Yankees hitters versus Toronto Blue Jays starting pitching
As the second of a series of editorials analyzing the Yankees offense facing American League East starting pitching, the first article focused on the Red Sox;
This article will concentrate on the pitching staff of the Toronto Blue Jays versus the hitting of the Yankees.
The Blue Jays did not perform exceptionally well last season. In fact, the Jays ended 2017 under .500 by five games but still managed to have a pitcher finish eighth in the Cy Young Award voting in Marcus Stroman.
The Blue Jays are looking to form a five-man rotation for the upcoming campaign that includes Stroman as their ace, followed by J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada and Joe Biagini.
On paper, this looks to be a staff that could give any team a run for their money. However, between injuries and just the nature of baseball, anything can happen.
The Jays do not have any stamina problems within their starting rotation. Innings pitched per start averages range from 5.6 for Estrada to 6.4 for Sanchez (2016). Sanchez sustained an injury in 2017, so we’re reflecting a full season of activity.
Blue Jays’ starters tend to perform long outings, thereby saving the bullpen at times, even though the Toronto bullpen pitched well above the average. Each of the five main relievers had an ERA lower than 3.75 in ’17.
Similar to the Red Sox rotation discussed last week, the Blue Jays have a three-pitch combo in common between all five of their starters. However, even with each pitcher throwing a four-seam fastball, changeup and a curveball, they all heavily rely on one type of pitch.
Going through each of the Blue Jays’ starters, Marcus Stroman is still a younger talent that threw a nine-inning shutout as a rookie back in 2014. His heavy reliance on the sinker could be detrimental to his performances against the Yankees.