3/2: Blue Jays trot out lineup full of Opening Day starters for Spring Training game

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The Blue Jays just dropped their starting lineup for today’s spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates down at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida.

And it’s official – they’re releasing the death star.

Seriously, just look at this lineup:

For those counting at home, that’s seven former All-Stars in the lineup, and it doesn’t even include last year’s American League All-Star starting catcher Alejandro Kirk, who only reported to spring training this morning after the birth of his first child back home in Mexico.

Further, Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith has reported that in addition to Alek Manoah, the team expects Jordan Romano, Tim Mayza, Nate Pearson, Zach Pop, and Luke Bard to pitch in today’s game.

(Again, if you’re counting, add an eighth All-Star, Romano, to the list.)

All in all, not a bad excuse to hunker down early against the incoming Ontario storm and watch some Blue Jays baseball this afternoon!

Three things to watch for in today’s game:

1. Manoah’s spring debut – Yes, the Big Puma is back! Can he get his next Cy Young campaign started in style?

2. Springer-Bichette-Guerrero – It seems that Blue Jays manager John Schneider has nearly decided on this trio as the go-to 1-2-3 in his lineup. With the ongoing debate over the best possible Blue Jays lineup in 2023, is this arrangement the proverbial golden ticket?

3. Merrifield in left – In the past, Merrifield has expressed his reluctance to play in left field over center or right if he’s not at second base. Indeed, in his seven-year career, he has only made 27 starts in left. Does his position out in left in today’s uber-stacked lineup indicate the Jays intend to use him there more in 2023? And if so, how will he do?

Tune in for all the answers today at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT.

Next. The case for Addison Barger making the Opening Day roster. dark