The Blue Jays acquired Trevor Richards a couple weeks ahead of the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline and he was the model of consistency in his first year with the club. After the trade, Richards posted a 3.31 ERA over 32 appearances and averaged more than a strikeout per inning while posting a WHIP of just 0.796. Richards fell victim to some home runs, but the damage was limited due to the lack of runners that he would allow to get on base.
During the 2022 campaign, Richards started off even better than the year before as he allowed just one earned run over his first nine appearances, however throughout the season he had some rough patches of games. During the stretch run in in September, Richards surrendered 12 runs over six appearances (five innings pitched), but he was able to finish strong as he had three consecutive scoreless appearances to finish off the regular season, as well as a scoreless inning in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series against the Seattle Mariners.
Richards will enter Spring Training likely with the leg up on competition, but will be in a battle for one of the last two bullpen spots.
With Yusei Kikuchi struggling through the 2022 season, the Blue Jays went out and added Mitch White to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation. He had done a good job for the Dodgers as a swingman throughout the season posting a 3.70 ERA over 56 innings pitched. Over his first three appearances, White looked like he could possibly run with the role as he put up a 3.38 ERA and the club had won two of the three games. However, some of the underlying numbers were concerning such as the 20 base runners he allowed in 13 innings.
Over his next three starts, White surrender a combined 18 runs in just 12 innings and he lost a lot of confidence from the fanbase. Over his remaining four appearances he had just one above average outing and finished his Blue Jays season with a 7.74 ERA and 1.744 WHIP.
If you were to ask me right now, I believe White gets the last bullpen spot as I believe the club wants him around as the swing man. With the struggles of Kikuchi, I believe they are going to have a battle between the two pitchers. However, if the club can off-load Kikuchi and find a more established fifth starter, I can see White's stay in Toronto being short.