In all likelihood, Ross Stripling will take Nate Pearson’s spot in the rotation to open the season, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca (via Twitter). Pearson is working his way back from a groin strain, but it doesn’t look as if he’ll be ready by opening day. The 6’6″, 250 pound flame-throwing righty has dealt with a number of nagging injuries in his young career, which may force the Jays to be particularly judicious with his timetable. He missed most of September and the last week of August in 2020 dealing with elbow soreness. In a mostly veteran rotation, however, the 25-year-old Pearson represents the Jays’ best chance at exceeding expectations in the rotation.
For Stripling’s part, the 31-year-old maxed out at 21 starts and 122 innings during his 4 1/2 year tenure with the Dodgers. He struggled to a 5.84 ERA/6.15 FIP in 49 1/3 innings split between the Dodgers and Blue Jays in 2020. The culprit of the decline could be his hook. The whiff rate on Stripling’s curveball cratered to 7.4 percent last year, down from 33.3 percent in 2019. Stripling leaned more heavily on his heater, a pitch that got lit up for 11 home runs and a .737 expected slugging percentage against. Before last season, however, he was a reliable swing man in Los Angeles, pitching to a 3.51 ERA/3.60 FIP across 387 innings from 2016-19.
George Springer is also dealing with some soreness. Toronto’s new centerfielder is day-to-day with left abdominal tightness, tweets Nicholson-Smith. This doesn’t appear to be anything to be overly concerned about, however. He sat out today’s game and could be back as soon as tomorrow. The 31-year-old dealt with a number of injuries during his Houston tenure, though he rarely missed significant time. Since joining the Astros two weeks into 2014 and missing a chunk of his rookie campaign with a quad strain, Springer averaged 133 games per season from 2015-19. He played in 51 games during the shortened 2020 season.
Jays gotta step it up next offseason. That rotation spot could have gone to Odorizzi…
For the money he ended up getting, about 15 teams are scratching their heads. How are the Jays, Angels, or A’s not in for that amount?
Luc (Soto 3rd best in the game)
A’s? they have good pitching, well sorta. Luzardo, Manaea, Bassit, Montas, Puk, Fiers. I don’t think they were even in consideration.
James Kaprielian, Daulton Jeffries, Grant Holmes, Cole Irvin, Paul Blackburn…
A’s are good.
Angels definitely missed out.
I’m not saying Bundy, Odorizzi, Quintana, Heaney, Canning with Ohtani flexing in is the 90s Braves but it would be a nice step up and Houston would be screwed right now.
The Angel’s rotation isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Heaney is a solid 3 and Bundy a solid 4. Quintana is a number 2 undebatably. A healthy Ohtani and canning both offer #1/2 upside
Quintana a #2? In what league?
He might be the number two for this Angels rotation though lol
Heaney a solid #3? He hasn’t had an ERA below 4.15 since 2015, and has a career ERA of 4.46. Quintana is undebatably a #4, as he hasn’t had an ERA under 4.00 since 2016. Bundy was good in 11 starts last year, but that brought his career ERA all the way down to 4.54.. Canning was fairly effective last year in 56 innings, but the peripheral stats were not so favorable. As for Ohtani, he could potentially be a #1, but don’t we need to see more from him than 12 starts in three years before making that judgment?
Houston would probably have signed Rick Porcello or Jeff Samardzija. They would have been fine.
Angels didn’t miss out, they were never in. They traded for Cobb on the Orioles dime and signed Quintana. That was good enough for Arte
That rotation isn’t 1-5, it’s 5-10. So really he’s a solid 7. Undeniably.
You missed Cobb. With that offense, the rotation just needs to be “not that bad” but it needs to stay …healthy… BUT I do think they missed out on Odorizzi.
Perhaps his medical report caused concern?
I’m guessing they’re going to be very much in on a big name pitcher at the deadline. There are few teams that will be able to outbid them when that comes along. I think now they just want to see if they can get at least one of Pearson, Ray, or Matz to pitch to their best ability before that, but they certainly would be better off if they had one more pitcher slotted ahead of them. I thought taking a high risk, high reward stab at Paxton would’ve made sense but hopefully one of those guys can step up.
Agree totally. Angels rotation could have used a healthy Paxton in a contract year. Not a terrible rotation in terms of potential, but they really could use an elite guy.
The Angels rotation isn’t a terrible rotation in terms of potential if this was 2015 and not 2021.
I keep hearing that the Jays will make deadline moves…but why? Why would the Jays instead of paying a reasonable contract like the Paxton/Odorizzi for a short term and have them for the entire season or two opt to trade significant assets at the deadline to acquire starters at the deadline? Short term money is nothing when you arent close to the cap and you are a billion dollar corporation while assets (prospects required to trade for players at deadline) are signficantly more valuable. Extremely puzzling off season by the Jays brass.
I’m just using him as an example, but if a team like Cleveland struggles out of the gate, they might be in rebuild mode and make Bieber available. A pitcher similar to him would help both present and future. What the Blue Jays needed was a top of the rotation pitcher, and there wasn’t really any on the market this year, unless they took what might be the riskiest free agent gamble in years in Bauer, who has been closer to a #5 than #1 pitcher throughout his career.
Ducky Buckin Fent
At least it’s not an injury to his arm.
Hopefully, it’s a minor groin strain. They’re a tough injury. It’s what basically ended my serious study of martial arts. Now, granted, I was 46 not 25. Pretty big difference.
But they are a notoriously easy injury to re-aggravate. Which is certainly my experience. It’s also an area (yeah, yeah, I hear the obvious jokes) that gets low blood flow. Ahem.
Anyway: seemed like it took forever until it was fully healed.
Pearson has Big Stuff. Top of the rotation stuff. Wether – or not – that translates to success remains to be seen. But, I hope he’s back throwing soon. I’m looking forward to watching him work this summer.
That “Tightness” experienced by George Springer DOES NOT refer to either…………
his checkbook or his personal budget.
Thought you were gonna go another direction with that “tightness, very thankful you didn’t. Anyways, yes, his contract was large, but he’s worth it.
He’ll be worth it for like a year. MAYBE two. That’ll wind up being another Grichuk situation. Only contract that I saw worth it this offseason was Kirby’s.
I don’t foresee Springer declining as quickly as your presume. Players don’t all magically start to suck at 33. Heck, Jose Bautista didn’t decline til he was like 35.
Yes, lol. Good.
Let’s face it even without that Pearson “groin strain” the Jays were never going to win the AL East. I think it’s time for “Dunedin’s Finest” to make a trade for Luis Castillo so they can make the AL East more competitive for their die hard fans.
Luis Castillo isn’t going to be traded for prospects straight up… you never read the reports, did you? The Reds made it well known that they would only deal Castillo if one of their big contracts were attached and premium players or prospects were headed the other way. No team was willing to match the Reds’ price as well as take on a bad contract in COVID time, so Castillo hasn’t been discussed seriously in talks for what I’d guess to be a couple of months at this point. In order to fully understand a situation, you need context. Important lesson.
So the Jays should do whatever possible to get Castillo. Don’t they have great prospects and have a ton of $ that they never spend? Even If they have to take on Sonny Gray’s contract it would be worth it for them. Take the 3rd baseman Suarez back also.
You know Sonny Gray is good and on a good contract right?
@averagejoe15- yeah Sonny Gray is good. But the Reds want to shed that $12 million a year contract, especially with another year on it. Castillo, Gray, and Suarez for prospects which the Blue Jays have plenty of. And Cincinnati gets salary relief. What great motivation would Sonny have pitching against the Yankees who gave up on him for practically nothing. If the Jays do this trade they got a great chance to win the division or at least get a Wild Card. They got to get it done.
Yank, that would give the Jays two more starters that they desperately need. Trouble is Shapiro won’t do that. The Jays budget is maxed out and Shapiro doesn’t the stones to trade SWR and others for that package of players.
1 Goose Man
The Jays are not likely contenders this year. A wild card is still an achieveable goal. Don’t trade the future for the now. Been there.
@jimmertee- that’s so crazy, because the Jays are right there. If they couldn’t get Castillo because of the prospects they’d be giving up, no reason why they couldn’t get Gray back. You probably wouldn’t even have to even give up Pearson, and the Jays are so far under the luxury tax. Shapiro needs to do something. Maybe the Reds are thinking they can still win the NL Central? I’m thinking no.
@1 Goose Man- it’s frustrating, I’d like to see the Jays win a Wild Card. I want a competitive AL East next season. I joke around with the fans all the time. The offense is excellent. But if they don’t get an ace like starter they might fall short. Tampa Bay is always good. Even trading Snell and not re-signing Morton, someone will step up this season for them. It could be the Patino kid they got in the Snell trade.
Gray and Suarez contracts are steals !
That being said – Toronto has the prospect depth to acquire all 3 players. And they can have all 3! Just take:
And 3 lotto tickets.
Then reds fans can root for reds players on an actual competitive team
Seems like the jays never develop starters. Stroman is good but he was a first round pick same with Syndergaard but he got traded. The jp richardi era was worse for homegrown starters.
Shhhh… all those AA hard on fans will get upset and tell you how he was a genius at drafting.
George Springer’s left abdominal tightness has been traced to the fact that he keeps his FAT WALLET in his left back pocket and particularly when he sits, it throws his entire body off balance and the left abs get strained from trying to compensate..
I think I had some hard candy in there.
Springer is gonna be another Cespedes.
1 Goose Man
Where’s the evidence?
Pearson is only 24… I realize he’ll turn 25 this season, but for a prospect of his status that’s a relatively significant difference
Blue Jays may have the worst starting rotation in the AL
Better than Boston and Baltimore. Jays have best starting depth they’ve had in a decade at least
Jays don’t have strong pitching at the top, and therefore do not have the starting depth you speak of. Nobody is certain the relievers can start nor are starters in AAA at major league quality. If they were they’d start on this weak Jays starting rotation.
That’s not exactly true. They don’t have many strong starters outside of Ryu but tons of depth for the 4/5 spots which is what he was said. Between Stripling, Matz, Roark, Kay, Zeuch, Hatch and Thornton they can’t all be in the rotation. Each one of those guys can start right now in the majors. That’s depth
They don’t have many strong starters outside of Ryu – you just made my point.
If Kay was good enough to be in the rotation the Jays wouldn’t have traded for Matz. Same with Zeuch. Thornton is behind schedule. Stripling is a bullpen arm.
To reiterate, depth of pitchers not worthy of an MLB rotation spot means they do not have depth. They might get there at some point depending on Thornton’s health and both Hatch and Merryweather’s progress. Until then, and only then, there is no depth. Analyze 29 other teams and you might find better AAA depth than the Blue Jays. This depth crap is simply crap.
No. They don’t have strong starters in terms of #1,#2 and #3. But they have a wealth of depth for the #4 and #5 spots. You said they don’t have depth but depth is exactly what I said
The old saying “you can’t have too much pitching” fits with why they traded for Matz. That gives them depth by keeping one of those guys in AAA for injuries which always happen.
Plus behind those guys are Monaoh, SWR who could be options late season depending on how their year goes
I doubt you’ll find many teams that have the depth that the Jays have. But plenty of teams with stronger top end rotations
Yankees have better depth. Rays have better depth. That’s two teams in the AL East.
Any person believing the Jays have so-called SP depth is delusional. When your MLB starting pitching is considered a weak spot and your best prospects are no higher than AA, you lack depth.
The Rays have a higher end piece in Patino and McKay. But not nearly the numbers the Jays have. The Yankees depth isn’t good. When Kluber, Taillon and others go down who’s replacing them?
Your argument of “they don’t have top end pitching therefore don’t have depth” is hugely flawed. You can believe what you want though
Flawed? No. Fact.
Yanks have Garcia, Gil, Abreu, Schmidt, Medina, King. Young arms more attractive than what the Jays have to offer from Buffalo.
If a team looked to trade for MLB ready arms they’d call the Yankees and Rays before the Jays. We can go to more teams with better depth but you will believe the lies fed to you by the media and other Jays fans with their head in the sand.
You might want to go look up some of their minor league numbers before saying they’re better options than what the Jays have. Other than King not very impressive.
Of course. If the media or experts say something you disagree with it must be fake news.
The owners simultaneously own the team and the media. The media will not come down hard on them, and they haven’t in 20 years if you paid attention.
Not sure which Blue Jays “depth” pitcher put up great minor league numbers if you want to take this direction. Out of the Yankees names I mentioned they have 5 guys in the Top 10 in their prospect rankings and Abreu sits 13th.
Kay is 9th, Hatch sits 10th. That is it. No depth at SP for the Blue Jays. Kay is so highly thought of that the Jays opted to trade for Matz.
Blue Jays SP depth is the fake news. You and others have bought it.
Didn’t realize they owned every media outlet in the world. Pretty impressive for Rogers to be able to do that.
Also what’s the Yankees farm system ranking compared to the Blue Jays? Pretty sure the Jays will be ranked higher therefore better prospects at lower rankings. Put Kay on the 30th ranked farm system and he might be top 3
Garcia, Schmidt and Medina are in the Top 100. Kay is not. So he would not be in the Top 3 and probably not in the Top 5 as some lists have the Yankees listing their top 4 starters. Kay is nowhere to be found.
If you aren’t consuming Rogers-owned media you’d have some form of skepticism and use logic.
Kay lost prospect status last season so easily explainable why he’s not in a prospect ranking.
Also depends what rankings you use. SWR and Manoah are in 100 prospects rankings on some. Not all 3 of those prospects are in top 100s on others.
I read plenty of media outside of Rogers. I’m just not such a cynic that automatically I assume all positive media towards Toronto is wrong
Stripling is not a good starter. Maybe one turn of the opponents batting order.
This year May start well for the Jays but it is going to end up real ugly as the rotation can’t get deep into games and the good to very good bullpen burns out.
1 Goose Man
It just means Strip will get Nate’s first start. Ross will be a spot starting swing man. As he should be. Let’s hope for the best!
Maaaannn this site is bad for carving out certain data to support their narrative….
Stripling pitched 4 and a half years in his career but you only bring up his stats from the last 50IP in covid season. Lol. Step your game up mlbtr
You brought up a false narrative about the Jays having the best depth in decades. Anyone can pick that lie apart. Maybe step yours up first?
Stripping was decent through his first four starts last year… still think he’s an adequate 4 or 5 in that rotation.
If the Jays find the pitching this year (and I think they may), they can be scary good.
They found Ray and Matz. That not enough? They only had a good 4 months to find the pitching.
Ray is also very underrated. I know he was terrible last year but he has a great strikeout rate.
More Dodger fans need to go read that paragraph about Ross Stripling. “Maxed out at 21 starts and 122 innings” “was a reliable swingman” “struggled to 5.84 era/6.15 fip in 49 1/3 inn”. I remember them saying how badly of a mistake Angels made for not acquiring Joc and Stripling. And look at them now lol. Hopefully Regnifo pans out soon lol.