Good young pitchers in Toronto's system

I don't think we're that far away, but it's going to come down to our pitching. And it might not be until '06 or '07 that our young pitching is ready."

    J.P. Ricciardi, 7/23/2003

Every two years, I talk to J.P. Ricciardi during batting practice before a Blue Jays-Yankees game. When I spoke to him two years ago, in Yankee Stadium, he was honest (as he usually is) and admitted the Blue Jays, though they were playing well, probably wouldn't be ready to seriously contend for another three or four years. This weekend, I talked to him again, this time in Toronto, and I asked for an update on that young pitching.

In 2004, the young pitching certainly wasn't ready. Only two Blue Jays who started more than three games were younger than 27, and they combined for only 31 starts: David Bush, 24, went 5-4 with a 3.69 ERA, and 26-year-old Justin Miller went 3-4 with a 6.06 ERA. The Jays lost 94 games (most since 1980).