The Toronto Blue Jays open the 2013 MLB season at home against the Cleveland Indians on April 2nd. R.A. Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young award winner, will be the starting pitcher.
The Blue Jays 25 man roster is as follows:
- R.A. Dickey (#43)
- Brandon Morrow (#23)
- Mark Buehrle (#56)
- Josh Johnson (#55)
- J.A. Happ (#48)
The bullpen consists of:
- Brett Cecil (#27)
- Steve Delabar (#50)
- Jeremy Jeffries (#33)
- Aaron Loup (#66)
- Darren Oliver (#38)
- Esmil Rogers (#32)
- Sergio Santos (#21)
The closer will be Casey Janssen (#44).
The #1 catcher will be J.P. Arencibia (#9), with Henry Blanco (#22) as the back-up catcher.
The infield will consist of:
First Base: Adam Lind (#26)
Second Base: Maicer Izturis (#3)
Third Base: Mark DeRosa (#16)
Shortstop: José Reyes (#7)
The outfield will consist of:
Left Fielder: Melky Cabrera (#53)
Centre Fielder: Colby Rasmus (#28)
Right Fielder: José Bautista (#19)
The designated hitter will be Edwin Encarnación (#10). The bench will consist of Emilio Bonifacio (#1) a utility infielder and outfielder, and Rajai Davis (#11).
Brett Lawrie (#13) will start the season on the disabled list, but will be called up once he heals from a rib cage injury. Ricky Romero (#24) starts the 2013 season in Class-A Dunedin looking at revamping his pitching style after a disappointing 2012 season and a poor spring training. He is likely to be recalled when an injury to one of the starters takes place.
The Blue Jays look to succeed on the field for the first time since they won the World Series in 1993. With the acquisitions they made in the off season to revamp their line-up, this looks likely. R.A. Dickey won the Cy Young in the NL last year, while Buehrle has won four straight Gold Gloves and is a four time All Star. Johnson is 56-37 lifetime with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP and 823 strikeouts and two time All Star. Morrow and Happ have shown a lot of potential and both have earned their place in the starting rotation. Cabrera was leading the NL in batting average last year until he failed a drug test, Encarnación led the Blue Jays in home runs, while Bautista is looking healthy again, so is likely to also put up good numbers offensively. Reyes is the 2011 NL Batting Champion and four time All Star while leading the majors in triples four times.
Based on paper, and the apparent weaknesses of the other four AL East teams, this is the Blue Jays’ year to break out and make a playoff appearance. While I believe it is too optimistic to assume the Blue Jays will be playing in the World Series this year, let alone win the World Series, I do believe that they will be in the playoffs and have a chance to win the World Series over the next 2-3 years. The Blue Jays will certainly be the team that others will dread playing as it will certainly not be easy to beat the Blue Jays with the roster they have.
Updated Monday April 1st at 12:00 p.m.:
The Blues Jays have announced that the following players are starting the season on the 15 day Disabled List: Brett Lawrie retroactive to March 22nd, Dustin McGowan (#29) retroactive to March 27th, and Michael Schwimer (#31), retroactive to March 22nd.
The following players are on the 60 day Disabled List to start the season: Kyle Drabek (#4) and, Drew Hutchison (#36).
At this point, the Blue Jays have spent much time and money on trying to help Dustin McGowan’s dream to be a successful major league pitcher. While the gesture is sincere and well intended, I believe that it is time to cut McGowan loose and move on without him. If he was meant to be a big league pitcher then he would not have had such bad luck with injuries over the years. It is time for the Blue Jays to move on without McGowan and use the time and money on players who may actually help the team to win.