The 2023 Toronto Blue Jays starting pitching staff was one of the biggest reasons the club finished with 89 wins and made the playoffs. In 2023, the fans and media were screaming about other areas of the roster that simply weren’t contributing like they needed to.
The starting rotation was so good in 2023 that there were legitimate questions about it being the best staff in franchise history. A remarkable eight pitchers (including Wes Parsons) made a start for the club last year. For comparison’s sake, the abysmal Colorado Rockies used 17 different starting pitchers and the National League champion Arizona Diamondbacks needed 14 pitchers to get to the end of the regular season. Toronto’s hurlers took the ball every fifth day and pitched as deep into the games as they could.
To be clear, the Blue Jays haven’t traditionally been a pitching powerhouse like the Cleveland Guardians or Tampa Bay Rays, even if there have been a handful of individual talents to wear a Toronto uniform. They simply haven’t enjoyed the same level of consistency as those other pitching behemoths.
Due to that lack of historical consistency, it will be hard to project whether this staff can assemble an encore performance in 2024. Some members of the staff are nearing free agency and possess injury concerns. Having said that, it is well past time for pitching coach Pete Walker to receive some credit for his work. Walker seems to be unlocking something special in his pitchers and that should only continue going forward. Additionally, the front office should receive credit for betting on Kevin Gausman when it seemed no one else would. Jose Berrios has proven to be a shrewd pickup and getting Chris Bassitt last winter at that price was the biggest power move of the offseason.
Without further ado, let’s get into the Blue Jays starting pitcher player projections for 2024, beginning with the man who possesses such promise but failed to put it all together last season.