The Blue Jays finished the month of June with a 15-13 record and sit with a 43-33 record in total for the season. The offence seemed to be clicking, the bullpen struggled and part of the rotation looked really good. I thought it would be good to see how rotation did as a whole over the month, so here is a look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly for the starting rotation in June.
Alek Manoah – 4-1, 2.56 ERA, 1.08 WHIP
When the season started, Alek Manoah was positioned in the four spot in the rotation, but that was due to the strategy of splitting up the two left-handed starters. Many believed Manoah was really the number three guy in the rotation, but that is no longer the case as he has jumped out as the Ace of the group.
Manoah has the front of the rotation mentality as he always wants to go deeper into games. During the month Manoah gave the club five quality starts and in two of those appearances left the game after the sixth inning without surrendering a run. Manoah was very impressive against the suddenly surging Baltimore Orioles on June 13 when got through the sixth inning on just 86 pitches while allowing just two base runners, however, with the New York Yankees series up ahead and the Blue Jays out to a commanding 10-0 lead he was pulled to rest up for the next start.
Alek Manoah has not just been the Ace of the Blue Jays rotation, but he is in the running to start the All Star Game and compete for the AL Cy Young.
Manoah allowed just two home runs over almost 39 innings on the month and is making a strong case to be the starting pitcher at the 2022 All-Star Game.
Ross Stripling – 3-1, 1.75 ERA, 0.82 WHIP
It is just a small sample size, but since Ross Stripling moved into the starting rotation there is nothing more you could have asked from the 32-year old. The Blue Jays picked up wins in all but one of his five starts and is consistently getting through five innings on a reasonably low pitch count. In his first start in the rotation, Stripling tossed five scoreless innings allowing just one base runner against the Kansas City Royals on just 56 pitches. As he had not yet build up the arm durability for the season he was pulled after five innings.
With his addition to the rotation, the Blue Jays now have a hole to fill in the bullpen, however he is getting deeper into games which means less work for the bullpen. In his most recent start against the Boston Red Sox, Stripling tossed five innings on just 81 pitches and his longest outing had him up to 87 pitches against the Chicago White Sox, which means he could start getting into the 90-pitch range. Here is hoping he keeps building on his success.
Kevin Gausman – 1-3, 3.96 ERA, 1.68 WHIP
I was back and forth with Gausman’s results for the month; at first glance you see the team lost four of his five starts, he had an ERA of nearly four, and his WHIP was way too high at 1.68. However, three of his five appearances were quality starts, he twice threw over 100 pitches and a couple of the losses were more about a lack of offensive support. If you separate his three quality starts from his two weaker outings his numbers look like:
Three Quality Starts: 19 IP, 21 K, 1.42 ERA, 1.26 WHIP
Two Subpar Starts: 6 IP, 6 K, 12.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP
What gives even more excitement on his month is over his last two starts he has pitched a total of 13 innings and allowed just two runs while striking out 17, including a seven inning shutout performance against the Boston Red Sox where he struck out 10.