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Last night against the Orioles, Drew Hutchison gave the Blue Jays exactly what they needed: a win and a good pitching performance. They had gone through the full rotation once without a starter getting a win; they also, for the most part, didn’t look good at all.
The Blue Jays are relying on Ricky Romero to be that guy to set the table and lead the rotation. He has to be the one that gives them a good start every fifth day, going deep into games and giving the bullpen a rest.
He's got to make the opposition fear him.
Romero was well on his way to doing that last season, but has gotten off to a rough start this year. He is still trying to establish himself as not only one of the top pitchers in a deep division, but one of the top pitchers in the game.
The rest of the rotation has tons of upside, and for the first two months they showed it, but they have started to hit a bit of a speed bump. The Jays and their fans are hoping they can start to bounce back and once again carry this team.
Compare it to the glory days: As stated earlier, the Jays had a host of top-of-the-line pitchers. When they needed help, they went and got David Cone in '92, who went on to lead the league in strikeouts that season.
Jack Morris was already a dominant pitcher for years with the Tigers and a World Series Champ with the Twins before becoming a Blue Jay. Dave Stewart was similar to Morris, but with the Oakland A’s.
It was said during the entire offseason that the Blue Jays need one more starting pitcher to have a very good rotation.
Right now, though, it would be tough to tell one of the five that they were going to be demoted. But recent reports from Fox Sports that suggested A.A. was looking at Cole Hamels had my head spinning in a good way.
Hamels is a guy who knows how to win.
He's a World Series champion and World Series MVP with the Phillies, having made multiple playoff appearances. This is a guy the Blue Jays need to get to that next level.
I think the Blue Jays have been lucky to this point that the No. 3 through 5 pitchers have pitched that well, and I don’t see it continuing at this pace for a whole season for all three. If it did, it would be fantastic, but not realistic. If they are close to contending they should take a page out of Pat Gillick's book and go after a premier pitcher and hope to sign him for a few years.
It is these factors that, if executed well, will bring back the glory days.
If you ask a lot of the Jays now, though, they want to stop being compared to those teams and build their own memories for the younger fanbase. Memories that will hopefully conclude with a ring and a banner and will last for a lifetime.