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Predicting the Blue Jays Opening Day Roster #2

WBC and Spring Training under way it’s time to look at what the roster may look like now

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Before spring training games took place I projected what the Jays opening day roster will look like, which you can find here.

Spring training game are well under way as well as the WBC so it makes sense to project the Jays opening day roster.


  • Aaron Sanchez
  • Marco Estrada
  • J.A. Happ
  • Marcus Stroman
  • Francisco Liriano

Just like last time, these are the 5 starters the team will have to head to Baltimore to start the season on April 3rd, barring injury. There has been no competition with the starters as Gibbons has it easy knowing exactly which five will be on the roster. The only question mark is who starts opening day, many have pegged Aaron Sanchez and that’s who I think it will be.


  • Glenn Sparkman (DL)
  • Mat Latos
  • Aaron Loup
  • Joe Smith
  • J.P Howell
  • Joe Biagini
  • Jason Grilli
  • Roberto Osuna (Closer)

Although no one wants to see anyone get hurt, Glenn Sparkman breaking his hand may be good for the Jays. They now don’t have to decide if the rule 5 pick will make the opening day roster. They now have the ability to have Sparkman on the 15 day disabled list, followed by a conditioning stint allowing him to pitch in the minors. The only other change is that Mike Bolsinger is no longer on my projected roster. Mat Latos gets the spot. Another name closing in is Ryan Tepera who have pitched quite well in spring so far and will compete with Latos for that last bullpen spot. It also looks like Aaron Loup has the 2nd lefty job locked down for now.


  • Russell Martin
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia

No change to the catchers as just like the starters this have been set in stone since Saltalamacchia signed a contract with the Blue Jays. Right now it looks like Saltalamacchia will start 40-50 games with the hope Russell can start 120+.

1st Base and Designated Hitter

  • Kendrys Morales (DH)
  • Steve Pearce (1B/OF)
  • Justin Smoak

Justin Smoak still appears to be the starting 1st baseman come opening day. Although prospect Rowdy Tellez made some noise in camp. Some at bats in the minors can help Tellez’s development. There is a real possibility however that Tellez could come up if Smoak is struggling come mid-season. Morales will be the everyday DH, and Pearce will be the utility man, who can play some 1st and the outfield.

2nd Base

  • Devon Travis (DL)
  • Darwin Barney
  • Ryan Goins

I don’t see Travis being ready for opening day, and that means the Jays won’t have to expose Ryan Goins to waivers just yet. The Jays will have Darwin Barney as the everyday 2nd baseman for at least 15 days while Travis is on the disabled list. As well Goins can add much needed shortstop depth behind Troy Tulowitzki.


  • Troy Tulowitzki

Is the Jays left side of the infield the best in the majors? Tulowitzki and Donaldson on the left side will only help pitchers as those two can make what looks like extra base hits to an out. As for the backup behind Tulowitzki it will be Goins for the first 15+ days while Travis is on the disable list but after that it will Barney.

3rd Base

  • Josh Donaldson

It appears that Josh Donaldson will be ready for opening day which is huge for the Blue Jays. Donaldson will be a leader once again on this Jays roster that looks to return to the post-season.


  • Jose Bautista (RF)
  • Kevin Pillar (CF)
  • Melvin Upton Jr. (LF)
  • Ezequiel Carrera (LF/4th OF)

No changes in my projected outfield. Pompey’s concussion pretty much takes him out of the running for a spot. Left field still continues to be a problem but Upton Jr. is ‘free money’ right now so the Jays should roll with him. Pillar and Bautista are set in CF and RF respectively. It looks like Bautista can throw again, as you saw in the WBC.

What do you think?