There is likely to be split-allegiances in the Blue Jays fanbase today as the Blue Jays send a split-squad to face the Canadian Junior National Team in an exhibition game today at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg in a 1:05 game that is broadcast on radiostpete.com. The other half of the Blue Jays will be in Lakeland to face the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers game will be on the radio (and online audio) only.
This is a fantastic opportunity for our country's top teenagers (age range of 15-18) to face off against the top players in professional baseball. Team Canada will have a slim chance at victory, but playing in this game is a key milestone in the young ballplayers' development. You bet there will be a lot of amateur scouts in the stands to watch these kids play against a pretty decent lineup trotted out by the Blue Jays. Five of the nine players in the lineup are projected starting players and only Chris Getz, who is getting more tryout time at second base, and Mississauga's Dalton Pompey are not expected to be on the 40-man roster coming out of camp. Joining the speedy Pompey will be Langley's Brett Lawrie, Adam Lind, who married a Torontonian, and Munenori Kawasaki, who fathered a Canadian.
Colby Rasmsus will also be back in the lineup for the first time in over a week after hurting his neck and receiving a cortisone injection last Wednesday.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||TEAM CANADA (JUNIORS)|
|Munenori Kawasaki - SS||Royce Ando - SS - 16|
|Colby Rasmus - CF||Luke Horanski - C - 17|
|Brett Lawrie - 3B||Gareth Morgan - CF - 17|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Josh Naylor - DH - 16|
|Adam Lind - DH||Robert Bykowski - 3B - 17|
|Dioner Navarro - C||Mitchell Robinson - DH - 17|
|Moises Sierra - 1B||Mitch Bigras - 1B - 17|
|Chris Getz - 2B||Louis-Philippe Pelletier - 2B - 18|
|Dalton Pompey - LF||Jean-François Garon - RF - 17|
|Brandon Morrow - P||Demi Orimoloye - LF - 17|
|Darren Shred - C - 16|
|Ben Onyshko - P - 17|
I see that Team Canada is employing the double-DH / double-catcher strategy in its lineup creation. I've also included the ages of the players on Team Canada's starting lineup to show just how young they are.
Team Canada will be managed by Greg Hamilton. Chris Reitsma is their pitching coach, Shawn Bowman is their coach, and they have also invited three guest coaches: Roberto Alomar, Adam Stern, and T.J. Burton.
GO JAYS GO!
GO CANADA GO!