Nine Canucks on opening day rosters

Defending National League batting champion Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC) headlines a list of nine Canadians on opening-day rosters

Defending National League batting champion Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC) headlines a list of nine Canadians on opening-day rosters

Baseball Canada

OTTAWA – The 2015 Major League Baseball season officially opened with nine Canadians on opening day rosters.

Michael Saunders (Victoria, BC) of the Toronto Blue Jays along with Milwaukee Brewers reliever Jim Henderson (Calgary, Alta.) will open the season on the disabled list.

In 2014, 10 Canadians appeared on Opening Day rosters and 16 in total played at least one MLB game during the regular season.

A modern-day record 26 Canadians appeared in the big leagues in 2011.

Canada’s only Major League Baseball franchise, the Blue Jays, have three Canadians on their roster, while the Colorado Rockies have two. The Brewers, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds each have one Canadian on their roster.

The Jays added two Canadians to fold during the off-season, inking free agent catcher Russell Martin (Montréal, Que.) to a five-year contract, while swinging a deal with the Seattle Mariners to acquire outfielder Michael Saunders. Saunders suffered a torn meniscus early in spring training that required surgery, but is hopeful for a return to the lineup this month.

Although two Canadians joined the Blue Jays in the offseason, one Canadian is no longer with the club as Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC) was dealt to the Oakland Athletics in November.

In addition to Lawrie, Martin and Saunders, relief pitcher John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.) will join a new club as he signed a free agent deal with the Colorado Rockies joining fellow-Canadian Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC), the defending National League batting champion, in the Mile-High City.

New to the list of Canadians on opening day rosters this season is 2010 Junior National Team player Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) who won the starting centerfield job with the Toronto Blue Jays in spring training. Pompey made his MLB debut last season as a September call-up and played in 17 games.

Rounding out the list of Canadians on opening day rosters is 2010 National League MVP Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) of the Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners left-hander James Paxton (Ladner, BC).

2015 MLB Canadians
(*Disabled List)

AL East
Toronto Blue Jays – C Russell Martin (Montréal, Que.)
Toronto Blue Jays – OF Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.)
*Toronto Blue Jays – OF Michael Saunders (Victoria, BC)

AL West
Oakland Athletics – 3B Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC)
Seattle Mariners – LHP James Paxton (Ladner, BC)

NL Central
Cincinnati Reds – 1B Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.)
*Milwaukee Brewers – RHP Jim Henderson (Calgary, Alta.)

NL West
Colorado Rockies – 1B Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC)
Colorado Rockies – RHP John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.)

Comment

Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.