The Blue Jays' lack of depth is a serious concern

Mar 10, 2023; Fort Myers, Florida, USA;Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Thomas Hatch (31) throws a
Mar 10, 2023; Fort Myers, Florida, USA;Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Thomas Hatch (31) throws a / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 5

Lack of Depth a Serious Concern

Despite that good health, these transactions may have exposed a serious weakness in roster construction; the pitching depth looks poor. Jackson is a 35-year old journeyman who’s now pitched with five different MLB teams and been part of ten different MLB organizations. He’s also pitched in Japan, for the Hiroshima Carp and the Chiba Lotte Marines. Hatch, like Jackson, was already on the 40-man roster and has a 5.53 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched over four different seasons with Toronto, with a 5.54 FIP, 1.549 WHIP and ERA+ of only 81.

Mitch White hasn’t been any better. He’s pitched to a 7.74 ERA over 43.0 innings as a Blue Jay, with a 3.76 FIP and 1.744 WHIP. Tellingly, he has a -1.0 bWAR for his career, and he has a 6.88 ERA over 17.0 innings with a 1.824 WHIP so far on his minor league rehab assignment at New Hampshire and Buffalo which has now been paused due to shoulder soreness. He’s also out of minor league options, so would have to be traded or DFA’d if they don’t activate him once he’s healthy.

None of Jackson, Hatch or White can light up a radar gun. According to Statcast, Jackson averages 93.5 mph on his fastball, and throws his slider 57 percent of the time. Hatch’s fastball averaged 94.4 mph in 2022, but batters averaged .556 with a 1.000 slugging percentage off that offering. White’s fastball averaged 93.7 mph in 2022, with a .299 batting average against.

In other words, none of these pitchers are going to be compared with the Astros bullpen stalwarts like Bryan Abreu, Hector Neris and Rafael Montero, or with the Baltimore bullpen the Jays are facing this weekend, which leads all MLB with a 3.2 fWAR season-to-date thanks to breakout star Yennier Cano, closer Félix Bautista and former Blue Jay Bryan Baker.