Do the Blue Jays have strong enough backup plans in the event of injuries?
Do the Blue Jays have in-house injury replacements for starting pitchers?
This is the area where the Blue Jays struggle the most with depth. Any injury to one of the five starters and the Jays will find themselves in a very tough spot. Both options to replace an injured starter are relatively unappealing: Mitch White (who is injured himself) and Zach Thompson.
White showed almost no positive signs for the team last season and is going to begin the season on the injured list with elbow inflammation. Last year, he had an ERA of 5.46 with a record of 1-7. If a pitcher like Alek Manoah were to go down, it would be a huge drop off to be replaced by a player like White.
Thompson has also been looked at as a piece in case of injury for the starting rotation. He has struggled this spring, giving up eight runs in only 11.1 innings pitched. The starting rotation is crucial to a team looking to win a World Series, so the Jays would need to find a solution if a starter were to go down.
The most likely answer would be for Ross Atkins to make a trade for an established starter. The starting five in the current rotation are very solid and should put the Jays as a top 10 rotation in baseball, but injuries can (and likely will) happen and that could ruin the Jays season. This should have been addressed in the offseason, but since it wasn’t, the Jays will most likely have to trade a depth piece in order to acquire a capable sixth starter.
Additional minor league depth includes Yosver Zulueta and Thomas Hatch, alongside non-40-man options like Drew Hutchison or Bowden Francis.
Overall, the Blue Jays have solid depth, and an injury should not ruin their season, unless the injury occurs to the starting rotation. The front office should be looking to add even more depth pieces to the team closer to the trade deadline when the Jays are making a push for the World Series.