Whittling the spring training roster down to 25 men is not an easy job, particularly with a run for a World Series on the line. We’ll take a look at who the Jays will start the season with.
Obviously, there weren’t any tough decisions here. Thole apparently revamped his swing over the offseason to try and produce more power. Well, he did hit three doubles in 23 plate appearances, hitting for a .409 slugging percentage but he didn’t take a walk, giving him a .273 batting average and a .261 OBP. We’re hoping that his OBP will actually be higher than his batting average through the season but any offense at all from Thole will be a pleasant surprise. Martin didn’t hit much this spring but we don’t really look at spring numbers do we?
The downside of carrying three players at the first base/DH position is that there isn’t a lot of depth in the middle. Barney will play second, third and short and Goins can sub at short as well. The Jays will try to sneak Jesus Montero through waivers in order to keep him and Devon Travis will be DLed.
At this point, it appears that Encarnacion is going to be ready for the season’s opener Sunday and he’ll continue his rehab at the minor league complex, skipping the annual trip to Montreal.
Despite a tremendous spring, Darrell Ceciliani’s fate resides in Buffalo currently. My thought was that he wouldn’t make the big league roster right off the bat, due to the fact that he’s got options remaining. Junior Lake will be put on waivers because he’s out of options, but I’m sure the Jays would like to keep him in Buffalo. Lake didn’t have a bad spring, hitting .256/.341/.385 with five doubles but it wasn’t enough as the Jays opted to go with the more familiar Carrera as their fourth outfielder.
Starting Rotation (in alphabetical order, not rotational order)
*=will start season on DL
It looks like the Blue Jays will open the season with four men in the rotation, particularly considering that the club has a day off after their four-game season-opening series with the Rays. Estrada will start the season on the DL but will likely be activated as soon as he’s able (barring a setback), with the club looking at him starting the final game of the season’s second series, on April 10 against the Boston Red Sox. Estrada’s DL stint enables the Blue Jays to carry an extra reliever for the first week of the season.
Of the eight men still standing, one will have to go when Estrada returns from the DL but the Jays have bought themselves a week to take a look at the bubble guys, particularly Arnold Leon and Joe Biagini. Leon is out of minor league options and Biagini, as a Rule 5 player, must stay on the roster (or DL) all year or be offered back to the San Francisco Giants. I think by keeping him around, the Jays will test him against some tough AL East competition before a decision has to be made. Of course, the easiest choice would simply be to send Tepera back to the minors (given that he still has options). The other four (Chavez, Floyd, Osuna, Storen) are the no-brainers.
If you like us here, “like” us on Facebook!
The 2016 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is coming April 3! Visit the Handbook page for more information!
All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2016) and may not be used without permission.