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Photo Credit: © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alek Manoah and Simeon Woods Richardson among the Blue Jays re-assigned to “Minor League Working Group”

The Blue Jays announced on Thursday that 25 players have been optioned/re-assigned to the team’s Minor League Working Group.

Here are the 40-man roster players who were optioned: Otto Lopez, Elvis Luciano, Gabriel Moreno, and Ty Tice.

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Here are the non-roster invitees who were re-assigned: Nick Allgeyer, Bryan Baker, Chris Bec, Phil Clarke, Jordan Groshans, Hobie Harris, Miguel Hiraldo, Leo Jimenez, Adam Kloffenstein, Cullen Large, Alek Manoah, Austin Martin, Orelvis Martinez, Joey Murray, Jackson Rees, CJ Van Eyk, Jacob Waguespack, Logan Warmoth, Simeon Woods Richardson, Chavez Young, and  Yosver Zulueta.

With Opening Day in two weeks and the minor-league contract opt-out date coming shortly, the Blue Jays likely want to focus on the battles they have for positions on their 26-man roster. These players who were re-assigned can all still appear in spring training games, but none of them were really in the mix to crack the team.

The non-roster invitees still left with the team are: A.J. Cole, Anthony Castro, Francisco Liriano, Tim Mayza, Tommy Milone, Kirby Snead, Joe Panik, Kevin Smith, Richard Urena, Tyler White, and Forrest Wall. Any of those players would need to be added to the 40-man roster if they crack the roster when the season begins.

With that in mind, here’s my most recent guess at how the 26-man looks out of camp…

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Position players (12): Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Vlad Jr., Rowdy Tellez, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Marcus Semien, Joe Panik, George Springer, Randal Grichuk, Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel.

Pitchers (14): Hyun Jin Ryu, Robbie Ray, Tanner Roark, Steven Matz, Ross Stripling, Kirby Yates, Rafael Dolis, Jordan Romano, Tyler Chatwood, Julian Merryweather, David Phelps, A.J. Cole, Ryan Borucki, and Francisco Liriano.

10-Day Injured List: Nate Pearson.

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Given the questions in Toronto’s starting rotation, I would assume they roll with a three-man bench and carry a loaded, nine-man bullpen. This would involve finding room on the 40-man for Panik, Liriano, and Cole. The team could also opt to carry a young starter, like T.J. Zeuch, to log innings out of the ‘pen rather than Cole here, but Panik and Liriano seem like automatics at this point.

Breyvic Valera and Travis Bergen would probably be the ones to be removed from the 40-man for Panik and Liriano, and Joel Payamps could be on the outs again if Cole is also added.