By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
The Lansing Lugnuts' roster isn't as star-studded as it was to start 2017 (when they had the Bo and Vlad show in town) but there are some interesting players who are likely to grow throughout the year.
It's tough to project starting pitchers in Lansing since the club might like to piggyback some of the younger ones to build up their arms. My guess as to the starters is Yennsy Diaz (who returns to Lansing), Maverik Buffo, Maximo Castillo, Dany Jimenez and Kyle Weatherly. Zach Logue and Donnie Sellers could also start.
I had expected to see Randy Pondler, Jose Espada and Jose Nunez but it's looking like they're going to be in extended spring training.
This projects to be a group of quality relievers with Brody Rodning, Orlando Pascual, Ty Tice and Graham Spraker. Rodning will be solid from the left side while Tice, Spraker and Pascual all have some nice upside. Turner Larkins and Andy Ravel will round out the pen with a couple of guys who don't end up starting.
Surprises? Probably that there's no Dalton Rodriguez, Jake Fishman or Brayden Bouchey (Vancouver, B.C.). I half expected to see Kelyn Jose but he looked like he was working on several things in spring training that they want him to iron some things out.
Just two catchers are listed on the roster: Matt Morgan and Ridge Smith. There's no one on the DL right now but there could be "phantom DL" guys coming. There are several players who are missing including Michael De La Cruz, Andres Sotillo, Javier Hernandez and Ryan Hissey.
I predicted that Kevin Smith would be the primary shortstop for the Lugnuts and it looks like he will be. Smith will be joined by Kacy Clemens who will likely play first base with Christian Williams also joining him there, Samad Taylor and Cullen Large will split time at second, Kevin Vicuna could play a number of positions.
No mention of either Bryan Lizardo or Will Savage, both of whom I had questions about whether they would crack the full-season roster. Also, David Jacob, who was very strong down the stretch for Lansing is not on the roster.
As I had predicted, Ryan Noda, Chavez Young, Brock Lundquist and Reggie Pruitt are going to be starting their season with the Lansing Lugnuts. Interestingly, Mc Gregory Contreras isn't going to be on the roster and neither is Norberto Obeso or Antony Fuentes (although both could finish the season there).
If you like us here, like us on Facebook!
The 2018 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Visit the Handbook page for more information!