Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: The Importance of a Strong Jose Berrios Through September

Travis Aylward
May 29, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) looks on in the third inning after giving up a second home run to Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) looks on in the third inning after giving up a second home run to Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Jose Berrios at the 2021 trade deadline in a huge deal in which they sent top prospects INF/OF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson to Minnesota in exchange for the veteran right-hander.

Berrios was expected to come into the Blue Jays rotation and slot in and be a top end starter for the team. He did exactly that. Statistically speaking, only AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray performed better than Berrios once he joined the Blue Jays.

In 12 games started for Toronto last season and 70.1 innings pitched, Berrios pitched to a 3.58 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, a 5-4 record, and kept opponents limited to a .236 average. The Blue Jays couldn’t have asked for more from the righty.

To reward Berrios for his strong second half of the season with the club, the franchise linked him to a seven-year, $131M contract extension during the offseason. And while the trade to bring Berrios aboard the team worked out spectacularly well for Ross Atkins and Co., the same can’t be said for the extension thus far.

With the Blue Jays currently in the midst of a very tight Wild Card race, it is imperative that Jose Berrios has a strong September for the ball club.

The 28-year-old has struggled mightily this season with consistency, control, and keeping the ball in the ballpark. His ERA for the season currently sits at 5.32, which amongst qualified starters is the highest ERA across the league and sits in the bottom tier of hits allowed with 159 on the season. Home runs have also been a problem for Berrios this season, as his HR/9 is currently 1.73, the second worst mark of his career. While he does have some solid starts under his belt and two games with 13 strikeouts apiece, he also has two outings where he allowed eight earned runs, showing his inconsistency throughout the year.

Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah have been absolutely terrific atop the Blue Jays rotation this season, and Ross Stripling has been a pleasantly surprising mainstay as well. Coming into the season as the team’s Opening Day starter, needless to say, the team expects more out of Jose Berrios.

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With the Blue Jays currently in the midst of a very tight American League Wild Card race, it is imperative that Jose Berrios has a strong September for the ball club.

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