Blue Jays: Still unconfirmed, but Zach Pop appears to have made the Opening Day roster

Sep 25, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Zach Pop (56) throws a
Sep 25, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Zach Pop (56) throws a / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

There were a flurry of moves made on Saturday that went a long way in shaping the Toronto Blue Jays' Opening Day roster.

Not only was Jay Jackson released, but Nate Pearson was optioned and then Mitch White was officially announced as starting the year on the injured list as he recovers from right elbow inflammation.

Entering the day, Jackson, Pearson and Zach Pop seemed to be locked in a competition for the final bullpen spot on the Blue Jays' roster. With the flurry of moves, it seems that Pop is going to be the one to crack the roster.

Pop, 26, only just joined the Blue Jays at the 2022 trade deadline. He was brought over from the Miami Marlins (alongside Anthony Bass) in exchange for infield prospect Jordan Groshans.

In 18 appearances prior to the trade, Pop had been a quietly dominant reliever for Miami. He pitched 20 innings and notced 14 strikeouts and allowed just one home run and two walks along the way.

The Blue Jays had obviously seen enough to insist on his inclusion in the deal, and it's a good thing they did. After the deal, Pop made 17 appearances for Toronto and was nearly unhittable. In 19 innings, he had a 1.89 ERA and 209 ERA+ with 11 strikeouts and just two walks.

Before all of the moves made on Saturday, Pop was projected to begin the season in Triple-A for the Jays. It seems that White's trip to the injured list punched Pop's ticket to join the club in St. Louis for the season opener coming up next week. Notably John Schneider pointed to him and Trevor Richards as potential multi-inning-capable arms in White's absence.

Pop will slot in nicely alongside backend-duo Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson, as well as fellow middle-relief options Yimi García, Anthony Bass, Tim Mayza and Adam Cimber.

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