Blue Jays to retire Halladay's number

 The Toronto Blue Jays will retire long-time ace Roy Halladay's No. 32 on Opening Day. Photo Credit: Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays will retire long-time ace Roy Halladay's No. 32 on Opening Day. Photo Credit: Toronto Blue Jays

By Andrew Hendriks

Canadian Baseball Network

TORONTO - As part of their 2018 Opening Day ceremonies on March 29, the Toronto Blue Jays will formally retire Roy Halladay's No. 32 in advance of their 3:37 p.m. tilt vs. the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre.

Halladay, who retired in 2013, passed away at the age of 40 when his single-passenger airplane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on November 7.

A first-round draft pick of the Blue Jays in 1995, Halladay is the franchise leader in winning percentage (.661), K/9 (6.57) and BB/9 (2.00). Having captured a Cy Young Award after going 22-7 with an ERA of 3.25 through 36 starts in 2003, the Colorado native was selected to six All-Star games during his tenure with Toronto, and led the American League in innings pitched on three separate occasions.

"Through Roy's values, pride, work ethic, and perseverance, he epitomized what it means to be a Blue Jay," team president Mark Shapiro said in a team-issued statement on Monday. "And while his legacy is clear, it goes far beyond the number on his back or his on-field accomplishments, serving as a shining example of how to live a meaningful life and positively impact others."

Halladay's No. 32 will represent only the second Blue Jays number retired by the team, joining Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar (No. 12) who received the honour in 2011.  

Blue Jays sign Breslow

On Monday, the Blue Jays and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow came to terms on a minor league deal that comes with an invite to big league camp this spring.

Breslow, 37, joins Toronto having pitched to an ERA of 3.45 over 570 1/3 innings spread across parts of 12 seasons at the big league level.

In 2017, the 6-foot product of New Haven, Conn. posted a FIP of 4.69 with an inflated WHIP of 1.557 through 37 assignments split between Minnesota and Cleveland.

Although his recent performances have lacked the type of overall consistency that made him a lights-out option out of John Farrell's bullpen when the Red Sox were locking down their last World Series title in 2013, it's worth noting that his sinker remains tough on lefties and helped produce a .214 OBA against left-handed hitters last season.

As it stands today, Breslow should spend the spring competing with Tim Mayza and Matt Dermody for the second lefty spot in the Blue Jays bullpen alongside Aaron Loup.

- Follow Andrew Hendriks on Twitter (@77hendriks)

Andrew Hendriks

Born in southern Ontario during the late 1980's, Hendriks had a front row seat to watch the Blue Jays reach the pinnacle in '92/'93 as a child, an experience that only bolstered this Canadian's love for the "American Game." Having played since before his memory allows access too, his passion for Baseball grew over years of emulating his heroes on the local sandlots, memorizing the backs of chewing gum scented cards and travelling across North America to experience as many aspects of the game as possible. In 2009, Hendriks began volunteering at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as a Weekend Tour Guide. By 2010, he was hired on to help curate for the museum & Instruct the fundamentals of the game along side such legends as Tony Fernandez, Roberto Alomar and Jim Fanning during the Hall's annual Kids On Deck program. Following the 2011 season, Hendriks began blogging and co-hosting a weekly podcast for www.BackInBlue.ca, a Blue Jays themed website ran by fans, for fans. Looking to continue connecting with baseball fans across the country, Hendriks is excited to join such a strong team at the Canadian Baseball Network and looks forward to chipping in.