Injured pitchers: Ryan Borucki, Clayton Richard, Matt Shoemaker, Clay Bucholz
When you look at the starting pitchers on the injured list you can’t help but wonder if the team would actually have a better record. The team lost four pitchers who could have easily been starters this season and a couple the team had high hopes for as well and a couple that could have been flipped at the trade deadline.
Let’s start with Ryan Borucki because he’s the only one under contract going into next season. After putting up a 3.87 ERA in 17 starts last season, there was a lot to be excited about going into this season for the 25-year-old.
Unfortunately, after an elbow injury delayed the start to his season, Borucki only pitched two games before having surgery to clean up bone spurs in his pitching arm. Now the team has to hope the worse is behind the left-hander since they most likely expect him to be a key contributor next season.
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It will take some time for him to build up his innings again but considering he doesn’t throw at a high velocity, hopefully, that doesn’t put a lot of stress in his recovery.
Another injured pitcher the Blue Jays should hope to see return next season should be Matt Shoemaker. After having surgery to repair a torn ACL, the right-hander has been working hard to put himself in a position to return next season.
It is rather unfortunate because the 32-year-old was dominant in the 28.2 innings he pitched putting up a 1.57 ERA and 24 strikeouts. He was looking to regain his form after only pitching in seven games in 2018 for Los Angeles. Based on Arden Zwelling’s article on July 22, Shoemaker seemed confident in his rehab progress which is obviously encouraging.
The Blue Jays also have a lot of reasons to be invested in his recovery since they control his contract for 2020 since he was non-tendered by the Angels but he will also be arbitration-eligible. The injury will likely hurt his chances of making more on his next deal but the Blue Jays should hopefully be encouraged with what he showed at the beginning of the season.
When it comes to Richard and Bucholz, the team was clearly looking for options in case of injury and potential trade deadline options. Richard has been throwing again and could find his way back to the team this season and that will be his opportunity to try and earn a job on the team or somewhere else next season.
Bucholz made his second rehab start and is on track to make his return for September and like Richard, he’s trying to earn a job next season. At this point, the Blue Jays don’t assume much risk in giving both pitchers a chance considering they are longtime veterans and they can easily cut bait if need be.
Which pitcher(s) do you think has a chance to be a factor in the rotation next season. Is there any optimism going forward? Let us know in the comments below.