As we fast approach the midway point of the 2023 MLB season, the Blue Jays find themselves at 37-30. While they sit just fourth in the AL East following Sunday's games, they are just 0.5 games back of a wild card spot.
There are of course many factors which will impact how matters play out for the Blue Jays. Let's consider some up to this point of the year, by looking at the good, the bad and the ugly:
NB - All stats are up to and including June. 11
Blue Jays: The good
Durability has been the key to the Blue Jays' rotation so far this season. In fact, they are the only team in the Majors not to have a single start missed due to injury.
As such, it should come as no surprise the Blue Jays lead the league in combined innings pitcher by starters. By extension, they are the only team with three players in the top 20 for most innings thrown.
Leading the way in Toronto is the fantastic one-two punch of Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt. Gausman is second in the Majors in strikeouts, while Bassitt is eighth with a 1.024 WHIP which projects to the best of his nine-year career.
Jose Berrios has proven to a reliable member of the rotation, rebounding from a nightmare 2022 campaign which was his worst since his rookie year in 2016. In fact, he is on course for arguably a better season that in either of his two All-Star years, in 2018 and 2019.
Yusei Kikuchi is another pitcher having a bounce-back year, at least to a certain extent. You almost never know what you're going to get from him start-to-start, but the bottom line is he is 6-2 in his 13 outings with the Blue Jays winning nine of those games overall.
As a collective, the Blue Jays starters have a team ERA of 3.95, which is eighth-best in the Majors. They are 10th in opposing batting average and third in strikeouts.
Yes, the Blue Jays are only tied 14th in WHIP and sixth-worst for walks allowed, but overall the rotation has been really good. it is scary to think how much higher they would have ranked in all categories, if Alek Monoah hadn't suffered an unexpected fall from grace after challenging for the Cy Young last year.