Blue Jays announce first round of spring training roster cuts

Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day
Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

After two weeks of spring training for the Toronto Blue Jays, they have officially announced their first round of roster cuts. The list consists of a total of 11 players, with the most notables being outfielder Alan Roden, left-handed pitcher Adam Macko, infielder Damiano Palmegiani, and right-handed pitcher Chad Dallas.

For Jays Journal No. 6 prospect Alan Roden, he had an outside shot of cracking the Jays’ Opening Day roster after putting together a strong season last year in the minors, along with the organization’s lack of depth at the outfield position. But with Roden struggling to just a .133 average and .588 OPS with 5 strikeouts in 15 at-bats, along with the torrid hitting of hopeful Nathan Lukes so far, Roden’s spring audition ultimately ended earlier than expected.

With Macko, Jays Journal's No. 9 prospect, he compiled a solid 2023 minor league season after coming over from the Seattle Mariners in the Teoscar Hernández trade. In 20 starts with the Jays High-A affiliate Vancouver Canadians, Macko amassed a 5-5 record, 4.81 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, with a strong strikeout rate of 11.1 batters per nine innings. He wasn’t expected to challenge for a starting spot on the major league roster, but by being optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, he could be beginning his 2024 season at a higher minor level to start than predicted.

For Palmegiani, his breakout season last year split between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo put him on the radar in the Jays’ system. In total, he set career highs with 33 doubles and 93 RBI, to go along with a respectable .255 average, .842 OPS, 70 runs scored and 23 home runs in 128 games played. He continued his great play with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, and came into 2024 as a semi-long shot to make the team as a potential bench player. However, with the addition of utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa this offseason, along with the likes of Davis Schneider and Ernie Clement ahead of him in the depth chart, there wasn’t much of a chance for Palmegiani to come out on top to start the season with the big league club. Added to the fact he went 0-fer in his 11 spring plate appearances with 6 strikeouts, it made the Jays’ decision quite easy in making him one of the early cuts.

In the case for Dallas, the fourth round pick from the 2021 MLB Draft had himself an impressive season in 2023 when he pitched to a stellar 9-3 record with a 3.65 ERA, 1.19 WHIP with 144 strikeouts in just 123.1 innings of work in 23 starts. Dallas was promoted from High-A to Double-A in the process and excelled at both levels. Despite struggling this spring, giving up 4 earned runs on 7 hits in just 4.1 innings of work, Dallas still had his strikeout ability on full display with the 7 punchouts he registered. He will likely start 2024 in Buffalo as one of the Jays’ starting pitching depth options, where he can continue to work on his fastball to match up with his plus slider. Once he does, he could be arriving in the majors sooner than expected.

For the rest of the players, they will join the aforementioned four in continuing their spring training work in the minors in preparation for the upcoming season, with hopes of well-earned promotions along the way as their main goal going forward for,their careers.