Blue Jays: Who is competing to make the team this spring?

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 23: Teoscar Hernandez
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 23: Teoscar Hernandez /
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Blue Jays
TORONTO, ON – MAY 12: Joe Biagini /


*Note- After this article had been written, the Blue Jays have reportedly signed Seung-hwan Oh to a one year, two million dollar deal with a vesting option for 2019. The deal was first reported by Robert Murray of FanRagSports, and is pending a physical. 

The bullpen is the biggest question for me at this stage of the Grapefruit schedule, and that’s a common thing at this time of year. Again barring injury, we know that the group will include Roberto Osuna, Ryan Tepera, Danny Barnes, and there’s a really good chance that Aaron Loup continues his improbable run with the club, as he’s now the longest tenured member of the team.

Beyond that there is quite a bit of competition for John Gibbons, Pete Walker, and company to sort out. There are young lefties like Matt Dermody and Tim Mayza that’ll push for a job, and Craig Breslow was brought in on a minor league contract. There are also veteran right-handers like Al Alburquerque, John Axford, Jake Petricka, and young Carlos Ramirez, who threw well last year between Triple A and a short stint at the highest level.

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The debate will also press on about whether or not Joe Biagini should join the bullpen, or if he should go to Buffalo and remain in the starting depth picture. The decision could also be affected by whether or not the front office brings in another reliever, as they’ve said they hope to do. Biagini looked good in his first spring appearance, and even appears to have lost some weight in preparation to handle starting duties a little better, and my guess is he’ll begin the year as a starter in Triple A, at least in April anyway. However, if the former Rule 5 pick does begin the year in Buffalo, the one need that could remain is for a long man.

It’s hard to say if the front office is prioritizing another right-hander, a reliable loogy, or a long man for the bullpen, but we do know it’s an area that they hope to address. Chances are the Jays could put together a decent group from what they have already, but having more depth on the pitching staff is never a bad thing.

Next: Predicting the regular season batting order

What do you think, is there a spring battle I missed talking about? As I’ve said several times, a lot of this could change before Opening Day, but as things currently stand it looks like the battles will be fairly limited during Grapefruit action for the Blue Jays. Hopefully the roster can be firing on all cylinders when the regular season gets underway, and if not, then perhaps there will be a few more competitions for the roster than there are now.