TORONTO - 1. Rotation
How important is starting pitching? Well, in 2013, the five National League playoff teams occupied the top five spots in team ERA by starting pitchers.
In the American League, the five playoff teams came from the top six in that same category. While teams can manufacture victories in a variety of ways, over a 162-game season, nothing can mask an inconsistent set of starting pitchers.
A year ago, the Blue Jays thought they had assembled a rotation that would put them in that elite group, only to see it fall apart from the very beginning.
When the season was over, Toronto’s team ERA of 4.81 by its starting pitchers was 14th of 15 AL teams and 29th of 30 in all of MLB.
Going hand in hand with that ugly stat is the fact that Toronto starters pitched only 899 innings, an average of 5.55 innings per game. Only Colorado’s starters tossed fewer innings.