By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
Sportsnet's Shi Davidi let slip the roster for the 2018 Dunedin Blue Jays and there are just a few surprises there for us to explore.
The Blue Jays had already let slip that Nate Pearson would be a Dunedin Blue Jay to start the season. He'll be joined in the rotation by Patrick Murphy and T.J. Zeuch, both of whom are returning to Dunedin. Since the tweet from Davidi doesn't break down the pitchers into starters and relievers, I am going to deduce that Justin Dillon will be one of the other starters while Josh DeGraaf, Juliandry Higuera and Tayler Saucedo could all be used to fill the other spot.
For me, the big surprise is Zeuch. He looked outstanding in spring training and I thought that he'd be handed a New Hampshire assignment. I also thought we might see Denis Diaz in Dunedin and the pair of Andy Ravel and Mike Ellenbest are also not on the roster list.
Justin Maese, as expected, is on the DL. Angel Perdomo isn't on the roster and is also rehabbing an injury so he should begin in extended spring training and could very well join the D-Jays before the month is out.
The biggest surprise for me on the Dunedin Blue Jays is Jackson McClelland. The big righty probably won't be back in Dunedin long but he'll get his start there. Joining McClelland in a return to Dunedin are Nick Hartman, Tayler Saucedo, Connor Eller and Kirby Snead. William Ouellette and Travis Bergen move up from Vancouver.
In a bit of a surprise for me, catcher Riley Adams moves up from Vancouver while minor league Rule 5 selection Alberto Mineo joins him.
This is a completely different catching tandem than I would have expected to see. I had Ryan Hissey with the possibility of Ridge Smith, Javier Hernandez and/or Andres Sotillo in Dunedin and so the competition for a spot in Lansing is now even more fierce.
On the infield, we'll have minor league Rule 5 selection Ivan Castillo joining Yeltsin Gudino, Bradley Jones, Nash Knight, John La Prise (who's finally healthy) and Logan Warmoth.
My prediction of Warmoth on the infield for Dunedin was correct and I also had Jones, Gudino, La Prise and Knight. I didn't expect Castillo there but, for some reason, he was absent my spreadsheet, so I probably just overlooked him.
I expected to see Christian Williams manning first base which means that I think Brad Jones and/or Nash Knight will get the bulk of the time at first base with La Prise playing second and Jones/Knight/Castillo playing third. Gudino will likely share duties on the middle infield.
In the outfield, we'll have D.J. Davis returning to Dunedin for the third year in a row. He'll be joined by Rodrigo Orozco, Joshua Palacios and Eduard Pinto with Bryan Hudson on the DL. I thought Davis might get a chance in double-A but the other four I had in my prediction.
The one player whom I thought might be either on the Dunedin or New Hampshire roster is Jake Thomas. I don't see him on either which is leading me to believe that he's either injured or has been released.
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