Blue Jays Announce 25-Man Roster and Opening Day Lineup

J.A. Happ

It’s Opening Day! The day we’ve all waited for ever since the Blue Jays packed up the clubhouse in early October last year. We’ve seen the Jays add some veteran players on big league free agent deals (Curtis Granderson, Seung-hwan Oh), we’ve seen the Jays trade to acquire depth and a right fielder (Aledmys Diaz, Randal Grichuk, Yangervis Solarte), and we’ve seen a couple of guys on minor league contracts get a chance to revive their careers at the big league level (John Axford, Tyler Clippard).


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Today, the Blue Jays released their 25-man roster for Opening Day and there are a couple of surprises but we pretty much knew who was going to be on this roster a couple of weeks ago. The delay in naming the roster was likely due to backroom shuffling in which the club might have been trying to work a trade to create a space for someone who isn’t on the 40-man roster. In the end (although “the end” is really just the beginning, but writing “In the beginning” is a little biblical for my taste), below is the roster they arrived at.


The biggest surprise here is that Gift Ngoepe made the Opening Day roster rather than minor-league signing Danny Espinosa. The bullpen, as predicted, features Axford and Clippard, both of whom needed to be added to the 40-man roster and room needed to be made. With Ngoepe making the team, the club doesn’t need to DFA anyone else to make room for Espinosa.

The corresponding moves to make room for John Axford and Tyler Clippard involved pitcher Sam Moll getting designated for assignment and Troy Tulowitzki was placed on the 60-day DL. The Blue Jays also announced that Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey will start the season on the 10-day DL.



And here’s the lineup for today’s game!


I think a lot of us thought we’d see Granderson in the leadoff spot but that goes to second baseman Devon Travis. As a lot of sabermetricians would like to see, the Jays put their best hitter in the #2 hole with Josh Donaldson following Travis while Smoak hits third with, surprise!, Granderson in the cleanup hole. Interestingly, the speedy Granderson hits ahead of Kendrys Morales, perhaps so Morales’s lack of speed doesn’t hinder the possibility of Grandy taking extra bases while running. Randal Grichuk hits sixth, which is about where we expected, and Russell Martin, Kevin Pillar and Aledmys Diaz follow up with J.A. Happ on the mound.


All in all, an interesting lineup for an exciting day!


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