Every week until opening day, Sportsnet’s Mike Wilner will take his best guess as to what the Toronto Blue Jays 25-man roster will look like when the season opens April 3. Here’s the fourth of five weekly thoughts on who Mike thinks will be heading north:
Things continue to be fluid as spring training moves into the final two weeks, with the good news outweighing the bad for the Blue Jays.
Josh Donaldson made his first appearance in a Grapefruit League game on Monday and declared himself fit. Devon Travis played four innings at second base in a minor-league game and is scheduled to make his Grapefruit debut by the end of the week.
There’s no question that Donaldson is going to be able to answer the bell on opening day, unless something else happens to him, and it now appears as though Travis will, too, so I’ve removed him from the disabled list as far as this guess goes.
But as Travis comes off the DL, Ezequiel Carrera goes on it. Carrera and Darwin Barney collided in the outfield on a bloop by the Twins’ Quintin Berry on Monday and Carrera had to be helped off the field.
The Blue Jays informed us that Carrera has a contusion on his right quadriceps muscle which, while certainly not dire, could absolutely see him out of action for a week or so. With opening day two weeks away and the new 10-day disabled list a factor, my guess is that Zeke starts the season on the disabled list, which allows the Jays to keep Ryan Goins as a super-utility guy who can back up in both the infield and the outfield where needed.
Melvin Upton Jr., has a sore shoulder which has kept him out of action the last couple of days, so he could be a candidate for the disabled list, too. Upton says the problem is not a big one, so for now it’s Carrera on the DL and Upton active, though they may switch spots later on.
Goins, being out of options, would otherwise be lost either on waivers or through trade.
Steve Pearce will be out in the outfield sometime this week, so the thinking is he’ll be able to be the left fielder on opening day.
In the bullpen, I’m continuing to stick with Bo Schultz as the seventh man, though Mat Latos was terrific on Saturday and Mike Bolsinger pitched very well against the Pirates on Sunday. That’s the position most subject to change, for sure, but for now I still think Schultz’s arm is too good to risk losing on waivers. Latos is on a minor-league deal and has said he’d accept an assignment to Buffalo if it came to that.
Pitchers (12 active, 1 DL)
Glenn Sparkman (disabled list)
Outfielders (4 active, 1 DL)
Ezequiel Carrera (disabled list)
Melvin Upton Jr.