in Buffalo where he had a 7-2 record with a 2.86 ERA.
Who is your current five-man rotation?