Jay Blue: Whittling away at Jays roster

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* Jay Blue takes a look at who is left in Dunedin, who’s on second who is likely headed north to be play behind RHP Drew Hutchison on April 6 opening day at Yankee Stadium. Photos: Jay Blue. ….

 

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Whittling Things Down: Who’s Left in Camp?
By Jay Blue
Blue Jays From Away

The midpoint of spring training has come and gone and the Blue Jays still have several tough decisions to make before things wind up in Dunedin and the team heads north to Montreal and Olympic Stadium for a pair of games against the Cincinnati Reds and then it’s on to New York and Yankee Stadium  to start the 2015 season.

Who’s left in camp and where are they likely to start the season?

40-man Roster Pitchers
Scott Barnes – is fighting for a roster spot and could contribute as another lefty out of the pen.

Mark Buehrle – Iron Man. Rotation bound yet again.

Brett Cecil – Closer but could start the year on the DL.

Steve Delabar – has been looking good so far with nine strikeouts in six innings this spring. If I’m in charge, he goes north with the team.

R.A. Dickey – Another lock for the knuckler.

Kyle Drabek – hasn’t been impressive but hasn’t been bad either this spring. Still on the bubble thanks to being out of options.

Marco Estrada – Was a lock but sustained a minor injury. Could start on DL

Liam Hendriks – Out of options but hasn’t pitched particularly well. Has a tendency to get hit hard. Fighting for a spot.

Drew Hutchison – Could be the Opening Day starter.

Colt Hynes – hasn’t given up a run or walked a man this spring with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Dark horse for a bullpen spot.

Chad Jenkins – still has an option and hasn’t overly impressed this spring. Could be on the shuttle back and forth to Buffalo again.

Aaron Loup – Locked in as the primo LOOGY who will pitch against righties too.

Daniel Norris – Fighting for the #5 starter’s spot. With Estrada injured, it’s almost a lock.

Todd Redmond – Out of options. A solid long-man in the bullpen.

Aaron Sanchez – Pretty much locked into the #4 spot in the rotation.

Bo Schultz – An interesting pitcher who could be one of the last cuts but he’s got options left and is probably not going to make the bullpen.

Marcus Stroman – technically still on the roster but will be moved to 60-day DL at the beginning of the year.

Non-Roster Pitchers
Miguel Castro – looking more and more like he’s going to break camp with Toronto.

Jeff Francis – his numbers don’t look good but could be a LOOGY option. On the bubble.

Roberto Osuna – has been impressive but I think he needs to start in the minors. Probably will go to New Hampshire.

40-man Roster Catchers
Russell Martin – #1 guy. Millions of reasons for this guy to be on the team.

Dioner Navarro – With $5 million committed, he’ll break camp with the big boys, unless he’s traded.

Josh Thole – Scuttlebutt is that the Jays want him to catch Dickey and give Martin a break behind the plate. Probably making the cut.

Non-Roster Catchers
Sean Ochinko – is the only non-roster catcher left in camp but he’ll probably be sent back soon.

40-man Infielders
Josh Donaldson – Everyday third baseman. josh donaldson

Edwin Encarnacion – Everyday DH/first baseman. Could start the season on the DL.

Ryan Goins – tough one to call. Has hit well this spring but Devon Travis has been better. With Ramon Santiago and Maicer Izturis hurt, he could be a utility guy to start the year.

Maicer Izturis – went down with a groin injury. Could start the year on the DL.

Jose Reyes – has been making believers of us lately with his hitting. Everyday shortstop.

Justin Smoak – hasn’t been hitting much but could very well start the year as Encarnacion’s complement.

Steve Tolleson – hasn’t been hitting either but he’s out of options and can play a multitude of positions.

Danny Valencia – has been playing first base in Encarnacion’s stead. Has hit very well. He’ll be on the team.

Non-Roster Infielders
Daric Barton – is in a competition of futility at the plate with Smoak. Smoak has more power and the edge.

Jonathan Diaz – is still in camp because he makes pretty plays with his glove. He’ll be in Buffalo.

Munenori Kawasaki – could legitimately start the season with the club. The pesky lefty is always around.

Ramon Santiago – broke his collarbone diving for a ball. Out until late-May at the earliest.

Devon Travis – is doing everything right. Hitting, playing defense, running. Looks poised to make the jump from Double-A to the majors.

40-man Roster Outfielders
Jose Bautista – duh.

Kevin Pillar – is beginning his return from his sneeze injury. Should be a 4th outfielder or left fielder if he’s ready before Michael Saunders is.

Dalton Pompey – looks like he wants to be the club’s everyday center fielder.

Michael Saunders – working his way back from a torn meniscus in his knee. Progressing quickly but will he be ready for Opening Day?

Non-Roster Outfielders
Chris Dickerson – hitting just over .150. Not doing himself any favours.

Caleb Gindl – is raking, hitting .353/.410/.618 with seven doubles and a triple. Could play himself in a utility role on the club.

Dayan Viciedo – has returned after a foot infection sidelined him. Has hit four doubles so far but has struck out six times with no walks in 26 plate appearances. Dark horse to make the team but needs to be more than a one dimensional player.

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All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2015) and may not be used without permission.

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