Opening Day’s Finally Here!

The Blue Jays are 1 of 6 teams starting their season today and it is the most anticipated Opening Day in Toronto in a LONG time. I know I’ve been pretty much counting the hours and checking the start time several times. I struggled to stay interested in the Exhibition games in Montreal especially when names I didn’t recognize were playing, but what a thrill for those minor leaguers below AAA. I kind of feel like the AAA guys, we’ve seen in Spring Training and they’ve got their eyes set on getting to the big leagues.

The Jays have just signed 30-year-old left-hander Franklin Morales, from our nemesis, the World Series Champion KC Royals, for $2M for a year. This move pushes Ryan Tepera down to AAA. That’s gotta hurt a bit to win your bid to make the bullpen out of Spring Training, then to get sent down on the eve of opening day. Ouch! Despite not being a leftie, he’s done well against them. I suspect this move was made because of the loss of Aaron Loup, the leftie, to the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Mar 25 which means he won’t be back until at least April 9th. But for $2M, is he expected to replace Aaron Loup for the long haul? Let’s see…

2015 Stats                W-L   ERA   WHIP    K      SV
Aaron Loup              2-5    4.46    1.28     46     0   (60 games)
Franklin Morales     4-2    3.18    1.16     41     0   (67 games)

Seems like Morales looks slightly better at least in terms of ERA, and he knows how it feels to win. Morales had signed a minor league deal for 2016 with Milwaukee (I wonder why KC dropped him?) but got released on March 28, then got a big league deal with the Jays on April 2. It’s a pretty common scenario with the Jays isn’t it? They like to give players chances but they’re hesitant to commit to players who are proven. They’re always gambling on that upward trend I guess.

So wait, who gets sent down when Estrada comes off the DL?

Anyway, can’t wait until 4 o’clock!

Blue Jays’ projected Opening Day lineup
Kevin Pillar, CF
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Troy Tulowitzki, SS
Justin Smoak, 1B
Russell Martin, C
Michael Saunders, LF
Ryan Goins, 2B
Marcus Stroman, RHP

Rays’ projected Opening Day lineup
Logan Forsythe, 2B
Logan Morrison, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Corey Dickerson, DH
Desmond Jennings, LF
Brad Miller, SS
Steven Souza Jr., RF
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Hank Conger, C
Chris Archer, RHP

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