Here's what the Blue Jays' Opening Day lineup looks like after latest moves
The Toronto Blue Jays are betting big on themselves come 2023.
Bringing in three new position players into their everyday lineup, Toronto opted for a fairly massive roster overhaul after a disappointing end to the 2022 season that saw them crash out of the playoffs with a Wild Card series sweep loss against the Seattle Mariners.
While names like Alek Manoah, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alejandro Kirk still headline Toronto’s core, there are several new acquisitions to familiarize yourself with.
Most notably, Toronto revamped 2/3 of their everyday outfielders, trading for Daulton Varsho and signing Kevin Kiermaier while departing with Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Here’s a look at how Toronto could line up when their season begins on March 30 against the St. Louis Cardinals:
The Blue Jays will no doubt experiment with a series of options when it comes to their lineup this season.
George Springer looks set for a move to right field after the acquisition of Kevin Kiermaier, while manager John Schneider has his work cut out for him in figuring out the best lineup combinations available.
The top four spots seem pretty set in stone as long as everyone’s healthy, with plenty of tinkering to be expected in the bottom half of the batting order over the first few months of the season.
Another interesting roster battle to watch will be the starting second baseman role, with all of Cavan Biggio, Whit Merrifield, and incumbent Santiago Espinal able to play the position.
No real surprises here, although there are a few new names. Chris Bassitt, a former New York Met, signed a three-year deal with the Blue Jays last month worth $63 million and projects to be the team’s No. 4 starter.
Thompson, who was acquired this week in a trade from Pittsburgh, will likely be battling it out with names like Mitch White and Yusei Kikuchi for the fifth-start spot. Meanwhile, Toronto is hoping for a resurgent season from Jose Berrios, who struggled to a 5.23 ERA in 2022.
The Jays’ highest-paid pitcher, Hyun Jin Ryu, is aiming for a July return after missing much of 2022 with an elbow injury.
Toronto’s bullpen remains largely unchanged from last season, save for Erik Swanson, acquired from Seattle in the Teoscar Hernandez trade.
There’s bound to be a roster spot or two won or lost come spring training, but there’s a strong group of veterans returning to run it back with the Blue Jays, headlined by star closer Jordan Romano.
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