Blue Jays: Ranking the top 10 relief pitchers in the AL East in 2023

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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3: Jordan Romano, Toronto Blue Jays

Jordan Romano is without a doubt, one of the premier closers in MLB, and his ranking at three on this list is in no way meant to diminish that, it's just that the AL East has some really good closers. If you want a full analysis of him, this season preview should be able to explain where some of the concerns with Romano's game stem from but to summarize, Romano has some pretty concerning batted ball data that could lead to regression in 2023. However, Romano is still ranked above some very good pitchers on this list, and here's why.

Over the past two seasons, Romano has a 2.13 ERA over 127 innings, which is fifth among all pitchers in MLB with at least 100 innings pitched. The pitchers he's behind? Emmanuel Clase, Justin Verlander, Jacob DeGrom, and Colin McHugh (better than you think, he's just boring). He's been an incredible closer for the Jays, with 59 saves in that period, and being a GTA native just makes it even more fun. Speaking of which, he's particularly great at home, having allowed just four earned runs in 32.2 innings pitched at the Rogers Centre last season. Both his fourdseamer and slider, which he uses about half of the time each, are very solid pitches, and his velocity only gets better as the season goes on. Additionally, his massive 6-foot-5 frame allows him to get an elite extension on his pitches, which is an underrated advantage that can be tough for hitters to adjust to. He's yet to really work himself into too many "best closer in baseball" conversations, but if he continues on the pace he's on, that's bound to change.