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Photo Credit: © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting the 2020 Blue Jays’ 26-man Opening Day Roster 2.0

The Toronto Blue Jays have just a few weeks remaining in spring training, so it is time to take another look at who might be the 26 men coming North of the border for Opening Day.

Entering this season, Toronto is a team many expect to be just under or at .500. The team will still be a young roster but this off-season they brought in some new pitchers to strengthen the rotation. The ball club’s biggest question marks on who will make the Opening Day roster is in the bullpen and outfield. So, here is our second version of what the roster may look like on March 26 when the Blue Jays take on the Boston Red Sox.

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Starting Pitchers (5)

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

From the first roster projection, nothing has changed as the first four spots were locked and Trent Thornton has only cemented his spot as the fifth starter during spring. Thornton has looked impressive, and with the likes of Ryan Borucki injured, Thornton will be on the Opening Day roster but he will have to pitch well and remain healthy to keep his spot in the rotation.

Bullpen (8)

  • Ken Giles (closer)
  • Wilmer Font
  • Anthony Bass
  • Jordan Romano
  • Shun Yamaguchi
  • Sam Gaviglio
  • A.J. Cole
  • Thomas Pannone

Since the first roster projection, Travis Bergen has fallen out of the roster and Rafael Dolis will start the year on the Injured List leaving Jordan Romano and Thomas Pannone to get the two new spots. Romano has been the talk of camp and has been praised by several players and coaches for his play this spring training. As for Pannone, he will be the lefty out of the bullpen who can also be an innings eater out given he is a former starter.

Catchers (2)

  • Danny Jansen
  • Reese McGuire

Nothing changes here, but as we laid out, maybe Toronto looks to sign Russell Martin to replace Reese McGuire. The Blue Jays have been set at catcher since last year but this could be a do-or-die season for both of them with the several catching prospects like Alejandro Kirk on the way up.

Infielders (6)

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

Since the first roster projection, it appears Joe Panik has played his way onto this roster and will be the backup second baseman. Although he primarily only plays second, we’ve seen this spring that Biggio is playing all over the field which gives Toronto the flexibility to carry Panik. And, the Blue Jays will still also carry Brandon Drury who can play all over the field which makes Toronto only carrying four outfielders.

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Outfield (4)

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

Originally, we had the Blue Jays carrying five outfielders where Anthony Alford would make this team given he would have to go through waivers. Yet, the once-promising prospect has struggled and has played his way off the team leaving the ballclub to carry both Panik and Drury. Fisher will remain the backup outfielder but how long he will have that job is a big question mark.

*Note this is the second of three roster projections with the final one being released just before Toronto heads to Montreal.