The Blue Jays are very lucky to have so many young starting pitchers stepping-up like they have. You can imagine where the rotation would be right now if not for the solid performances of Ryan Borucki, Thomas Pannone, and Sean Reid-Foley.
With all these young starters playing as well as they have, it’s bringing back plenty of memories of 2010. Back then, Toronto had five starting pitchers under the age of 25…plus Shaun Marcum who was still just 28. With Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Jesse Litsch, and Marcum, it appeared as if the Blue Jays rotation was set for years to come. And if not for injuries, and in Romero’s case, a mysterious inability to maintain his level of play, that young group of pitchers could very well have done some great things for the Blue Jays.
Although things didn’t quite work out as planned for those pitchers from nearly a decade ago, what today’s contingent of starters has going for them is they may be even more talented. For one, they still have Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez. Who when healthy have been as good as any young Blue Jays starter since Roy Halladay back in the early 2000’s.
One of the main knocks on Toronto’s farm system is that it’s lacking in quality starting pitchers. What Borucki, Pannone, and Reid-Foley have proven is that the Blue Jays farm system has far more pitching depth than they get credit for. The great thing is, right behind these three are big-time talents like Nate Pearson, T.J. Zeuch, and Eric Pardinho.
There’s one lesson the Blue Jays should learn from the failed experiment of having so much youth in their rotation all those years back. It’s that they shouldn’t rely solely on a group consisting of youngsters. Mix in one or two veteran pitchers. I’m not talking about Stroman and Sanchez, who at 27 and 26 are still relatively inexperienced themselves. What a true veteran would hopefully provide is a mentor and model performer. They’d also lead the rotation and take much of the pressure off all these younger pitchers, thus helping them adjust to life in the big leagues.