If you’re anything like me (and you probably are, if you’re reading this), the return of minor league baseball is a welcome sight. Usually we get notification of the Opening Day minor league rosters a little earlier than the day before the season starts, but at this point, after close to two years without minor league baseball, I’ll take it!
So here we go with our annual preview of the Opening Day rosters for our Toronto Blue Jays minor league affiliates, starting with the Buffalo Bisons.
The Bisons have announced that Nate Pearson will be the Opening Day starter tomorrow while 2019 11th-overall selection Alek Manoah has gained a boost from his work in spring training, getting the assignment to Buffalo Bisons, jumping all the way from his last stop in the minor leagues, at Short-Season-A Vancouver (a level now eliminated although Vancouver remains a Blue Jays affiliate at the High-A level). The Bisons’ roster announcement indicates that T.J. Zeuch, Jacob Waguespack and Nick Allgeyer will all join them in the rotation, likely with some shuffling going on as the Blue Jays’ pitching staff gets healthier and when Pearson moves back to the majors. Joey Murray is listed as a reliever in the article, but he will likely slot in to the rotation when Pearson gets the call.
The bullpen will feature Snead as the lefty specialist while Bryan Baker gives the club a hard-throwing righty. Jackson Rees was the MiLB.com Staff Choice and Fans’ Choice for Reliever of the Year when minor league baseball was last played and he jumps from Dunedin to Buffalo. Newly acquired Jeremy Beasley, Dany Jimenez (twice taken in the Rule 5 draft and twice returned to the Blue Jays) and Hobie Harris also join the bullpen while A.J. Cole will likely be one of the first guys up for the major league team.
The Blue Jays got McGuire through waivers and, as a way of adding depth to the catching corps in case McGuire didn’t sneak through, added Graterol from the Angels in a cash deal. McGuire could be up if Riley Adams struggles at the big league level but since he’s not on the 40-man roster, he’ll have to be raking in Buffalo/Trenton to get that kind of consideration.
Well, we know who Rowdy Tellez is. Tellez got sent down after struggling at the plate through the first month of the big league season. Cullen Large, after having lots of time missed due to injury, will get his shot at Triple-A while shortstop Kevin Smith is going to look to get his hitting stroke back after scuffling for a couple of seasons. Tyler White was signed in the offseason while Colon and Herrera were signed as minor league free agents last week.
Notice anything interesting about these outfielders? Well, Jonathan Davis heads to Buffalo as the return of George Springer and Teoscar Hernandez gave the Blue Jays five outfielders (although Davis could be headed back if Springer returns to the IL). Palacios got a nice cup of coffee and a four-hit game in April for the Blue Jays, hopefully giving him some confidence with the Bisons. Wall is another interesting guy who became a free agent and re-signed with Toronto in the offseason and will now start in Buffalo. Finally, Breyvic Valera (got through waivers at the same time as Reese McGuire) and Logan Warmoth (the former first-round pick) are both primarily known as infielders and so they’ll try to adjust to the outfield while trying to produce with the bat.
Let us know who you’re excited about on the 2021 Opening Day roster for the Buffalo/Trenton Bisons!
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