Predicting The First Blue Jays Major League Debut Of 2013

Evan Crawford in his Major League debut. - Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays had nine players make their Major League debut: Evan Crawford, Drew Hutchison, Yan Gomes, Sam Dyson, Aaron Loup, Anthony Gose, Moises Sierra, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Chad Jenkins. Unless things go very, very wrong, the Blue Jays will have far fewer debuts this season. In fact, jays182 commented several days ago that he thinks it will take until September for someone to be called up to make his debut this year.

That got me looking through each of the Jays' past 36 seasons to see which player made the team's first Major League debut, and the date when he stepped onto the field for the first time. Here is the compiled list (source: Baseball-Reference.com):

Player


Date


Pos


Al Woods

1977/04/07

PH RF

Garth Iorg (1)

1978/04/09

2B

Bobby Brown (2)

1979/04/05

LF

Lloyd Moseby

1980/05/24

DH

George Bell

1981/04/09

PR LF

Jim Gott

1982/04/09

P

Jim Acker

1983/04/07

P

Jimmy Key

1984/04/06

P

Lou Thornton

1985/04/08

RF

Don Gordon

1986/04/10

P

Mike Sharperson

1987/04/06

2B

Sil Campusano

1988/04/04

CF

Junior Felix

1989/05/03

RF

Willie Blair

1990/04/11

P

Mike Timlin

1991/04/08

P

Ricky Trlicek

1992/04/08

P

Willie Canate

1993/04/16

LF

Alex Gonzalez

1994/04/04

SS

Paul Menhart

1995/04/27

P

Tilson Brito

1996/04/01

PH 2B

Chris Carpenter

1997/05/12

P

Steve Sinclair

1998/04/25

P

Peter Munro (3)

1999/04/06

P

Dewayne Wise

2000/04/06

CF

Ryan Freel

2001/04/04

2B

Eric Hinske (4)

2002/04/01

3B

Aquilino Lopez

2003/04/02

P

Simon Pond

2004/04/07

RF

Aaron Hill

2005/05/20

DH

Casey Janssen

2006/04/27

P

Jesse Litsch

2007/05/15

P

Randy Wells

2008/04/05

P

Ricky Romero

2009/04/09

P

Rommie Lewis

2010/04/28

P

Luis Perez

2011/04/16

P

Evan Crawford

2012/04/15

P

(1) Garth Iorg made his debut by coming up to bat in the bottom of the first inning. Willie Upshaw also made his debut in this game, as defensive replacement for John Mayberry before the bottom of the third.
(2) Bobby Brown made his debut by coming up to bat in the top of the second inning. Ted Wilborn made his debut minutes later as defensive replacement for Rick Bosetti before the the top of the second.
(3) Pete Munro made his debut in relief of Dan Plesac in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tom Davey also made his debut, in before the next inning when he relieved Munro.
(4) Eric Hinske made his debut by coming up to bat in the top of the first inning. Scott Cassidy made his debut in the bottom of the fourth, relieving Scott Eyre.

As you can see, the Blue Jays have welcomed a new player to the Major Leagues in every single season. What was surprising was that the latest they ever had a Major League debut was on May 24 in 1980, when Lloyd Moseby popped up against Luis Tiant in the bottom of the third inning.

While anything can happen, there is a pretty strong possibility this club will break the record in 2013, as most players currently on the 40-man roster have already played in the Major Leagues. In fact, the only players on the roster who have yet to do so are A.J. Jimenez and Ryan Goins. Last spring, there were five: Alan Farina, Travis d'Arnaud, Adeiny Hechavarria, Mike McDade, and Moises Sierra. Looking at non-roster invitees, the seven without Major League experience are Jack Murphy, Ricardo Nanita, Jim Negrych, Sean Nolin, Sean Ochinko, Ryan Schimpf, and John Stilson.

Let's turn this into a game! In the comments, guess: 1) who you think will be the first player to make a Major League debut with the Blue Jays in 2013, 2) the date of his debut, and as a potential tie breaker, the inning of his debut. If multiple people guess the same player, the person who guesses the date closest to his actual debut date (either before or after) wins*, and the debut inning will serve as a second tiebreaker if necessary. Consolation prize* will go to the person who guesses the wrong player but the closest date. (*There is no prize.)

My pick: Ricardo Nanita, June 24, bottom of the first. What's yours?
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