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Toronto Blue Jays: Comparing the 2016 Rotation to Now

Evan Gignac
Mar 23, 2022; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jose Berrios (17) throws a pitch in the first inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies during spring training at BayCare Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 23, 2022; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Jose Berrios (17) throws a pitch in the first inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies during spring training at BayCare Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 17, 2022; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman (34) throws a bullpen session during workouts at Toronto Blue Jays Player Development Complex. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Aaron Sanchez and Kevin Gausman

This comparison is a bit more of a reach, but I can make something work. Aaron Sanchez was actually Kevin Gausman’s teammate for parts of 2021. Sanchez began the year in the Giants’ rotation and made seven starts before injuries crept their way back. Gausman was the opposite, as he made 33 starts (tied for the league lead) and threw a total of 192 innings. Sanchez may be a bit of a wild card in today’s MLB, but back in 2016, he was nothing if not consistent.

Sanchez went at least 6 innings in 25 of his 30 starts during his All-Star 2016 season. This mark of consistency and reliably is heavily desirable in a number two guy. Unfortunately, it’s a quality Sanchez only had for one season. Injuries would catch up to him, and his 192 innings pitched that season remains a career high.

Gausman fits the bill for consistency as well. While their repertoires vary to a degree, the recent signee’s ability to stay on the field and produce matches that of 2016 Aaron Sanchez. Being six years into the future, managers have become more conservative with their starting pitchers innings limits. Looking at 2021, Gausman did not quite make as many six inning starts as Sanchez. However, if you look at his starts of at least five innings, you’ll find more encouraging results. Only six of his 33 starts didn’t reach the five inning mark.

While Sanchez and Gausman doesn’t fit the same bill looking at how they attack hitters, they both represent a dependable second starter in a capable Major League rotation.

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