After another troublesome start by Mitch White against the Orioles on Tuesday night, there’s been much discussion regarding the Blue Jays rotation, and, more specifically, the fifth spot in the rotation.
Hyun Jin-Ryu, Yusei Kikuchi, and now Mitch White have all been vastly unreliable and very disappointing for the team’s pitching staff this season, and after White was optioned to AAA Buffalo on Wednesday, it’s unclear at this time what the team will do to fill the rotations fifth spot going forward. He can be called back in time for the doubleheader next week against Texas, but for now, he is back in AAA.
Despite the struggles the team has had with the fifth spot this season, the top four members of the rotation have all been very good this year, with the exception of a few bumps in the road for Jose Berrios. Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, Ross Stripling, and, for the most part, Berrios have all been very good and quite reliable.
Despite the struggles the team has had with the fifth spot in the rotation this season, the Blue Jays are well equipped for a potential Wild Card series.
With October baseball looming and the Blue Jays currently occupying a playoff spot, their rotation sets up nicely for a potential Wild Card series, should they make the playoffs.
With Major League Baseball’s new expanded playoff picture now featuring three Wild Card teams for each league instead of two and also doing away with the single elimination Wild Card game, the Blue Jays are currently in a position to find themselves in a best-of-three Wild Card series next month.
Should this scenario happen, the Blue Jays have a solid top three of the rotation that should stack up nicely with any potential opponent – Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, and Jose Berrios, in whichever order manager John Schneider, thinks is best.
Manoah and Gausman’s stats this season speak for themselves as they both rank in the top five of MLB.com’s latest AL Cy Young poll. Berrios on the other hand was the club’s Opening Day starter for a reason. If his starts as of late are any indication, he seems to have moved past the inconsistency that has followed him for the majority of the season thus far.
Should the Blue Jays then advance past the Wild Card series, they now have Ross Stripling in line to start Games 1 and 5 of the ALDS, with the three aforementioned pitchers starting games 2, 3, and 4, or potentially in the bullpen if needed in Game 3 (Berrios’s start).