Blue Jays – Clement, Schneider, and Vogelbach secure Opening Day roster spots

Photo credit:© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
23 days ago
Following the Blue Jays’ 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, it appears manager John Schneider is getting some internal affairs in order.
As per Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling, the Jays’ skipper informed INF Davis Schneider, INF Ernie Clement, and DH Daniel Vogelbach that all three players would be making the trip to Tropicana Field when Toronto opens the campaign on March 28th against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Schneider appears poised to platoon with Cavan Biggio for the second base spot but has also been getting some left-field reps this spring. The Jays had asked the New Jersey product to get some outfield work this offseason, seemingly to replace what the Jays lost with Whit Merrifield signing with the Philadelphia Phillies this past winter. After breaking through at the big league level last August, Schneider went 7 for 41 this spring (.171) with two home runs, three RBIs and a .596 OPS. He also made a highlight reel grab in left field last week, a diving snag on a ball trailing away from him that prevented an extra-base hit.

Clement, Schneider, and Vogelbach secure spots on the Blue Jays Opening Day roster

For Clement, the New York product put on an impressive showing this spring that forced the Blue Jays coaching staff to consider him to the Opening Day roster.
At the plate, Clement put forward a .356/.383/.644 slash line through 16 games, adding three home runs and eight RBIs to the tune of a 1.027 OPS. His elite contact rate saw him strike out just once this spring and his ability to play multiple infield decisions saw him out-compete other internal options for a spot on the Blue Jays roster to start the year. Additionally, Clement was out of Minor League options and would need to be DFA’d had he not made the team, with the 28-year-old likely being claimed by another squad after a successful Spring Training camp.
Lastly, non-roster invitee Daniel Vogelbach will have a spot on the roster to start the year, with the slugger set to earn $2 million with additional incentives for cracking the lineup.
Signed to a MiLB deal this winter, Vogelbach was brought in to provide the Jays lineup with additional power from the left side, whether that is working in the DH spot or as a pinch-hitter late in games. A role the Jays’ needed last season but didn’t have on the bench, Vogelbach powered his way onto the team by collecting two doubles, three home runs, and four RBIs through 35 at-bats while amassing a .884 OPS, walking six times compared to eight strikeouts.
With the news of Vogelbach making the roster as well as a recent article by Canadian Baseball Network contributor Melissa Verge, veteran 1B/DH Joey Votto (brought in on a MiLB deal) will begin the year in the Minor Leagues, specifically in Dunedin.
The Jays will also need to clear a 40-man roster spot for both Vogelbach and Brian Serven (who was told his Opening Day status yesterday), with the catcher filling for Danny Jansen while he is on the IL to start the year. The recent Santiago Espinal trade clears one spot but another will be required to accompany the recent roster news.
Joining Votto in triple-A will be 1B Spencer Horwitz and OF Nathan Lukes, with both players being optioned following today’s contest as per the Blue Jays. Horwitz was in tough for a spot on the bench following the Vogelbach and Votto signings while Lukes will go back to triple-A to continue getting regular at-bats after putting forth an impressive spring showcase, collecting 18 hits en route to a .450 average and a 1.100 OPS.

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