‘They believe they can win’

DUNEDIN, Fla. – When the Toronto Blue Jays players arrived on the final morning of spring training on Tuesday, there was a lot going on. They’re coming home for the long haul this time – not just for summer camp or a few months. Equipment trucks are now fully loaded with the baseball gear and personal belongings needed to get the Blue Jays in the upcoming season.

After a brief but successful spring training, the Blue Jays will return to Toronto with one of the most talented rosters of baseball. Not only do these players hope to reach the playoffs, they believe they can do harm if they get there. October is still a long way off, of course, but at least they have emerged from healthy spring – more than they could say this time last year.

“It’s No. 1. But I like the strength of this group,” Montoya said. “They believe they can win. You don’t teach it. They have it. I think that’s why I feel good about this club. That is their mentality. “

While the Blue Jays opening day roster doesn’t have to be officially set until Thursday afternoon, a few questions have now been answered. A day after Gosuke became acquainted with Katoh, he formed a bench, and Trent Thornton, Taylor Sosedo, and Julian Marioweider were all told that they would be offered a job at Blue Jess’s Bullpen.

Meanwhile, Ryan Boruki will be cast in a simulated game on Tuesday, but a tight hamstring means he is suspicious for the opener. A fight with mononucleosis could sideline Net Pearson for a long time, with no clear timeline for hard-throwing right-handers.

“We are certainly hoping for a quick recovery, but usually it takes some time,” Montoya said.

That could change if Boruki is ready for the opener, but as the Blue Jays wrap up their Grapefruit League schedule with a 2-1 win over the Orioles, their opening day list will look like this:

Early (5)
RHP Jose Berrios
RHP Kevin Gaussman
LHP Hyun-Jean Ryu
RHP Alec Manoah
LHP USE Kikuchi

Relivers (10)
RHP Jordan Romano
RHP Emmy Garcia
LHP Team Mayja
RHP Trevor Richards
RHP Adam Simber
RHP David Phelps
RHP juice stripping
RHP Trent Thornton
RHP Julian Marioweider
LHP Taylor Sosedo

Position Player (13)
C. Danny Janssen
C. Alejandro Kirk
C. Jack Collins
1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
2B Cavan Bigio
2B Santiago Espinal
3B Matt Chapman
SS Bow Beach
LF Lord’s Guerrilla Jr.
CF George Springer
RF Theoskar Hernandez
Reimel Tapia
Util Gosuke Katoh

Technically speaking, it would be more accurate to classify Stripling as a starter, as he has stretched to pitch five or six innings if necessary and could start early for the Blue Jays, when they play 30 games in the first 31 days. Whatever the season, he and Thornton provide multi-inning relief options for Montoya if the Blue Jays have to cover the innings.

With the spring training now complete, the real work for the Blue Jays begins. There is no reward for having a committed roster on April 5, or for the good vibes that exist all spring around this team.

Once Jose Berrios throws the first pitch of the season on Friday night, a whole new question will arise for the Blue Jays. Among them: Can Vladimir Guerrero Jr. replicate his MVP-caliber season? How will Santiago Espinal and Cavan Biggio manage the second in the absence of Marcus Semien? Will George Springer be healthy? What are the realistic expectations for Matt Chapman’s bat? Will Yusuke Kikuchi rebound from his poor finish in 2021? Is the Blue Jess too weak for elite right-handed reliever? Do they have enough power on the bench?

All are legitimate questions, and there are many more. As the season unfolds, unimaginable challenges will surely emerge, examining the depth of this list and its ability to adapt to the front office flies. But as a starting point, you can’t ask for more. And with the Blue Jays heading north to open the season in Toronto for the first time in three years, they are excited for what lies ahead.

“It would be great,” Montoya said. “Everyone is looking forward to it. Are you getting benefits from the beginning in the home field? That would be great. And it would be great for fans to see them in person instead of watching on TV. “

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