By: Jay Blue
Blue Jays From Away
The Dunedin Blue Jays have several names on their 2017 tentative Opening Day roster with which fans should get familiar if they aren’t already. While the list of Top-10 prospects is short, there are several players who are projected to have some helium as the season gets under way.
Ryan Borucki heads the list of starting pitchers for the Dunedin Blue Jays. Borucki acquitted himself very well in spring training and looks to return to Dunedin this year with a new outlook. Last year’s first-round draft pick, T.J. Zeuch will also be in the rotation after just a few starts in Lansing last year.
Joining them in the rotation are likely to be Canadian Jordan Romano (who pitched for Team Italy in the WBC) and lefty Angel Perdomo while Josh DeGraaf, Justin Shafer and Conor Fisk are candidates for the last spot in the rotation.
I had expected Jon Harris and Francisco Rios to anchor this rotation but they got the nod to head to New Hampshire.
Adonys Cardona returns to the bullpen along with Dusty Isaacs, Kender Villegas and Tom Robson. Robson looked good in spring training (from the reports I got) while Isaacs has also looked good. Justin Shafer will also likely be in the bullpen with Josh DeGraaf and Conor Fisk (one of whom will be in the rotation) as multi-inning candidates. Ryan Cook also earned a spot in the Dunedin bullpen. Jon Wandling is listed on the DL.
I thought several other pitchers would be in Dunedin including Andrew Case and Daniel Lietz (who will be in Lansing), Starlyn Suriel (who was released) and Geno Encina (whom I haven’t seen listed anywhere).
Dunedin has a plethora of potential catchers with Danny Jansen (as I predicted) likely to get the lion’s share of playing time at the beginning of the season. Max Pentecost is also listed as a catcher although I don’t think he’s going to be ready to play defensively at the beginning of the season and Mike Reeves will probably be the backup.
I had originally thought that Jansen and Ryan Hissey would do the catching but Hissey will not start in Dunedin and Justin Atkinson, whom I also thought would be in Dunedin, was released.
Things get interesting on the infield where Lourdes Gurriel will anchor the infield defence. Cavan Biggio is expected to play second base while I would see Juan Kelly at first base and Matthew Dean at third. John La Prise, a second baseman, may be hard up to find playing time while Andrew Guillotte is listed as an infielder and has been playing second base after spending his season last year in the outfield. J.C. Cardenas is also listed on the roster.
Biggio is the biggest surprise as I thought he’d be manning the keystone position in Lansing. I also thought that Carl Wise would make the jump to Dunedin but with the presence of Matt Dean (whom I thought would be in New Hampshire), there wouldn’t be enough playing time for him in Dunedin.
In the outfield, we’ll see Derrick Loveless return to Dunedin yet again while D.J. Davis will try to turn around a poor season last year. Toronto native Connor Panas got the promotion to Dunedin after a strong year in Lansing last year and Lane Thomas also got a promotion. Expect Andrew Guillotte to get some outfield time as well.
Josh Almonte is the outfielder I predicted who was left off the roster and I commented that Lane Thomas was a possible surprise inclusion.
Let us know what you think of the Opening Day Dunedin Blue Jays roster in the comments!