Predicting The Toronto Blue Jays’ Starting Pitching Rotation In 2014
Blue Jays' Starting Rotation Predictions
It would be an understatement to say that the Toronto Blue Jays are heading into the 2014 MLB season with some uncertainty in regards to how their starting pitching rotation is going to take shape. With the front office neglecting the fact that they needed to sign a free agent pitching option over the offseason, they will be forced to dig deep into their system to try and muster up some talent to take on the final spots in the rotation.
Although fans of the Jays and baseball minds alike have seemed to already count out the team's pitching staff as a whole, the fact that they are going to use what they already have to round out their rotation may not necessarily be a bad thing. What they need to watch out for is how they are going to replace anyone who ends up getting injured. This has become the norm in Toronto, as every season it seems as though they find themselves calling up starting pitcher after starting pitcher to help fill a hole in their depleted rotation.
If the starting rotation remains intact and has the ability to stay healthy, it will give their pitching prospects the proper amount of time to develop in the minors and also take a lot of pressure off of their offense and bullpen as well. Year after year it seems as though the offense is forced to take on the responsibility of bailing out their starting pitching counterparts by scoring an unrealistic amount of runs on a daily basis. The bullpen has also been under a lot of stress in past seasons as the Jays' starting five have underachieved in regards to how deep they can perform in their assigned outings.
As the regular season approaches and the kinks are worked out during spring training, no matter how uncertain the situation is, the starting pitching rotation will take shape sooner than later. Whether they have to throw a couple of young guns to the wolves and have them start a little bit too early in their career, the Jays will name their starting five in the coming weeks. Here is a prediction for the starting five pitchers who will make up the Jays' rotation at the start of the 2014 season.
1. R.A. Dickey
The 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner is being given a second chance in Toronto this upcoming season. A lot was expected from R.A. Dickey in 2013 when he was acquired by the Jays, and he failed to deliver right from the start. However, in 2014 teams will find it hard to adjust to Dickey's unpredictable pitches as he will take the mound after a hard throwing hurler in Stroman. Teams will find it equally as hard to bat against Morrow after having to deal with Dickey's knuckleballs only a day earlier. If Dickey can find that magic he had in 2012 as a member of the New York Mets, the Jays will finally have that bona fide ace they have been searching for since they let go of Roy Halladay.
2. Brandon Morrow
The uncertainty that currently surrounds the Jays' pitching rotation doesn't involve anyone more than it does Brandon Morrow. The 29-year-old righty has been dealing with injuries year after year since being acquired by the Jays in 2010. Morrow has the ability to be an elite pitcher in the American League just as long as he can put his injuries behind him. If he can stay healthy and make at least 25 starts for the Jays, the team will benefit from his presence and talent immensely.
3. Mark Buehrle
The Jays have constructed the top half of their rotation centered around pitchers that thrive on throwing outside of the strike zone. Mark Buehrle has been able to make a career out of tricking batters to swing and miss at his pitches that are nowhere near the middle of the plate. Buehrle finished last season on a high note for the Jays, and he will look to pick up where he left off when he takes the mound every third day for the Jays.
4. Drew Hutchinson
During the 2012 season, Drew Hutchinson was one of the few bright spots on the Jays' roster. Unfortunately for him, the reality of having to undergo season ending Tommy John surgery put a halt to what was going to be an impressive rookie season for Hutchinson. Now that he is apparently healthy and ready to go, expect the 23-year-old righty to make his way back on to the rotation in the fourth spot. Hutchinson has the ability to throw strikes and possesses great command in his pitching. He will be a solid option for the Jays to put in front of a hard throwing rookie in Stroman.
5. Marcus Stroman
Some say that Marcus Stroman isn't even close to being major league ready. The fact of the matter is that after his solid performance in the Arizona Fall League, Stroman proved that he has the goods to succeed at the major league level. The right-handed fire baller has a strong arm that the Jays desperately need in their rotation which has no shortage of pitchers that throw nothing but junk. Stroman can provide that hard throwing style that the Jays have been missing for a while now.