Blue Jays Opening Day: New Season, New Team

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Russell Martin
DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 27: Russell Martin /

It’s finally Opening Day! There are a lot of hopes that this Blue Jays team succeed after a dismal 2017. To do this they have employed several new faces. Yet win or lose, all fans should be happy to watch this fine sport.

The Blue Jays are ready to make things right in 2018. Despite being in an even more competitive AL East, the Jays look poised to make some waves. The team has gone some drastic changes since the opening day of the 2015 season. The sluggers of the decade, Edwin Encarnacion, and Jose Bautista are gone.

This year has many new faces to fill out the roster. Randal Grichuk is set to roam Right Field for the first time in more than half a decade. Curtis Granderson has joined Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin as another mentor for the fine players on the team. With elite young players like Anthony Alford, Teoscar Hernandez, and Roemon Fields knocking on the door, the future outfield looks set for the Outfield.

The oft-injured duo of Tulo and Devon Travis have new supporting players. Gone are Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins. In are Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz. Two-star caliber players who could very well force their way into the lineup if either of the starters misses significant time. Sadly, it looks like we won’t see Tulo on the field anytime soon.

Two familiar faces occupy the corner field positions. MVP All-Star Josh Donaldson begins, what could very well be, his final campaign north of the border. On the opposite side, is Justin Smoak. Who a year ago appeared on the brink of losing his job to Rowdy Tellez. The thought of that today is a foreign concept. The offensive leader of 2017 looks to replicate or dare I say, surpass the previous season. The knowledge that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette could soon join this group makes many of us salivate in anticipation.

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After an injury-riddled 2017, the hope that our rotation is finally set looks to be true. Marcus Stroman looks as good as always. Joining him is the recovered Aaron Sanchez who looks to make up for his lost 2017 campaign. Both J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada appear to perform at their career norms if not better. Final Jaime Garcia pushes the rotation from great to near elite slotting in as the 5th man in the rotation. This pushes the Joe Biagini into a more familiar role in the bullpen. Joining sever new faces, who have been lights out in their careers. John Axford and Tyler Clippard join familiar faces Roberto Osuna and Ryan Tepera in the late inning.

Every new season brings new faces and a new feel to the team, yet this one somehow feels different. The veterans have a chip on their shoulder, determined to bury the 2017 season. The newcomers are looking to electrify the crowd and solidify them as favorites and heroes. Sure, before the game optimism springs eternal.

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Yet I, Jays Journal’s ultimate pessimist, is very excited for this season. It feels like this team is capable of something special. Sure the odds are stacked against them, but that seems to be the way our team likes it. So here is to the underdog. Here is to the Blue Jays 2018 season.