Blue Jays: Could immediate rotation help already be in the organization?

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

With the loss of Ross Stripling, the Blue Jays rotation has an obvious hole in it. Not to mention, three of the five remaining options for the Jays rotation struggled last season, so there is a move to be made here, even if Stripling is brought back.

As things currently stand, the rotation is slated to be Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, José Berríos, Yusei Kikuchi and Mitch White in that order. Manoah and Gausman form one of the strongest starting pitching duos in the game while Berríos is primed for a bounceback.

Kikuchi and White on the other hand? Not so much. As a matter of fact, Kikuchi could be bumped to the bullpen while White is a candidate to be DFA'd and passed through waivers. He's not a bad pitcher, he got pretty unlucky last year, but he is best suited for a role in Triple-A right now.

Yosver Zulueta, the No. 5 prospect in the Blue Jays' system per MLB's last rankings, is 24-years-old and nearing his big league debut. He was signed out of Cuba in 2019 but wasn't able to make his debut in the minors until 2021 thanks to the COVID-shortened 2020 season and a Tommy John surgery.

In 2021, Zulueta was a part of the big league Spring Training squad and was assigned to Class-A Dunedin to start the year. In his first start, he faced just a single batter before leaving with an injury that ultimately wound up being a torn ACL that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Last year, he split time between four different minor league affiliates for Toronto, making his way all the way up to Triple-A. His repertoire features an absolutely filthy fastball that can reach the high-90's paired with a wipeout slider and a still-improving curveball and changeup.

Along the way, Zulueta appeared in 21 contests, starting 12 of them. What immediately jumps off the page is the fact that he struck out a whopping 13.9 batters per-nine innings. On top of that, he allowed just two home runs all season.

While it's hard to determine a player is ready for the majors after just one season, Zulueta was absolutely filthy last year. At the very least, extend another Spring Training invite to him and see where it goes. If he continues to look sharp, he would represent an easy in-house option to slot in alongside Manoah and Gausman or even as a high-leverage relief option.

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