5) The bullpen
Okay, so there's a little bit of 'cheating' going on here, in picking a group of players as opposed to just one. However, we firmly believe the bullpen is worthy of inclusion as a collective bright spot.
Along with the rotation, the bullpen kept the Blue Jays in games. Combined with outstanding defence, the team allowed the sixth-fewest runs in the Majors during 2023.
In terms of the bullpen specifically, their ERA of 3.68 was fifth-best in the AL and eight-lowest for the Majors as a whole. They finished tied-fourth in MLB for WHIP, aided by allowing the fewest walks of all 30 teams.
Another important area where the Blue Jays relievers excelled, was when it came to sealing wins. The bullpen had 51 saves in total, which were most in the AL and third-best overall in the Majors.
In terms of individual talent, the Blue Jays bullpen was loaded in 2023. Standout performers included Jordan Romano, Erik Swanson, Tim Mayza, Jay Jackson, Bowden Francis and trade deadline acquisition Jordan Hicks.
What's intriguing, is that the bullpen could have been even better. Consider how injuries compromised the effectiveness of the likes of Chad Green and Zach Pop, while Nate Pearson started out so well before self-capitulating.
Overall, the bullpen should be proud of their collective achievement in 2023. More of the same will be needed next season, with the promise of being capable of more for a Blue Jays team desperately searching for a way to do better come playoff time.