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Optimism builds for Blue Jays' rotation, but one more arm would help

4 13 35

TORONTO – As the months go by and a dismal season for the Toronto Blue Jays’ rotation fades a little further into the past, it’s far easier to feel optimistic about the team’s starting pitching.

The additions of Matt Shoemaker and Clayton Richard add depth to a group that combined for an unsightly 5.14 ERA in 2018, and there’s hope building that Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez can rebound from injury-shortened seasons.

“If Stroman’s healthy and Sanchez is healthy, my money’s on my team,” manager Charlie Montoyo said at Winter Fest this past weekend. “We go to Boston, we go to New York. Anywhere.”

On paper, it makes sense. If Stroman and Sanchez return to their 2016 form, the Blue Jays really would have a chance against baseball’s best offences. And with Ryan Borucki leading the way for a group of promising young arms, reinforcements are now within reach.

Alongside that ideal scenario, however, there’s also risk. Shoemaker was on the disabled list for five months last year, while Stroman, Sanchez and Richard all finished the season on the sidelines. As the Blue Jays look to round out their pitching under these circumstances, it makes sense for GM Ross Atkins to balance the staff with some established starting pitching.

In the meantime,........

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