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Blue Jays News

Exhibitions roster, injury updates and more

@KeeganMatheson
July 20, 2020

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays announced the 38 players who will be travelling to Boston for their exhibition games on Tuesday and Wednesday, along with plans for who will be pitching in each game. Here is the full list, with non-roster invitees marked as NRI. Those players would need to

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays announced the 38 players who will be travelling to Boston for their exhibition games on Tuesday and Wednesday, along with plans for who will be pitching in each game.

Here is the full list, with non-roster invitees marked as NRI. Those players would need to be added to the 40-man roster if they crack the Opening Day roster.

Pitchers: Chase Anderson, Anthony Bass, Ryan Borucki, A.J. Cole (NRI), Rafael Dolis, Sam Gaviglio, Ken Giles, Thomas Hatch, Anthony Kay, Justin Miller (NRI), Brian Moran (NRI), Thomas Pannone, Nate Pearson (NRI), Sean Reid-Foley, Tanner Roark, Jordan Romano, Hyun Jin Ryu, Matt Shoemaker, Trent Thornton, Jacob Waguespack and Shun Yamaguchi

Catchers: Danny Jansen, Caleb Joseph (NRI) and Reese McGuire

Infielders: Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Santiago Espinal, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Joe Panik, Travis Shaw, Rubén Tejada (NRI) and Rowdy Tellez

Outfielders: Anthony Alford, Derek Fisher, Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernández and Billy McKinney

Game 1 pitchers: Pearson, Borucki, Romano, Giles, Bass and Dolis
Game 2 pitchers: Thornton, Yamaguchi, Pannone, Reid-Foley, Miller, Moran, Cole and Hatch

Beyond these names, infielder Brandon Drury (10-day injured list) will meet the Blue Jays in Florida when they travel south for Opening Day on Friday against the Rays. Manager Charlie Montoyo will use an optional workout on Thursday's off-day to see how Drury feels and decide their plan from there.

Wilmer Font (10-day IL) is also not expected to join the Blue Jays in Boston. Montoyo says that he may need to throw a bit more to build up, but he added that he’s another player who he’ll need to see before making a decision on.

The biggest competition remaining is that for the fifth spot in the rotation. The issue of service time makes it unclear just how involved Pearson is in that competition for the first trip through the rotation, but he’s the club’s top option. Borucki and Kay are also expected to be part of the conversation, while both could also fill a bulk bullpen role at some point, too.

Player feedback on search for new 'home'
As the Blue Jays work through their options for a 2020 home, including an openness from the Pirates to share PNC Park, general manager Ross Atkins and the front office are also hearing feedback from their players regarding what they need and prioritize individually.

“It’s been great to go through it with the players because everyone is taking a step back and realizing the bigger picture, realizing that we are in a pandemic,” Atkins said. “There hasn’t been a need to remind someone that everyone’s in a challenging situation.”

Players also approach this from different angles. A rookie who’s accustomed to the Minor League lifestyle might view these options differently than a veteran who has been around the Majors for a while, but Atkins has been encouraged by the cohesive approach his players have taken. For better or worse, the only way this season will be a success for the Blue Jays is if they rally around this challenge instead of pointing to it as a disadvantage.

“The most interesting thing is that the veteran is recognizing the rookie’s desires, and the rookie is recognizing the veteran’s desires and interests,” Atkins said. “They’re talking about it in such an open way and so solution-focused.”

Injury updates
• Anderson (oblique strain) threw from 120 feet Monday and will throw a bullpen session on Wednesday in Boston.
Julian Merryweather (oblique) played long toss, and his timeline is TBD.
• Gurriel (left side discomfort) “felt really good today" doing soft toss and hitting off a tee, according to Montoyo.

Up next
Toronto fans have been dreaming of seeing top prospect Pearson on the mound, and they'll get their first look on Tuesday at Fenway Park. Pearson will pitch the first exhibition game, and while it’s still unclear if he’ll crack the Opening Day roster or need to wait for the second trip through the rotation to join it, he’ll be must-see TV when he finally arrives in the big leagues. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen live on MLB.TV.

Keegan Matheson is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter @KeeganMatheson.