“Honestly, we don’t know,” he said in September 2019. “An opener and a guy. “
As we see now, the Blue Jays are now in a position where they actually have more viable starters in the big leagues than rotation points, which added a layer of intrigue to the Blue Jays’ double-headed versus. the Angels Wednesday. With Steven Matz and Ross Stripling both supposed to make final offers to stay in the rotation, some kind of competition was to take place at Angel Stadium.
Matz struggled in Game 1, allowing four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings and the Blue Jays lost 6-3 in their opener on the road after a first home victory of the year at Toronto. Two of the races attributed to Matz were undeserved, but he still wasn’t keen on a day he walked three.
Offensively, Marcus Semien continued his productive season with a day of three hits including two doubles while Teoscar Hernandez contributed two hits and Corey Dickerson added a triple RBI. Even so, it wasn’t quite enough as the Blue Jays have fallen to 60-51 this season.
Despite Matz’s patchy exit, he could still be the leader to stay in the rotation once the Blue Jays revert to five starters in anticipation of two days off next week and extra rest for starters Hyun-Jin. Ryu, Jose Berrios, Robbie Ray and Alek Manoah. Ahead of the double title, Montoyo said Stripling’s familiarity with relief throws will be factored into the club’s thinking.
“It’s going to be a tough decision, which means both are pitching well, which is great,” said Montoyo. “But we’ll see. The only thing about Ross is he’s done it before and he’s comfortable there, so that might help in moving, but we’ll see. “
For example, getting into matches with runners on base or warming up quickly would likely be more familiar to Stripling, who has 88 career appearances compared to five for Matz. Of course, performance has to come into the equation with comfort, which makes Stripling’s Game 2 offering for an extended run as a starter all the more intriguing.
If the Blue Jays reach the playoffs, where traditional roles give way to the need for strikeouts, then the distinction between starter and reliever will quickly begin to fade. In the meantime, there are still seven weeks to play with some ground to catch up in the standings.
But think back to 2019, when the Blue Jays used Wilmer Font, Derek Law, Daniel Hudson, David Phelps, Neil Ramirez, Ryan Tepera and Buddy Boshers as openers because they lacked great quality starting pitchers. In comparison, the competition now being played is far better – and reflects how far the Blue Jays have come in a short period of time.
“It’s huge,” Montoyo said. “We have a chance to win every day. The only thing about a first game is that your starter isn’t great. He’s pretty good, but… you know what I’m saying. You It’s a smart thing that baseball has done, but if you have five or six starters you don’t need an opener and that’s what we have right now. “