As Spring Training winds down, questions about the roster are supposed to approach zero, but the Blue Jays decided to flip it around and increase the confusion as March closes out. Currently the bullpen, bench, and starting rotation are not known and new players come into the picture seemingly every day. The (possible?) injury to Jose Reyes has made the situation even murkier and now John Gibbons can do nothing but mumble and hope the media leaves him alone.
So it's time to leave John Gibbons alone and make the decisions ourselves! Put on your best southern accent and decide what on earth this 25-man roster is going to look like. What's my best guess assuming Jose Reyes starts the year with the big league squad? Here you go:
Make Ryan Goins the starting second baseman and Maicer Izturis the reserve infielder
Starting off with the easy one, considering it's already basically been decided. Ryan Goins has a good chance of absolutely crashing and burning at the plate in the big leagues, but he should at least be given the chance before looking elsewhere for the future of the Blue Jays '4' spot. If I was Alex Anthopoulos (which I'm not, I'm John Gibbons) I would try to make a trade with Seattle or any other team with a capable second baseman and give up some bullpen pieces. The team has stockpiled an impressive bullpen, but it's time to cash in some of the chips to end up with a more complete team.
I'm not in love with Maicer Izturis being on the team, but I still don't rate Munenori Kawasaki above him and Chris Getz will always be there as an option if Izturis doesn't impress.
Eight-man bullpen and three-man bench
Pretending I'm John Gibbons has made me start thinking like him I'm pretty sure. I hate the eight-man bullpen, but someone will get hurt within the first few weeks of the season and the situation will probably take care of itself. My bullpen would feature: Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos, Steve Delabar, Aaron Loup, Brett Cecil, Jeremy Jeffress, Dustin McGowan, Esmil Rogers and my bench would feature: Maicer Izturis, Erik Kratz, and Moises Sierra. I'd rather not lose Esmil Rogers or Jeremy Jeffress for nothing and I don't think McGowan is ready to step into the rotation with the amount he's been stretched out this spring. The bench covers all of the defensive positions pretty well, except a solid centre fielder, but once injuries hit the team, a fourth player can be added to make it a bit more reliable.
Give J.A. Happ three starts
The player messing everything up seems to be J.A. Happ and I'd like to see him get three starts at the beginning of the season and then a final decision needs to be made on his future. There's a backlog of pitchers that could provide Happ-like performances in the fifth spot and losing Happ would make the roster situation much more flexible. If Happ didn't pitch well to start the season, Mcgowan or Rogers could slot into the fifth spot, reducing the bullpen to seven players and allowing another bench player to be called up from Buffalo.
Never Start Adam Lind against a left-handed pitcher....ever
There's nothing to write here, but if I'm John Gibbons I'm not making this mistake ever again.
That's what I would do if I was John Gibbons. Now let's hear what you would do. In the words of the skipper himself, "BestofluckhubbaDustinMcGowan startermaybe Idunno RyanGoins second base"