Blue Jays: First 2023 Spring Training lineup has been released
Baseball, at long last, is upon us. The Toronto Blue Jays have officially released the starting lineup for the first game of Spring Training 2023.
Isn't it beautiful?
The Jays are set to take on the rebuilding Pirates and their squad at 1:05 ET at the home field of the Pirates, LECOM Park.
Cavan Biggio is set to lead things off. The upcoming season is going to be an important one for him, as he looks to lock down a path to regular playing time in the bigs.
Santiago Espinal will be making a start at shortstop to stay fresh there for the regular season. Obviously, Bo Bichette will be the everyday option there but Espinal is first in line to back him up.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is batting third and playing first base. He is coming off of a great season but is looking to get even better and return to his 2021 form. Vladdy is a lock to compete for MVPs every year and is widely expected to put the club on his back.
The shiny, new outfielder Daulton Varsho will bat fourth and function as the designated hitter for the day. His impressive blend of power, speed and defense makes him a highly valuable player and he should get starts in the outfield on an everyday basis in the regular season.
Danny Jansen will catch and bat fifth in Saturday's game. He will split catching/designated hitter duties with Alejandro Kirk and showed in the second half of 2022 that he's got one heck of a bat.
The next four spots in the lineup go to rookies who are trying to claw their way into the last available spot on the big league bench.
Addison Barger, a highly touted infield prospect, will bat sixth and play third base. He can play all over the infield and will be adding some outfield to his defensive repertoire in Spring Training to increase his value.
Otto Lopez will bat seventh and play right field. He's a high-contact, low-power, speedster whose calling card is his defensive prowess. He can play virtually any position on the field and is currently at or near the top of the list of candidates to make the Opening Day club.
Then there's Nathan Lukes who will bat eighth and play center field. Lukes is on the older side as far as prospects go, but he is aiming to put together a strong Spring showing and make his major league debut. His strong stats in Triple-A last year did a lot for him in showing that he may be ready for The Show.
Vinny Capra, a light-hitting utilityman who had a brief cameo in the bigs last year, will bat ninth and play left field. He is another utility-type player who can play any position on the field.
A bearded Yusei Kikuchi will start for the Blue Jays. He is reportedly looking sharp in the early goings of Spring Training and is yet another player on the club that desperately needs a strong year in 2023.
Following Kikuchi will be Zach Thompson, Trent Thornton, Paul Fry and Jay Jackson. Each of this quartet is looking to secure a spot on the Opening Day pitching staff with only Thompson and Thornton being on the 40-man roster.