Blue Jays: 5 likeliest non-roster invitees to crack the roster

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Jun 16, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Scott Copeland (28) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Scott Copeland (28) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Blue Jays have a mix of upside and experience among their non-roster spring training invitees, but a small group of names do have a realistic shot

Joining the Blue Jays 40-man roster for major league spring training in Dunedin, Florida will be a diverse group of non-roster invitees, the full list of which can be found here.

A large number of these names can be discounted from any level of serious competition fairly quickly. Among pitchers, a name like Wil Browning, who at 27-years-old has yet to pitch above double-A New Hampshire, seems to represent more of a classic “camp arm”.

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Others, like top prospects Conner Greene, Rowdy Tellez and Anthony Alford, will be brought in as an aid to their longterm development. With all three players conceivably being ready to make a consistent MLB impact by the 2017 season at the earliest, a taste of the highest level will serve them well before heading back to their respective minor league teams.

But in between those two groups lies a little bit of maybe. While the five players we’ll highlight here may not be able to simply play their way on to the 25-man roster, the depth of their positions and their own relative talent means that it is within the realm of possibility for them to surprise as we approach April. And yes, unfortunately, injuries to other players do fall under the umbrella term of “opportunity” here.

Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

#5   –   P Scott Copeland

Copeland’s three starts and two relief appearances for the Blue Jays didn’t go as planned in 2015, but the decision to re-up with the right-hander on a minor league deal was a wise one.

There’s a rather crowded group forming around the fifth spot in the rotation and the long-man role in the bullpen, with the result of the first spot likely impacting the second. Copeland isn’t yet involved in that conversation, but a strong spring combined with a handful of injuries or underperformance around him could quickly change the conversation.

At the triple-A level over the past two seasons, Copeland has earned a 14-7 record over 150.0 innings with a 3.04 ERA and 1.213 WHIP. His peripheral stats aren’t bowling anyone over, but in a similar way to Todd Redmond, Copeland could potentially chew through a handful of innings without dealing any critical damage to the team around him.

Copeland is a couple unfortunate injuries away, but close enough to be somewhat realistic. As it stands, he’s lumped more into the group of Scott Diamond, Pat McCoy, Brad Penny and the next man on our list.

Next: #4: The artist formerly known as Fausto

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