Fantasy pools are not exactly an exact science, mainly due to the unpredictable nature of sports.  But from looking at past numbers, health, age and any particular player’s track record, you can often predict what a player is capable of.

The Toronto Blue Jays are starting to have a lot of interesting fantasy options, something that wasn’t always the case in past years.  They led the league in home runs last year, a category they will likely have strong numbers in again this year.

But what about their starting pitching?  They have a young, talented staff.  Not one of the starters is over the age of 26.  The magic age for pitching is often said to be around 27, so it is unlikely that any of the Jays starters have peaked.  

This suggests that the pitching staff will continue to improve over the next five years, barring any massive injuries.

But who can contribute to your fantasy pool this year?  

Brandon Morrow is one Jays pitcher to take a look at.  His numbers weren’t that strong overall last year, but it was his first complete year as a starter, and he was shut down in early September to preserve his innings limit.  His 4.49 ERA and 1.38 WHIP and 10 wins were all rather pedestrian in 2010. 

One of the positives that should be noted is his astounding 10.9 strikeout rate in Toronto, which allowed him to notch 178 strikeouts in just 146.1 innings of work.  That ratio would have led the entire league if he finished off the season.

When Morrow puts all his impressive tools together, he could be a fantasy stud, as suggested by his August performance against the Rays when he struck out 17 in a one-hit shutout.

Morrow will start the year on the 15-day DL, but the injury is thought to be minor, just some forearm inflammation.  When he returns, and if he stays healthy, he is likely to improve on all his numbers and crack the 200 K mark.

Another Jays pitcher who could make some strong contributions to your fantasy pool is Opening Day starter Ricky Romero.  

Romero has steadily progressed as a starter, improving on all of his numbers from 2009 to 2010.  He also broke the 200 innings level last year, which suggests he will be given free reign this year to push deep into games and try and be the win leader for the Jays. 

Romero already strikes out twice as many batters as he walks, and at age 26 and entering his third year in the majors, he could take another step forward.  His 1.29 WHIP and 3.73 ERA could fall slightly and he could very well win 15 games this year and strikeout 200 batters.

Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek and Jesse Litsch are not the type of pitchers who will net large fantasy returns, at least not yet.  If you are in a keeper pool, Drabek could be your man, as most projections suggest he will be a top of the order rotation pitcher.

Cecil won 15 games last year and Litsch won 13 in 2008, but both aren’t projected to break those totals this year.  But all three of these pitchers could be late-round sleepers if you are running low on pitching options or are in an AL-only pool.

As for the Jays bullpen pitching options, they are a bit muddled to say the least.  If your pool has a category for holds, then Jason Frasor or Shawn Camp could both be reasonable options, as they have solid peripheral numbers.  

If your pool really only uses relievers for saves, then the Jays staff might be better served as a waiver pickup depending on how they perform through the season.

Jon Rauch is expected to start the season as the closer while Frank Francisco and Octavio Dotel might start on the DL.  If Rauch runs with the opportunity and performs well, then Francisco could work in the eighth upon his return.  But if he falters, then there are other options to take over the role upon their return to health, making the Jays a difficult choice for saves.

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