The Toronto Blue Jays have a good rotation. Marcus Stroman thinks the Blue Jays have the best rotation in baseball. Marcus Stroman is wrong.
I mean, they definitely have the best rotation in Canada — there’s no doubt about that. And it should also be noted that they had the American League’s lowest ERA as a staff in 2016 (3.64). But the best rotation in baseball? How do you figure? They weren’t the best rotation in baseball last year, or the second best, or even the third best. Not only that, but they didn’t do anything over the offseason to improve, so that seems like some flawed logic to me. With the Red Sox adding Chris Sale in a trade with the White Sox this past winter, the Blue Jays might not even have the best rotation in their own division, never mind their own league, or the entire MLB.
I’m not knocking the Jays’ rotation, either. They’re good. They’re better than most people will probably give them credit for. Aaron Sanchez is one of the best young pitchers in the American League, had the lowest ERA in the AL last year (3.00), and would’ve had a real good shot at the Cy Young award if the Blue Jays didn’t demote him over the summer to control his innings. 2017 will be his age-24 season, so this is a guy you’re gonna wanna keep an eye on. Beyond Sanchez, you have Marco Estrada, who was an All Star last year, and JA Happ, who won 20 games in 2016. The rotation rounds out with the proclamation-making Stroman, and Francisco Liriano.
They’re good, but are they better than the Indians’ rotation of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Danny Salazar? I don’t think so. They’re good, but are they better than Boston’s rotation of Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello? I’ll get accused of bias, but they’re not. They’re not better than the Cubs’ rotation of Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. They’re not better than the Mets’ rotation of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz. They’re not better than the Nationals’ rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Tanner Roark.
You could also make a strong case for the Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias) and the Giants (Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Moore) to be at or above Toronto’s level in terms of talent on paper, which is all this is. On paper, where championships are surely not won. It’s a bold statement by Stroman. I get it. He wants to come into camp and have that “Toronto Vs. The World” mentality. Nobody believes in us, shock the world, and blah, blah, blah, but if you wanna talk about the best rotations in baseball, that list does not start with the Toronto Blue Jays.