Toronto Blue Jays 25 Man Roster Challenge

When considering this answer I took the approach that I was the GM for a day.  I really can't say this is what I want to see as a fan on Opening Day and I hope we make another move before then for an established outfielder.  That would allow Bautista to slide into the fourth OF spot / utility role and bump Gathright down to AAA.  But I had to go with what we have got right now and disregard the fact that there are still players available on the open market and via trade that could help us win games.

When selecting my 25 Man Roster, I chose the line up that allows us to keep the most assets in house.  So as much as I wanted to take guys like Cecil or Rzepczynski as my four and five starters in the rotation, because they have options left, I feel they will end up in Vegas to start the year.  That said, one of those two guys will be the first call up if anyone succumbs to injury or ineffectiveness in the big leagues early on in the season.

So please keep that in mind when viewing my picks for the 25 Man Roster.  This combination allows us to keep the most players under team control to start 2010.  And from what I can gather about the new GM in town, he is all about that.

Position Players (13)

Starting Line Up:
Jose Bautista
Aaron Hill
Adam Lind
Vernon Wells
Lyle Overbay
Edwin Encarncion
Travis Snider
John Buck
Alex Gonzalez 

Raul Chavez
Jose Molina
John McDonald
Joey Gathright
Randy Ruiz

Pitchers (12)

Starting Rotation:
Ricky Romero
Shaun Marcum
Brandon Morrow
Dana Eveland
Brian Tallet

Kevin Gregg
Scott Downs
Jason Frasor
Jesse Carlson
Shawn Camp
Merkin Valdez 
Zechry Zinicola

Dustin McGowan opens the year on the 15 day DL.  I think he may need more innings than what we are going to be able to give him in camp to rebuild his arm stamina.
Dirk Hayhurst and Jesse Litsch to the 60 day DL.  Dirk is coming off recent throwing shoulder surgery and Jesse had major elbow surgery in June last year.
Sean Henn gets Designated For Assignment.  A victim of the numbers game.

The following guys are out of options:
  • Henn 
  • Downs
  • Valdez
  • Camp
  • Eveland
  • McGowan
  • Tallet

I like Eveland and Wolverine in the 4 and 5 slots of the starting rotation.  Not necessarily because they are the best pitchers, it's more because there will be some off days in April that will allow for the occasional skipping of a starter.  You have to think they will stretch Wolverine's arm out in camp to be a starter and then send him to the pen whenever McGowan is ready to go.

I think they keep ZZ the Rule 5 guy to start the season and go from there with him.  I'm sure Boy Wonder can remember the name Randy Wells.  Also he hired Dana Brown, former director of amateur scouting for the Washington Nationals, about two months before selecting ZZ from them in the draft.  You gotta figure Brown knows something about him that we don't.

Joey GathrightMLB.263.327.30363044511751773093071968029962120.000.070.400.220.18
Jeremy ReedMLB.255.312.35766946212221403126712111071921981860.020.150.300.230.04

Definitely the hardest pick I had to make on the offensive side.  Both hit left handed and can play all fields including a decent center field. Based on the data available for defensive comparison I concluded they are essentially equal with the glove.  The only real difference between the two is speed.  Gathright is one of the fastest people in baseball and provides a weapon off the bench we have not had in years.  Reed does have a clause in his contract that allows him to walk if he is not on the 25 man roster by a certain date in the 2010 season.  But he starts the year in AAA.

I think Randy Ruiz comes into camp and continues to knock the cover off the ball.  He gets the last spot as a backup first basemen / DH.  He would be the first bat off the bench if The Cito ever actually considering pinch hitting for anyone.

Our AAA Pitching Staff is going to be stacked:

Brett Cecil
Mark Rzepczynski
Zach Stewart
Brad Mills
David Purcey

Jeremy Accardo
Casey Janssen
Josh Roenicke

We may have to start Robert Ray and Scott Richmond off slow.  They both had throwing shoulder issues this offseason.

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