Wes Parsons has reportedly made the Blue Jays 2024 Opening Day roster

At 31-years old, Wes Parsons has reportedly made an MLB Opening Day roster for the second time in his professional career.

Mar 4, 2024; Dunedin, Florida, USA;  Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Wes Parsons (46) reacts after
Mar 4, 2024; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Wes Parsons (46) reacts after / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

For weeks now, the Toronto Blue Jays have had quite the battle unfolding for the final spot or two in their Opening Day bullpen. Bowden Francis separated himself from the competition by being promoted to the starting rotation, fulfilling his dream of becoming a starter in the big leagues.

Another player whose dreams are coming true is right-hander Wes Parsons. For the second time in his career, the right-hander has made an Opening Day roster, sources tell Jays Journal.

Parsons, much like Jay Jackson last year, is a feel-good story. He is the son of a special operations helicopter pilot and life-long teacher who at one point wasn't sure if baseball was the career path for him. He didn't pick baseball back up until he was a junior in high school, but immediately found his mojo again.

As a member of the Thunder Bay Border Cats, a Canadian wood-bat league, Parsons got the attention of multiple big league organizations and received an offer to join the Atlanta Braves as an undrafted free agent.

After joining the Braves in 2013, Parsons began his ascent to the top. He finally broke into the majors as a relief pitcher in 2018 and functioned exclusively in that role in the big leagues until his Game 162 start last year for the Jays.

The last memory Blue Jays fans have of Parsons is his rough outing to close out the regular season last year. In four innings of work, he surrendered nine runs on 10 hits and walked and struck out three batters each. That outing does not define who he is as a person or as a pitcher, though. It's worth remembering that Parsons was sent out and essentially told to "throw until your arm falls off." Regardless of the score or how things went, he was going to stay out there and eat innings.

Now, the 31-year-old is going to get another shot. He spent the vast majority of last year in Triple-A Buffalo, where he became a well-respected veteran on a pitching staff that needed one. This was his first stint back in the States after a successful run in Korea with the NC Dinos.

In a total of 32 starts for the Dinos, Parsons went 5-10 with a 3.68 ERA. He raised his strikeout numbers, lowered the amount of hits he was allowing and continued to keep the ball in the ballpark. During his time overseas, his family remained in the States. He turned his career around despite everything that was going on at home, another aspect that mirrors Jackson's from last year.

This warranted the attention of the Jays and is why he is still held in high regard by the organization.

In 18 minor league starts last year, Parsons went 9-4 with a 4.55 ERA and over 10 strikeouts per nine innings. Some of his best moments last season include an 11-strikeout performance in just five innings of work against the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Across five spring training outings this season, Parsons has a 4.22 ERA with eight strikeouts and eight walks in just under 11 innings of work. He is going to crack the Blue Jays' roster as a long reliever but has a path to making starts if any further injuries creep up.

Since both Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson are both slated to begin the year on the injured list, the door is wide open for someone like Parsons to take the opportunity and run with it. He has fought to get to where he is now, and his long, winding career path is a prime example of where perseverance can get you.