The Toronto Blue Jays have had their fair share of struggles when it comes to their starting pitching rotation in past years. A part of their roster that has continuously hampered their ability to win ball games. However, heading into the 2022 season the Toronto Blue Jays have a strong roster of pitchers, and what could be one of the tougher pitching rotations in MLB.
Over the past two seasons, Ross Atkins has steadily improved the pitching staff, in 2021 the Blue Jays pitching rotation was a strength and was relied on heavily down the stretch. In 2022 Toronto added to their pitching rotation and on paper, this starting five pitchers is one of the deepest rotations in MLB, and could lead this team back to the postseason, if they can stay healthy of course.
Meet the Starting Five
The two-time All-Star is in line to take the mound on opening day for the Toronto Blue Jays. Acquired during last season Jose Berrios immediately showed why he was a good addition and showcased his talents for Toronto and the fans, immediately becoming a fan favorite the now 27-year old right-hander shot up the depth chart. Pitching coach Pete Walker and Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo knew they had a strong and capable arm each time Jose Berrios took the mound.
The six-year veteran spent his entire career with the Minnesota Twins before joining the Blue Jays in late July 2021. Jose Berrios went 5-4 with Toronto, he had a 3.58 ERA in 12 starts, finishing with 78 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched. The numbers don’t quite show exactly how effective he was on the mound but with a fresh start ahead in 2022 there is plenty of confidence in Jose Berrios.
Brought in via free agency this offseason the 2022 All-Star brings his experience and knowledge to Toronto. The nine-year veteran right-hander had his best season in MLB after starting 33 games in 2021 with the San Francisco Giants. The now 31-year old spent his first five seasons with the Baltimore Orioles before moving to Atlanta, Cincinnati, and most recently San Francisco.
In 2021 Kevin Gausman was nearly untouchable for the Giants, he started 33 games with a record of 14-6, and finished the year with a 2.81 earned run average. In 150 innings pitched he had 227 strikeouts, and only allowed 20 home runs and 60 earned runs. In 2022 the Blue Jays will be looking for the same production from the right-hander to replace the former Blue Jays pitcher Robbie Ray.
The Blue Jays’ number one since he joined the team in 2020 will see a lighter workload in 2022 as he slips down the depth chart. This is not a knock against the now 35-year old left-hander, but, a sign of the depth and strength of the Blue Jays’ starting pitching rotation.
Hyun-Jin Ryu went 14-10 in 2021 finishing the year with a 4.37 earned run average, his highest ERA total of his career. The lefty started 31 games in 2021 and had one complete game, he amassed 143 strikeouts in 169 innings pitched. In his time with the Blue Jays, Hyun-jin Ryu has a 19-12 record and a 3.89 earned run average. He has 178 strikeouts on 197 innings pitched with the Blue Jays.
The rise of right-hander Alek Manoah has been fast and with good reason. The young starter proved that he was ready for MLB heading into the 2021 season when he left Blue Jays management no choice but to add him to the roster. After an impressive debut season, the six-foot-six pitcher will get his spot back in the rotation for 2022.
In his debut season Alek Manoah started 20 games for the Blue Jays, he had an outstanding 9-2 record and a 3.22 earned run average. Add that with his 127 strikeouts and the fact he only allowed 12 home runs in 111 innings pitched and there is no way you leave the 24-year old off the starting five.
The second pitcher added during free agency this past off-season the six-foot left-handed pitcher will round out a deep starting rotation for the Blue Jays. An All-Star last season for the Seattle Mariners he is a left-handed arm that will help balance out the rotation. His numbers weren’t the most impressive coming off last year but Yusei Kikuchi has the tools to be successful and Toronto is banking on him to fill out the rotation.
In 2021 the now 30-year old pitcher from Japa finished his all-star season with a 7-9 record in Seattle, he had a 4.49 earned run average in his 29 starts. The intriguing stat is the impressive 163 strikeouts he racked up in 157 innings of work in 2021. Yusei Kikuchi will be looked upon in 2022 by the Blue Jays as a crucial part of completing the deepest rotation Toronto has ever rostered.
The Deepest Rotation In Blue Jays History
In 2022 the Blue Jays will field what could be the deepest rotation the team has had in history. The Blue Jays have four All-Star pitchers in their 2022 starting five rotation and a very talented and promising prospect in Alek Manoah.
The Blue Jays bullpen also got a lot deeper as could be starters will be moved into relievers for the Jays. Pitchers such as Ross Stripling, Trent Thornton, Yimi Garcia, and Nate Pearson to name a few will be available in the bullpen. The Blue Jays management has put a lot of focus on bolstering their pitching staff and this year the Toronto faithful will have plenty to be excited about when the season begins in April.
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