Blue Jays announce Jose Berrios as opening day starter

Blue Jays starter Jose Berrios discusses what it means to him that Charlie Montoyo picked him to start opening day, after all his hard work has paid off, is ready to make the fans proud, and wants to help deliver the first win of the season.

Jose Berrios will be the Toronto Blue Jays' opening day starter, the team announced Thursday.

The right-hander will get the ball on April 8 against the Texas Rangers at Rogers Centre.

Kevin Gausman, Hyun Jin Ryu, Alek Manoah and Yusei Kukuchi are scheduled to follow Berrios in the rotation, though inclement weather could change things.

Acquired by the Blue Jays in a deal with the Minnesota Twins before last year's trade deadline, Berrios went 5-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 12 starts with Toronto last season.

The Blue Jays signed Berrios to a seven-year, $131-million extension this past off-season.

It will mark Berrios' third opening-day start -- he got the nod for the Twins in the season openers in 2019 and '20.

Berrios was an AL all-star with Minnesota in 2018 and '19.

Gausman and Kikuchi signed with the Blue Jays as free agents in the off-season.

As the fourth man, Manoah will be scheduled to start the Blue Jays' first road game at Yankee Stadium against the New York Yankees. It will mark a return to where Manoah made his first career start last year en route to a breakout rookie campaign.

Meanwhile, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Thursday's lineup for a spring-training game against the Detroit Tigers is likely what it will look like on opening day.

In other news, Montoyo said closer Jordan Romano is out after suffering a minor ankle sprain while walking his dog. The manager expects Romano to be throwing either a light bullpen or off flat ground in the next couple of days.

Also, right-hander Nate Pearson was scratched from Thursday's game because of illness. He tested negative for COVID-19 earlier in the day.

Finally, outfielder Dexter Fowler met with the media after signing a minor-league deal earlier this week. He said he hasn't faced live pitching since last April when he tore his ACL with the Los Angeles Angels.

Fowler said the Blue Jays told him to get ready on his own pace.

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