With opening day approaching the Toronto Blue Jays continue to show how an improved pitching rotation has the potential to be dominant.
It’s tough to gauge how the Toronto Blue Jays season will go considering some of the question marks in the lineup but with each pre-season game, the starting rotation continues to flash its potential.
A lot of eyes has been on top prospect Nate Pearson and for good reason considering he is blowing away batters hitting 100 on the radar gun. However, the team will probably want to see the strides he makes with his secondary pitches before their can say whether or not he is ready to make the opening day roster.
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Toronto has a lot of options to consider in the rotation this season and while there are still decisions to be made on how it plays out, the Blue Jays should be impressed with what they have been seeing from certain players.
In 2016 when the Blue Jays’ pitching staff was ranked sixth in team ERA, fifth in WHIP while holding the opposition to .242 batting average still. That’s when the rotation was at its most dominant with Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman leading the way.
Whether or not this group can get to the same level as 2016 would be tough to say right now but the potential is certainly there considering they have a strong mix of veteran talent and youth.
Seeing Matt Shoemaker his return to the mound and pitching at the level that he showed last season is a major positive after he suffered a torn ACL. In his 2.2 innings of work, the 33-year-old had five strikeouts and no runs.
To expect Shoemaker to pitch to the 1.57 ERA, 0.872 WHIP that he had in five starts would be tough to expect but there is a foundation. Of course, the team still has to be cautious about how much of a workload he has, but all signs are pointing in the right direction.
The best part of all of this is the ace of the staff. Hyun-Jin Ryu has this calming presence on the mound that should prove to be beneficial both on and off the mound. If the young pitchers can learn and gravitate to what Ryu has been showing throughout camp, it will continue to make his addition that much more valuable.
What do you think about the Blue Jays’ starting rotation? Who do you think will be the five pitchers named to the opening day roster? Let us know in the comments below.