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Predicting the 2020 Blue Jays’ 26-man Opening Day Roster 1.0

The Toronto Blue Jays are set to play their first spring training game on Saturday, so it is time to take a look at who might be the 26 men coming North of the border for Opening Day.

Toronto will field a young roster with notable changes to the rotation. The ball club also has some decisions to make in the outfield, so here is what the roster may look like on March 26 when the Blue Jays take on the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day.

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Starting Pitchers (5)

  • Hyun-Jin Ryu
  • Tanner Roark
  • Matt Shoemaker
  • Chase Anderson
  • Trent Thornton

Toronto should not have to go out and sign the likes of Edwin Jackson this season as the rotation and the starting depth is much better than it was last year. The ace will be Hyun-Jin Ryu who was the big free agent signing for Toronto alongside Tanner Roark who will add some veteran consistency to the rotation. Matt Shoemaker is back and if he is healthy he and Chase Anderson will be workhorses for the team. The final spot was going to be Ryan Borucki but the left-hander is hurt so Trent Thornton who had a good 2019 season will slide into the fifth spot.

Bullpen (8)

  • Ken Giles (closer)
  • Wilmer Font
  • Anthony Bass
  • Rafael Dolis
  • Shun Yamaguchi
  • Sam Gaviglio
  • A.J. Cole
  • Travis Bergen

The Blue Jays bullpen will be anchored by closer Ken Giles, but how long he will be a part of this roster is to be seen. Toronto has a lot of options for their bullpen but it is expected that Wilmer Font, Anthony Bass, Rafael Dolis, Shun Yamaguchi, and Sam Gaviglio will all be on the roster. So, that leaves just two spots which I believe will go to former top prospect, A.J. Cole and left-hander Travis Bergen who had a ton of success in the minors last season and had a cup of coffee with the San Francisco Giants in 2019 as well. Both Cole and Bergen would need to be added to the 40-man roster.

Catchers (2)

  • Danny Jansen
  • Reese McGuire

The Jays have a solid catching tandem and there is no competition or any spots up for grabs as Danny Jansen will be the starting catcher while McGuire is a solid backup. Think of it is as a 1A, 1B.

Infielders (6)

  • Travis Shaw (1B)
  • Cavan Biggio (2B)
  • Bo Bichette (SS)
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B)
  • Rowdy Tellez (1B/DH)
  • Brandon Drury (Utility)

Toronto’s infield is set with the addition of Travis Shaw at first base. There will be no competition in spring training for third, second and short as Guerrero Jr., Biggio, and Bichette will lock those down for years to come. The only question mark facing the Blue Jays is whether or not they will carry Rowdy Tellez and if it will Drury who will be the utility player who makes the ball club as they do have other options like Ruben Tejada, Santiago Espinal or Joe Panik. But, for now, Drury can play all over the field so he has the inside track to land the roster spot. Drury is also already on the 40-man roster, unlike Panik and Tejada.

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Outfield (5)

  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (LF)
  • Randal Grichuk (CF)
  • Teoscar Hernandez (RF)
  • Derek Fisher
  • Anthony Alford

The most surprising thing about the Blue Jays outfield is manager Charlie Montoyo saying Grichuk will be the starting centre fielder. That leaves Gurriel Jr. and Hernandez to be starting in left and right field, respectively. The two backup spots are the big question mark as it will come down to Derek Fisher, Anthony Alford, Billy McKinney, and Jonathan Davis. But, with Fisher and Alford out of options it seems likely they will break camp. But, they will have to show consistent play or their roster spot won’t be theirs for long.

*Note this will be the first of three roster projections at the beginning, middle, and end of spring training.