Who should be the Blue Jays Opening Day starter for the 2022 season?
Fresh off an offseason contract extension that will keep him in a Blue Jays uniform for at least the next five seasons, Jose Berrios is an interesting option for the club heading into the 2022 campaign when it comes to Opening Day.
With the organization giving up two top prospects in Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson to land Berrios at the 2021 trade deadline, fans were hoping to see a top of the rotation arm and he did not disappoint. The right-hander pitched to a 3.58 ERA with the Blue Jays and finished the year with a combined 3.52 ERA with 204 strikeouts through 192.0 innings. He finished fifth in the AL in terms of ERA and right behind Robbie Ray in terms of innings pitched, proving that he can last a full season. The Puerto Rican product finished ninth in AL Cy Young voting last year and was a Gold Glove finalist as well.
With all the transactions earlier this offseason and the 2022 season a mere few months away, who should be the Blue Jays 2022 Opening Day starter?
Berrios has a small sample size of starting Opening Day for the Twins since making it to the big leagues:
2020: 4 IP; 7 hits; 5 ER; 1 BB; 1 K; 1 HR @ Chicago White Sox
2019: 7.2 IP; 2 hits; 0 ER; 1 BB; 10 K; 0 HR vs. Cleveland Indians
Having Berrios open the Opening Day series against the Orioles would be a solid way to start the season with a pitcher who not only has experience with the task but is also coming off a strong 2021 campaign. He is also a workhorse on the mound with a solid track record, having never hit the injured list since turning professional (knocks on wood) and pitching 32 games in 2018, 2019, and 2021 (12 games in 2020 with the shortened campaign).
What better way to prove to the organization you are worth every penny of your new contract than to go out there and pitch some scoreless innings against Baltimore?