Blue Jays news aplenty as spring training comes to a close
The Toronto Blue Jays concluded their preseason play in Montreal on a winning note, however, the victory took a back seat to all the roster news and updates surrounding the team.
The Ryan Borucki injury has opened up a spot in the Blue Jays rotation for Trent Thornton, the rookie will begin the campaign sandwiched in between Aaron Sanchez and Clayton Richard as the fourth starter in the rotation. Thornton was acquired earlier this offseason from the Astros in exchange for Aledmys Diaz.
Along with Thornton, hurlers Elvis Luciano and Thomas Pannone will be heading north with the squad to work out of the bullpen. Sam Gaviglio also made the team and will work as the long man in the bullpen to start the season.
Luciano was selected in the Rule 5 draft and has been a topic of conversation all offseason. The 19-year old finished spring training with an inflated 10.61 ERA but also fanned 11 in 9.1 innings of work including Christian Yelich in Game 1 in Montreal.
Infielder Richard Urena reigned victorious for the backup infield spot on the roster over veteran Eric Sogard. The determining factor may have been that Urena was already on the 40-man roster whereas a subsequent roster move would have had to been made to keep Sogard in the fold. There has been no word on whether Sogard will opt to remain in the organization.
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Pitcher Javy Guerra will travel with the team to Toronto but he hasn’t been awarded the final roster spot as of yet. Bud Norris could also be an option depending on how he responds to his bullpen yesterday although the skipped alluded that Norris may require some additional work in Florida before he is game ready.
Outfielder Dalton Pompey will in all likelihood be placed on the disabled list which will open up a roster spot for the likes of Guerra or Norris.
Injured hurlers Ryan Tepera and Ryan Borucki all played catch yesterday while Clay Buchholz is scheduled to toss a 45-pitch side session today. The prognosis on Tepera has improved dramatically with the reliever potentially looking at a mid-April return.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is also reportedly ahead of schedule and has already begun hitting in the cage. There is still no timetable for Vladdy who has been out since March 08th after suffering a grade 1 oblique strain.
Stay tuned as the Jays continue to tinker and finalize their roster in anticipation of Opening Day on Thursday afternoon.