The start of the regular season is only a few days away and we’re getting closer to the Blue Jays announcing their opening day lineup.
The team made a handful of cuts on Saturday morning, optioning Santiago Espinal, Joey Payamps, Riley Adams, and Josh Palacios while also re-assigning non-roster invitees Kevin Smith, Dany Jimenez, Kirby Snead, Richard Urena, Forrest Wall, and Tyler White to the minor-league working group. Save for maybe Espinal and Payamps, none of these players were really in the mix to crack the team, and even those two aren’t overly surprising given they have options.
Elsewhere, Robbie Ray, who was having a brilliant spring before falling down the stairs, will miss his first start of the season. We don’t yet know if he’s going to go on the 10-day disabled list, but, as Scott Mitchell points out, the Blue Jays could backdate his IL trip to March 29 which would allow him to be activated on April 8. The same goes for George Springer who has been dealing with an oblique issue.
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It was also announced today that Jonathan Davis will crack the team’s roster, which miiiiiiight give us an indication that the Injured List is inevitable for Springer. Davis had a nice spring in his own right, but you’d think, given the fact he has options, that he would be starting with the club due to an injury to one of Toronto’s other outfielders. Logic would indicate that the team is going to take things slow with their $150 million man.
So, if we assume that Davis is on the roster for Springer, what other races do we have to pay attention to?
We don’t yet know what the team is planning to do about their catcher situation. Danny Jansen is the main guy but Alejandro Kirk is battling with Reese McGuire, who doesn’t have options, for the backup spot. There was a Tweet from a Yankees account that said Kirk had made the Blue Jays roster, but nobody from the Toronto beat has confirmed it thus far. I think Kirk is the better play here, but it’s also hard to see the Blue Jays tossing McGuire to waivers.
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Finally, neither Nate Pearson or Tom Hatch appear to be ready to return before the start of the season, which isn’t a surprise. That would leave the Blue Jays with Hyun Jin Ryu, Steven Matz, Tanner Roark, and Ross Stripling currently in their rotation with a hole left by Ray’s injury. Charlie Montoyo says that Ray’s spot is to be determined. I would guess that T.J. Zeuch is a likely possibility here.