5 bright spots from an underwhelming Blue Jays 2023 season

We take a look at five Toronto Blue Jays players, who stood out in a 2023 season when the team underachieved as a whole.

Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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4) Chris Bassitt

There was a lot of anticipation, when the Blue Jays signed Chris Bassitt to a three-year, $63 million deal last offseason. He had blossomed late as a starter, aided by a varied arsenal, high-level competitiveness and tough durability.

However, Bassitt's tenure in Toronto didn't get off to a very auspicious beginning. In his first start for the Blue Jays he lasted just 3.1 innings, as he allowed an alarming 10 hits and nine earned runs in a 9-4 loss.

The 2021 All-Star would periodically have other tough outings as the season progressed, but in general he settled down after his terrible debut. As a result, he became the Jays' most reliable starter after Gausman.

One of the main highlight's of Bassitt's season, was throwing the second complete game shutout of his career. He allowed just two hits and two walks in 9.0 innings, versus a Braves team which would finish the year with the best record in the Majors.

The 34-year-old came close to matching this impressive achievement late on in the season, against the Nationals. However, after allowing just three hits and one walk in 8.0 shutout innings, the decision was made to replace him for the ninth.

Over the course of the season, Bassitt proved to be remarkably durable. So much so, that he finished top of the AL standings with career-highs of 33 starts and 826 batters faced.

The Toledo, Ohio native also finished first on the Blue Jays with 21 quality starts, as well as tied-first in the AL with 16 wins. The win total was the best of his nine-year career, and also tied for third-most in the Majors as a whole.

One of the only things missing for Bassitt this year, was a chance to pitch in the playoffs. While he was earmarked as the leading candidate to start Game 3 versus the Twins, he never got the opportunity after the Blue Jays were swept.