Jose Berrios is beginning his quest to take the throne as Blue Jays' staff ace

Move over, Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios is coming for your throne.
Mar 28, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17)
Mar 28, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Since being acquired at the 2021 trade deadline, Jose Berrios has shown the Toronto Blue Jays his best and his worst stuff on the mound. He struggled immensely in 2022, his first full season with the club, but turned things around in a big way last year.

Berrios experienced a comeback for the ages in 2023 when he lowered his ERA by almost two whole runs and boosted his ERA+ from 74 (26 percent below league-average) to 115 (15 percent above league-average).

Now 29, the right-hander has started off the current campaign on the best foot possible. Through four starts, he is 3-0 with a sparkling 1.05 ERA and 377 ERA+ - which is not even close to sustainable, but it's a fun stat. He leads the major leagues in innings pitched with 25.2, and has allowed just three earned runs so far. It seems that every time he takes the mound, the Blue Jays are in good hands as long as the offense can produce at least one run.

Is Jose Berrios the Blue Jays' new staff ace?

The red-hot start for Berrios, paired with a so-so start for Kevin Gausman, has brought up a question that virtually nobody would've thought possible at this time last year. Is Berrios turning himself into the new ace of the Blue Jays' staff right before our eyes?

Followers of the Blue Jays know precisely what they're getting out of Gausman, who has an 11.57 ERA through his first three starts this year. He's been solid as rock since coming over to Toronto and has three straight top-10 finishes in Cy Young voting. Slow start or not, he's not going to stay down in the dumps like this forever.

But in Berrios's case, his numbers have been on the rise (in a good way) since that dreadful 2022 campaign. He has avoided the slow start and is pitching at a rate we've never seen from him before.'s Keegan Matheson penned a piece that wondered if this was the "Year of Berrios", and it's beginning to feel like the answer is a resounding yes.

On the mound, Berrios has switched things up a bit in his repertoire. Last year, he threw a healthy mix of four pitches: a slurve (30 percent usage)), a sinker (31), a four-seam fastball (20) and a changeup (18).

This year, he's continued the sinker-slurve mix, throwing them at 38 and 36 percent, respectively, but he's eased off on the four-seam fastball (13) and changeup (10) and the results have been speaking for themselves. As a whole, hitters have managed just a .202 batting average against Berrios to begin the season.

To have this come full circle for Berrios is special. The last we saw of him in 2023 was in the Wild Card Series when John Schneider prematurely removed him from a start that eventually led to the Blue Jays' elimination from the postseason. Having Berrios rebound and come back better than ever is the best possible outcome. A third career All-Star appearance feels like just the beginning for what could be seen out of this right-hander by the time the season comes to a close.