The Blue Jays have jumped out to near the top of the AL East, and while their hitting has not quite caught its stride, the pitching has been near the top of the entire league.
One thing is clear, the top three pitchers in the starting rotation have began the season at an elite level. Here is a look at who has been really hot and who has been cold.
Kevin Gausman – 2-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.810 WHIP
The Blue Jays went big this past offseason when they signed Kevin Gausman to a five-year deal The right-hander has had three starts during this timeframe, and he collected wins in two of the starts, while the team won each of the three games. Gausman tossed 21 innings without surrendering a walk, allowing just 17 base hits and his 1.29 ERA since April 17 leads all starters on the team. Not only has he been good over those last three outings in particular, he’s still yet to surrender a walk or a home run since the regular season began.
Alek Manoah – 3-0, 1.89 ERA, 0.895 WHIP
The team may have started him in the fourth spot in the rotation, but I have a feeling that was more to separate the left-handed pitchers in the rotation. Alek Manoah is showing no fear no matter who he faces as he is now 4-0 in four starts to begin the season. During his three starts during this timeframe he pitched at least six innings in each of them, with his most impressive outing coming this past Thursday against the Boston Red Sox when he tossed seven shutout innings surrendering just three hits.
Jose Berrios – 2-0, 1.93 ERA, 1.285WHIP
Jose Berrios closes out the big three in the starting rotation for the Blue Jays in which the team finished 9-0 in their nine starts. Berrios collected wins in two of his three starts while holding opponents to four runs in almost 19 innings pitched. The 27 year old has now started five games this season and has looked stronger each time out. Berrios started this span of games with an 11.81 ERA, which has now dropped down to 4.13 on the season.
The Blue Jays have had an outstanding start from the big three starting pitchers of Jose Berrios, Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah.
Jordan Romano – 1-1, 6 saves, 2.46 ERA, 1.091WHIP
Jordan Romano has looked down right dominant this season and while he did blow his first save on April 24, he has started a new streak of three consecutive since that game. Romano made eight appearances over the past 14 games, which may be a bit much, but during that time he saved six games.
Tim Mayza – 3 Holds, 0.00 ERA, 0.948 WHIP
The Blue Jays bullpen has one of the most productive relief corps in the AL, and Tim Mayza may be the most dependable of the group. Mayza is currently on a streak of six consecutive outings without surrendering a run, and that came during this two week span. Mayza pitched a total of 6.1 innings and surrendered just one walk and five hits while striking out seven.
Adam Cimber – 1-0, 3 Holds, 1 Save, 1.59 ERA, 0.705 WHIP
If other fan bases are reading this, they may think I am a little bias saying that so many pitchers had a hot two weeks, but I couldn’t leave Adam Cimber off the list. Coming into last night’s game, all he’d done was pitch in six games, collect a win, a save and three holds, while allowing just four base runners over 5.2 innings pitched. Cimber now has four wins which has him tied with Alek Manoah for the AL East lead.
Yusei Kikuchi – 0-0, 5.56 ERA, 1.853 WHIP
The signing of Yusei Kikuchi is quickly looking less than appealing. While he did not record a loss in any of his three starts, the team failed to win any of the games and are now 0-4 in his outings this season. Kikuchi looked good in his start in Boston on April 19 as he threw five innings surrendering just one run, however, he was pulled in the fourth and third innings in each of his next two starts. The former Seattle Mariners pitcher walked more batters (11) than the rest of the rotation combined (8). Kikuchi needs to turn it around soon or he’ll start being seen as this year’s version of Tanner Roark.
I am not including Trevor Richards or Yimi Garcia in the cold category as both were very good during the two weeks and had their numbers inflated by one bad outing each. Richards had a 7.11 ERA over six appearances, which skyrocketed after surrendering five runs on April 29. Prior to that outing he did not surrender a run in five appearances, which included recording one hold. Garcia had a similar fate as he allowed four runs in his appearance on April 26, which were the first runs he surrendered this year after eight straight appearances without allowing a run.