Your 2008 Toronto Blue Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. – Nice night for a game here at Knology Park, where manager John Gibbons informed us this evening that the Jays had set their roster. No official transactions yet, but reliever Randy Wells and outfielder Buck Coats have won the two vacant spots.

So, barring injury, here is the Opening Day roster:

STARTERS
Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Jesse Litsh

RELIEVERS
Jeremy Accardo, Scott Downs, Brandon League, Jason Frasor, Brian Wolfe, Brian Tallet, Randy Wells

INFIELDERS
Lyle Overbay, Aaron Hill, David Eckstein, Marco Scutato, John McDonald

OUTFIELDERS
Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, Matt Stairs, Shannon Stewart, Buck Coats

CATCHERS
Gregg Zaun, Rod Barajas

DESIGNATED HITTER
Frank Thomas

Scott Rolen and B.J. Ryan figure to open the year on the DL and the lot of reliever who were in the mix for jobs are ticketed for Triple-A. The decision for the final bullpen spot came down to either Wells or Jesse Carlson, according to GM J.P. Ricciardi.

Ricciardi also added that there’s no update on the contract talks with Rios. The Jays have also not yet obtained the proper working visa for Armando Benitez, so he’ll be headed to the Minors to begin the year. Ricciardi aid Benitez has an opt out in his contract that he can exercise on May 1 if he chooses to do so.

Today’s lineups:

CINCINNATI (14-14) at TORONTO (9-16)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Knology Park

REDS
Ryan Freel, CF
Jeff Keppinger, SS
Scott Hatteberg, 1B
Joey Votto, DH
Jolbert Cabrera, LF
Andy Phillips, 3B
Jerry Hairston Jr., RF
Andy Green, 2B
David Ross, C

PITCHING: RHP Aaron Harang

BLUE JAYS
David Eckstein, SS
Shannon Stewart, LF
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Gregg Zaun, C

PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch

*Thanks goes to burgess for pointing out that I didn’t include the DH in today’s lineup for the Jays. And judging by watching Stairs launch homer after homer in BP this evening, he’s doing just fine. Not sure why he hasn’t been in the lineup. Could just be resting "some nagging stuff" like Zaun was this past week

More later…

7 Comments

You forgot the DH in tonights lineup.

Also, is Stairs hurt? I haven’t seen him playing lately.

If you guys are interested in more predictions, check out these http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ys-mlbpredicts032508&prov=yhoo&type=lgns what really surprised me is that the one guy has Dustin Mcgowin down as a “dark horse” for the AL Cy young (especially over Halladay). What didn’t surprise me though is that John Gibbons is listed as one of the most likely managers to get fired first.

Why would the Jays release Reed, and then have Coats on the team? The decision wad made 1 or 2 days before the Rolen injury, but if they waited 2 days they would have both Reed and Stewart.

dawgon: I think even if the Rolen injury had happened earlier, the Jays still would have released Johnson. Why pay a 5th outfielder $3.25 million (Johnson’s pre-release salary)? And what would happen when Rolen came back? They’d just have to release someone then. Either way, Reed’s days in Toronto were all but finished…..

Great to see Litsch out there throwing well. April 5th will be a big test.

Tower- I believe they are skipping Litsch’s start on April 5th, giving him the ball on the Sunday, (April 6th.) On 5 days rest, Halladay will be on the bump. Jordan, please correct me if I am wrong

Looks like one of the most stable rotations that we have had in years!! Other than the 5th spot, I don’t see a lot of turnover happening in our rotation (barring injuries of course!)

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