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Travis' health altering OD roster predictions

Goins could secure infield spot if second baseman starts season on DL
MLB.com @gregorMLB

The Blue Jays are almost halfway through Spring Training, so now seems like a perfect time to revisit the 25-man roster predictions for Opening Day.

MLB.com projected the roster at the start of camp but there have been a few changes since then. Josh Donaldson got hurt, Devon Travis' rehab went slower than expected and Toronto signed veteran right-hander Mat Latos as a potential reliever and backup starter.

The Blue Jays are almost halfway through Spring Training, so now seems like a perfect time to revisit the 25-man roster predictions for Opening Day.

MLB.com projected the roster at the start of camp but there have been a few changes since then. Josh Donaldson got hurt, Devon Travis' rehab went slower than expected and Toronto signed veteran right-hander Mat Latos as a potential reliever and backup starter.

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With those things in mind, the 25-man roster predictions have been revised with just over three weeks remaining until Opening Day:

Catcher (2): Russell Martin and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

What changed? Nothing. Saltalamacchia is on a Minor League deal, but he essentially has a guaranteed job as the backup catcher. Juan Graterol and prospect Reese McGuire provide depth, but it will be a pair of big league veterans who get the bulk of the time this season.

Video: TOR@PHI: Salty crushes a solo homer to right-center

Infielders (7): Justin Smoak, Steve Pearce, Darwin Barney, Ryan Goins, Troy Tulowitzki, Donaldson and Kendrys Morales.

What changed? Travis' health. Travis has yet to appear in a game this spring following offseason knee surgery, and now there are questions about whether he'll be ready for Opening Day. There is still time to avoid a stint on the disabled list, but Travis has to turn a corner soon, and that's why he has been left off this Opening Day projection. Travis' injury opens the door for Goins to make the team as a utility infielder. Goins is out of options on his contract and was initially expected to be designated for assignment at the end of camp, but Travis' health could change all of that.

Video: TOR@MIN: Goins drives in Heidt with single

Outfielders (4): Jose Bautista, Kevin Pillar, Melvin Upton Jr. and Ezequiel Carrera.

What changed? The roster prediction remains the same as it was at the start of camp, but some further clarity has been provided in recent weeks. Manager John Gibbons hinted that the club will use a platoon of Carrera and Upton in left, which means Dalton Pompey is likely destined for the Minors. There is still time for that plan to change, but Pompey appears to be facing an uphill battle to make the team. Pearce is another option here, but he will also be used at first base.

Starting rotation (5): Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Marcus Stroman and Francisco Liriano.

What changed? Nothing at all. Toronto has taken a cautious approach with its starters this spring, but barring something unexpected, all of them will be ready to go for Opening Day. Sanchez will be the last member of the rotation to make his spring debut when he takes the mound on Saturday, and from there the staff will have three weeks to get ready. The rotation is supposed to be Toronto's biggest strength, and the real priority here is keeping everyone healthy for the start of the season.

Video: TB@TOR: Stroman fans three over 2 2/3 innings

Bullpen (7): Roberto Osuna, Jason Grilli, J.P. Howell, Joe Smith, Joe Biagini, Aaron Loup and Latos.

What changed? The bullpen is still in a state of flux. Osuna, Grilli, Howell, Smith and Biagini all appear to have their jobs locked up, but some questions remain about the final two spots. Gibbons recently expressed a desire to start the year with a second lefty, which could be an indication that Loup will make the roster. If he does, that leaves one spot for a long list of candidates.

Video: PHI@TOR: Osuna fans two in scoreless inning vs. Phils

Mike Bolsinger and Bo Schultz are out of options, while Gavin Floyd and Latos are on Minor League deals. The Blue Jays might be forced to pick between one of these four, and if they lose some of the others, it will have a negative impact on the club's depth. This race could belong to anyone, but for now the best guess is for Latos to make the team as a long reliever despite a rough outing earlier this week.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays