Canadians in big league spring training

 Canadian Junior National Team alum and Victoria, B.C., native Nick Pivetta is in spring training with the Philadelphia Phillies after a strong rookie season with the club in 2017.

Canadian Junior National Team alum and Victoria, B.C., native Nick Pivetta is in spring training with the Philadelphia Phillies after a strong rookie season with the club in 2017.

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

OTTAWA- Fittingly, Canada’s only Major League Baseball club, the Toronto Blue Jays, feature the highest number of Canadian players in the big league spring training this year with five.

The San Diego Padres are next with three, while the Pittsburgh Pirates boast two after signing former All-Star Michael Saunders (Victoria, B.C.) earlier today. The Pirates can throw in starting pitcher Jameson Taillon who represented Canada at the 2013 World Baseball Classic for good measure.

The Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals and Seattle Mariners all have one Canuck in their major league camp.

The breakdown for Canadians in big league camp sees eight of them part of their respective clubs’ 40-man roster while the remaining 10 are on minor league contracts with invites to the main camp.

In 2017, nine Canadians appeared in the big leagues after five began the season on Opening Day rosters. A modern-day record 26 Canadians appeared in the big leagues in 2011.

Canadians in big league camp:

Toronto Blue Jays

C Russell Martin (Montréal, QC)
OF Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, ON)
RHP John Axford (Port Dover, ON)
RHP Andrew Case (Saint John, NB)
RHP Jordan Romano (Markham, ON)

Atlanta Braves

RHP Mike Soroka (Calgary, AB)

Chicago Cubs

LHP Rob Zastryzny (Edmonton, AB)

Cincinnati Reds

1B Joey Votto (Etobicoke, ON)

Detroit Tigers

OF Jim Adduci (Burnaby, BC)

Milwaukee Brewers

C Dustin Houle (Penticton, BC)

Philadelphia Phillies

RHP Nick Pivetta (Victoria, BC)

Pittsburgh Pirates

OF Michael Saunders (Victoria, BC)
3B Eric Wood (Oshawa, ON)

St. Louis Cardinals

OF Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC)

San Diego Padres

RHP Rowan Wick (North Vancouver, BC)
1B Josh Naylor (Mississauga, ON)
RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, ON)

Seattle Mariners

LHP James Paxton (Ladner, BC)

*Bold indicates player on 40-man roster

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.