Toronto Blue Jays: Young pitchers provide intrigue to 2020 roster

Trent Thornton #57 of the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Trent Thornton #57 of the Toronto Blue Jays. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

With the Toronto Blue Jays revealing the roster that will take part in the 2020 season, the youth of the pitching staff is tough to ignore.

Most of the talk the past few weeks with the Toronto Blue Jays has been centred around where they will be playing their games this season. When it comes to the roster however, there is a lot of intrigue.

The Blue Jays announced 58 of the 60 players that will be available to play for the team this season and there weren’t many surprise omissions or additions. Of course Austin Martin could still join the team, but only if Toronto can get him signed to a deal.

With an abbreviated schedule, there is certainly an opportunity for the Blue Jays to take advantage if they can get things going right out of the gate. This means the margin of error for the pitching staff will be a major talking point and the team will have its work cut out for it if they plan to go with some young arms.

When you look at the pitchers who will be with the team, there are a couple who will be worth keeping an eye on even if they don’t get the chance to pitch in a game. Obviously Hyun-Jin Ryu is near the top of the list, considering he was the big addition this past off-season.

In the two starts Ryu made during spring training, he had a 1.42 ERA, and recorded six strikeouts in 6.1 innings. It will be exciting to get a larger sample size to see how he fit in the American League.

Other than Ryu, Matt Shoemaker will look to put his injury-riddled year behind him considering he was on his way to having an All-Star calibre season. After that there is a lot of intrigue with the rest of the pitching staff, especially with some young arms looking to leave their mark.

We recently discussed why Nate Pearson deserved to be included on the roster and at this stage, it would be tough to not see any reason why he wouldn’t get on the field with the Blue Jays in 2020. He and Trent Thornton could be among the top considerations especially the latter, who got his opportunity to pitch as a starter last season.

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Pearson isn’t the only young arm who will look to pitch this season. T.J. Zeuch, Anthony Kay, Thomas Hatch, Elvis Luciano, Hector Perez and Julian Merryweather will all be in the mix.

A prospect like Alek Manoah might not get a look this season. However, having him continue his development will be important along with Simeon Woods Richardson, who was acquired in the Marcus Stroman deal last season.

Another player to keep an eye on is Joey Murray, who has taken a big step in his development to the point where he led the organization in strikeouts last season in the minors. The eighth round pick from 2018 isn’t a hard-thrower by any stretch, but his ability to put an incredible spin on the ball made him a standout.

So now the question that remains is how the team plans to balance the talent on the youth and experience on the staff? Logic would suggest to have the best pitchers pitch and with the 60 games being played in a short amount of time, it could offer some flexibility and maybe a chance for the Blue Jays to show off some of the depth they have been building up.

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Which pitchers are you excited to watch this season? Is there a pitcher that should be included that isn’t getting enough attention? Let us know in the comments below.