By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
The Buffalo Bisons, who normally have a roster cobbled together with some minor league and major league veterans, are going younger and more home grown than I've ever seen it with their 2018 tentative Opening Day roster.
The starting rotation for the Buffalo Bisons was a little more in flux in spring than it might have been. Word is that we'll have Joe Biagini with Ryan Borucki, Deck McGuire, Taylor Guerrieri and Sam Gaviglio in the rotation.
Obviously, we were expecting Thomas Pannone to be in the rotation but he'll be on the restricted list to start the season after getting an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug.
Out of the pen, we're going to see a very interesting group with a lot of big league experience. Al Alburquerque starts there (although he likely has an opt out) while Tim Mayza, Chris Rowley, Luis Santos, Chad Girodo, Matt Dermody, Sam Moll, and Carlos Ramirez all have big league experience.
Optimistically, I had expected to see Andrew Case (Saint John, N.B.) and Justin Shafer in Buffalo.
Rhiner Cruz and Jake Petricka start on the DL.
The most notable omission for the Bisons (and for all of the other teams) is Murphy Smith who doesn't seem to be listed on the roster.
As expected, Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire are going to share the catching duties in Buffalo. I had thought that Patrick Cantwell might be on the roster to be a third catcher but it looks like there is an extra infielder roster spot that could possibly be used for these purposes.
Rowdy Tellez returns to play first base while Tim Lopes is expected to play second and Danny Espinosa (who has an opt-out at the end of the month, Shi Davidi tells us) will play short. Jason Leblebijian will return to Buffalo along with Jon Berti.
Surprisingly, Richard Urena starts on the DL. As mentioned before, there is an extra infield spot marked "TBA" and it could go to someone like Emilio Guerrero who hasn't been mentioned on any roster yet.
Going into the season, we thought that the outfield would be the Bisons' strength but injuries to Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) have diluted that strength somewhat. Still, Teoscar Hernandez, Dwight Smith Jr. and Roemon Fields are all on the roster with Ian Parmley listed as the club's fourth outfielder, as expected.
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