Blue Jays 2024 Season Projections — Kevin Gausman and José Berríos

Photo credit:© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Prasad
20 days ago
While the Blue Jays’ offense has been questionable and on the stand for trial early this season, the pitching has entered another year under the elite category, at least on paper. The starting rotation specifically is the most talked about area of Blue Jays baseball, at least in a positive light.
Chris Bassitt, Yusei Kikuchi, Bowden Francis, and Alek Manoah are a part of the rotation depth within the organization, however, the key components to this rotation begin and end with right-handed ace Kevin Gausman and his equal, right-hander José Berríos. Gausman is the engine of experience amongst the starters with various years of reputable numbers and leadership characteristics. Berríos has proven to be reliable when on the mound and one of the healthiest pitchers the Jays have seen in quite some time.
Let’s start with the veteran ace of the staff, Gausman. The right-hander delivered an all-star season in 2023, producing a 12-9 record and throwing 185 quality innings. He gave up 72 total runs with only 65 of those being earned through 31 starts. It is fair to say that a limp Blue Jays offense in 2023 resulted in a lack of run support for some of these losses and no decisions, which should have seen Gausman boast a few more wins than what he finished with.
Gausman faced 763 batters, striking out an American League-leading 237 while only walking 55. His strikeout rate has been very consistent over the last three seasons while his walks stayed well below 50% of his strikeouts. Even within 2019-2020 with fewer innings pitched, his walk rate was much lower.
Giving up free 90’s is not a trend from Gausman as he deals small-menued repertoire full of dips and dashes. In 2023, he worked his four-seam fastball, split-finger, slider, and an added sweeper. His clear out-pitch aside from the four-seam was the splitter which saw 32.2 inches of drop at 86.3mph. His fastball was also a huge put-away option sitting at 94.7mph with run and deviation.
So what does 2024 bring? With the offensive scheme in question, it will look very similar to last season where a 13-9 record may prevail with a 200+ strikeout year, walks fewer than 55 batters while recording an ERA below 3.30.
Right-hander José Berríos played in a similar situation to his fellow rotation member. The Puerto Rican product took a sharp corner going into 2023 and made critics eat their words to an extent. In 2022, he posted an AL-leading 199 hits and 100 earned runs; as if the milk wasn’t already sour, the 5.23 ERA added flavour. A year later, Berrios flipped the switch and put up a competitive season where he was fairly trusted to go the mile in a must-win wild card scenario.
Last year he posted an 11-12 record with a 3.65 ERA in 32 starts and 189 2/3 innings pitched. He k’ed 184 sticks for his fourth-highest strikeout year in nine seasons, only walking 52. He worked a five-pitch repertoire that sailed him deeper into games.
The 2024 season will be almost repeated, with hopefully better some improved offense on his side. I’m estimating a 14-8 year with a 3.35-3.45 ERA, and a possible all-star candidate.


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