One day before the 2022 Season Opener, the Toronto Blue Jays announced via Twitter their Opening Day Roster.
Here is a break down of the roster:
The starting rotation was announced on Wednesday and will have Jose Berrios taking the first game of the season, followed by prize offseason signing Kevin Gausman and Hyun Jin Ryu to close out the first series. Alek Manoah and Yusei Kikuchi will fill out the final two spots.
The 2022 starting rotation looks a lot better than that of 2021, when the Blue Jays had Ryu as the Opening Day starter and was followed by Ross Stripling, T.J. Zeuch, Steven Matz and Tanner Roark over the first five games of the season.
The club will likely field the same rotation for the next couple seasons as all five pitchers are team controlled through the 2023 season at which point Ryu becomes a free agent.
The best news was that Jordan Romano will not be missing any time as there was a scare a week ago when he injured his ankle. Romano will start the season as the club’s Closer and will have nine other pitchers start the season in the bullpen for the first month until the active roster shifts from 28 to 26 players.
Joining Romano in high leverage situations will be last summer’s mid-season acquisitions Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards, along with Julian Merryweather, David Phelps and Tim Mayza. Filling out the bullpen are Trent Thornton, Ross Stripling, Tayler Saucedo and Yimi Garcia.
This will be the first time that Saucedo will make an Opening Day roster, as the soon to be 29-year old made his MLB debut for the Blue Jays last June. Saucedo pitched well through his first 15 appearances last year to a 2.03 ERA and would like to put the ending of the season behind him as he finished with a 4.56 ERA. The left-handed thrower made five appearances this Spring and struck out nine over 5.0 innings without surrendering a run.
A few days ago, Zack Collins was optioned to the minor league camp, however, he was recalled today and will open the season on the Major League roster as the third catcher. Collins was acquired this past week from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Reese McGuire.
Katoh was a former second round pick of the New York Yankees and posted a slash line of .306/.388/.474 with the San Diego Padres Triple-A affiliate (El Paso) last season. Katoh seized every opportunity given to him this Spring as he led the team in appearances (14) and went 8 for 24 with a pair of doubles and a home run, along with two stolen bases. The California born player is as versatile as it comes as he can play almost every position on the field.
Tapia was acquired during Spring Training for Randal Grichuk and got into six games when he joined the club going 4 for 16.
Are there any surprises to you who made the team or did not make the team?