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GDB -1.0: Blue Jays open Spring Training Grapefruit League schedule against Phillies

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Photo credit:Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
At long last, baseball season is officially back.
The long, tumultuous offseason for the Blue Jays saw the high-highs of thinking they were going to land superstar slugger Shohei Ohtani, to finding out that it was actually just Robert Herajavec on that jet.
However, that didn’t stop the Jays from being active in free agency. They signed utility man Isiah Kiner-Falefa in late December and brought back outfielder Kevin Kiermair, both transactions being ones that were rather unexpected.
A flurry of minor league moves came in January, but so did Big Red — veteran slugger Justin Turner — to platoon and moonlight as the Jays’ designated hitter. February saw more minor league moves, inking the big man Daniel Vogelbach to a minor league contract and third-baseman Eduardo Escobar to one.
It also saw what might’ve been their most impactful move be made when they inked Cuban pitcher Yariel Rodriguez to a five-year, $32-million, option, escalator and performance bonus-laden contract.
Far from the offseason many hoped for in the Six, given their unceremonious exit in two games to the Minnesota Twins last fall, the Jays are banking on positive regression from a team whose bats slipped too far the other way when they needed them most.
It was all supposed to start off on the right foot today with top prospect Ricky Tiedemann taking the mound to start the first spring training game of the year, but instead, some discomfort in his left hamstring has seen him scratched from the lineup. MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson reported Thursday it was felt early that day in training, and that Tiedemann is considered day-to-day.
Jays fans instead will get a look at Chad Dallas, the organization’s 13th-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline’s top prospect rankings, and 20th in Blue Jays Nation’s rankings. Dallas split last year between high-A and double-A, hurling 123 and a third innings across 23 starts, with a combined 3.65 ERA, 4.08 FIP and 1.19 WHIP.
Opposite him will be lefty Kolby Allard, who spent last season in the Atlanta Braves organization, pitching just 12.1 innings in the majors, and 6.2 in the minors.
The Jays will also get a look at an old friend in Whit Merrifield, who will bat leadoff for the Phillies this afternoon.

First pitch: 1:07 p.m. EST — Sportsnet, Sportsnet 590, MLBTV (Out of market only).
Odds via Betano:
Moneyline: TOR -133; PHI +107.
*Odds available at the time of writing. Odds subject to change.

Starting pitchers (2023 statistics):

NameTeamGSWLIPERAFIPWHIPK/9BB/9
Chad DallasTOR – MiLB2393123.13.654.081.1910.513.58
Kolby AllardATL -MiLB2006.22.702.071.210.82.7

Lineups: 

TORONTO
  1. S Espinal (R) 2B
  2. B Bichette (R) SS
  3. J Turner (R) DH
  4. D Jansen (R) C
  5. D Varsho (L) CF
  6. I Kiner-Falefa (R) 3B
  7. S Horwitz (L) 1B
  8. N Lukes (L) RF
  9. C Eden (R) LF
PHILADELPHIA
  1. W Merrifield (R) 2B
  2. J Rojas (R) CF
  3. E Sosa (R) SS
  4. K Clemens (L) 1B
  5. W Wilson (R) DH
  6. D Dahl (L) RF
  7. S Kingery (R) LF
  8. R Castro (S) 3B
  9. A Garcia (R) C

Need to bide the time until first pitch?

Tune into the latest edition of Blue Jays Nation Radio as the crew talks spring training.
– This article was updated Saturday morning with starting lineups.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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