Blue Jays’ Schneider, Kirk to play vs. Yankees, Juan Soto makes spring debut

Davis Schneider of the Toronto Blue Jays bats during the sixth inning of a spring training game against the New York Yankees at TD Ballpark on March 18, 2023 in Dunedin, Florida. (George Kubas/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

The Blue Jays will field a lineup of full of prospects and hopeful free-agent signings when they take on the Yankees on Sunday.

Shortstop Ernie Clement, who played 50 games with the big club in 2023, will lead off the batting order, followed by 35-year-old switch-hitting former All-Star Eduardo Escobar.

Returning catcher Alejandro Kirk is a familiar face behind the plate, but will be followed by veteran DH Daniel Vogelbach, who only signed a minor-league deal with the club nine days ago and is hoping to catch on.

The Blue Jays will take on the Yankees with first pitch at 1:05 p.m. ET. Watch the game on Sportsnet or listen on Sportsnet 590 the Fan.

Others set to play are hard-hitting Orelvis Martinez, who manager John Schneider said is focusing on second base after spending most of last year on the left side of the diamond; prospect Addison Barger in right field; Canadian Damiano Palmegiani — whose star is rising quickly — at first, and outfield prospect Steward Berroa in centre.

Smack in the middle of the batting order is one other familiar face: Davis Schneider, aka “Babe” Schneider, so named because he started his MLB career by going 9-for-13 with two homers in his series debut at Fenway Park last August. Schneider went on to hit .276 in 35 games with the Jays after his call-up, while collecting eight homers.

Bowden Francis gets the start on the mound for Toronto and will face a Yankees lineup that includes major leaguers Alex Verdugo, Aaron Judge, and Juan Soto‘s debut with the club. Carlos Rodón gets the start on the mound for New York.

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