Blue Jays 2024 Opening Day roster projection 1.0: Which infielder gets squeezed out?

Sep 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider (14) looks on from the
Sep 15, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider (14) looks on from the / Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
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Starting pitchers (5)

RHP Chris Bassitt

Last year, it was a treat to see Chris Bassitt take the mound for the Blue Jays every fifth day. He wound up leading the American League in wins (16) and made a full season of 33 starts. Not to mention he was able to finish the year with exactly 200 innings, which is a huge milestone for pitchers in today's game. He's not going to be the staff ace, but he sure will be heavily relied upon throughout the year, especially after setting the bar so high in 2023.

RHP Jose Berrios

Going from a 5.23 ERA in 2022 to 3.65 in 2023 was an incredible step forward for Jose Berrios. The right-hander truly returned to form and gives the Blue Jays another solid starter who can be relied upon to go out there and compete every fifth day. Strikeouts were up, home runs and hits were down and he lowered his FIP below 4.00. He's back.

RHP Kevin Gausman

Kevin Gausman, the leader of this Blue Jays pitching staff, is amongst the very best starting pitchers in the game and last year, he proved that once again. He's finally going to secure that Opening Day start for the Jays, and deservedly so.

LHP Yusei Kikuchi

Yet another starter to make 32+ starts last year, Yusei Kikuchi also experienced quite the bounceback. The left-hander saw significant improvements all across the board and has mostly earned the trust back of Blue Jays fans. Having someone of Kikuchi's caliber as your fourth starter says a lot about the depth in this rotation. If he's able to continue to perform as he did last year, the pending free agent's current deal is going to look like a steal.

RHP Alek Manoah

So much is riding on the shoulders of Alek Manoah entering the 2024 campaign. The right-hander struggled immensely in every facet of the game last year, but he's already shown significant signs of improvement between when we saw him last in 2023 and right now. A slimmer version of Manoah with a renewed mindset is what we're seeing now, which is a great step in the right driection. Let's get him on the field so he can begin his comeback tour ASAP.