John Gibbons and company have finalized their roster for the trek north missing their opening day starter from just a year earlier. The Toronto Blue Jays made the difficult but correct decision leaving pitcher Ricky Romero behind in Dunedin. Romero will look to adjust his mechanics and retool his repertoire in Single A with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays instead head north with their starting five pitchers: opening day starter R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and J.A. Happ. It was quite the week for Happ who was announced as the 5th starter then signed a 5.2 million dollar extension with the Jays for 2014.
The Blue Jays will start the season with an eight man bullpen, as Brett Lawrie is not available to come of the disabled list until the 06th of April. Casey Janssen has been once again anointed the closer with Sergio Santos holding down the 8th inning. The six remaining relievers are Darren Oliver, Aaron Loup, Steve Delabar, Esmil Rogers and out of option hurlers Brett Cecil and Jeremy Jeffress. As well, Dustin McGowan will begin the season on the disabled list but appears close getting into game action before the Grapefruit League action wrapped up.
The starting nine and potential batting order to commence the season against Justin Masterson and the Cleveland Indians will be: Jose Reyes at shortstop, Melky Cabrera in left field, slugger Jose Bautista in right, clean-up hitter Edwin Encarnacion at first base, Adam Lind penciled in as the designated hitter, JP Arencibia with the catching duties, Colby Rasmus in center, Maicer Izturis temporarily at the hot corner and lightning fast Emilio Bonifacio at second base.
I don’t know about you but looks like a World Series winning lineup to me.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.