In 2012, the Blue Jays were 25th of 30 MLB teams in starters' ERA (4.82) and 26th in total innings (916) pitched by starters, with Ricky Romero struggling. (REUTERS)
A day when the park was silent in downtown Dunedin offered some moments to reflect on the impressions that have been created since the opening of Blue Jays training camp more than three weeks ago.
What do we know? What donít we know? And what do we think?
What we know:
The payroll for Torontoís five-man 2012 opening day rotation totalled $10,450,500. The projected 2013 opening day rotation of R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Ricky Romero is set to make $45.25 million, more than four times that of a year ago when the Jays pinned their hopes on Romero, Morrow, Henderson Alvarez, Joel Carreno and Kyle Drabek.
What we donít know:
Are Johnsonís health issues all behind him? Will Buehrle be able to thrive in the American League East, where he has compiled a 4.31 career ERA and a 22-24 record against the four teams he will be facing this year? Against all other teams, he has a 3.73 career ERA. Can Romero rebound after a disappointing season?
What we think:
In 2012, the Blue Jays were 25th of 30 MLB teams in startersí ERA (4.82) and 26th in total innings (916) pitched by starters. That works out to an average of about 17 outs per start, leaving 10 outs and often more than that, for the bullpen. If they can get even two more outs from the starters on average to put them over 1,000 innings ó total ó the entire staff, including the bullpen, will prosper under a more balanced work load.