4 weak spots the Blue Jays are going to need to address sooner rather than later

What areas should the Jays fix as soon as possible before it’s too late?
Apr 9, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39)
Apr 9, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Starting pitching

Despite the Jays’ constant struggles with offense, pitching was believed to be one of the team’s main strengths heading into 2024. In particular, with Kevin Gausman coming off a Cy Young-calibre year, the steady veteran presence of Chris Bassitt, along with the huge bounce-back seasons last year for both José Berríos and Yusei Kikuchi, the Jays have a strong starting core four that could compete against almost any starting pitching staff in the league. Added to the emergence of Bowden Francis, the expected comeback of Alek Manoah, and the addition of Cuban sensation Yariel Rodríguez, it appeared that the club had plenty of starting pitching depth going forward.

However, after two weeks into the season, both the infallible strong core and the strong depth appeared to have unexpectedly evaporated. Other than Kikuchi and Berríos, the rest have gotten off to a rough start to the year. The usually reliable Bassitt is sporting a 5.06 ERA, Gausman got blown out in his last outing, and Francis had fallen apart in his two starts thus far. Manoah went down with shoulder soreness and inflammation during the preseason and is now struggling in his rehab starts. Even the Jays most highly-touted pitching prospect Ricky Tiedemann has hit some bumps in the road in his journey to reach the big leagues. Only Rodríguez provided a glimmer of hope with his two solid starts with Buffalo so far as he builds up into game shape, and it sounds as if he's going to be promoted as soon as this weekend.

At this rate, if Rodríguez also ends up disappointing as a starting pitcher at the big league level, or the Jays actually end up using him as a reliever instead, then we may be looking at the likes of Mitch White and Paolo Espino as the main starting pitching depth for the team going forward. If that indeed comes to fruition, the Jays’ pitching troubles could only just be starting right now.