The transactions have been made, the jerseys are stitched and the line-up cards are ready to be filled out. Here are the 28 players who comprise the 2022 Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day roster, with one burning question for each player.
#4 George Springer, CF
After playing only 78 games last year, can get to 150? The Blue Jays played at a 99-win pace with him in the lineup.
#5 Santiago Espinal, IF
How far can he push his role as the new Ryan Goins as a glove-first guy who flashed some (likely unsustainable) offensive potential?
#6 Alek Manoah, RHP
Will there be a sophomore slump, or can the former 11th overall pick vault himself to front of the rotation status?
#8 Cavan Biggio, IF/OF
Does the return to second base bring back his offensive production after a bad season on both sides of the ball?
#9 Danny Jansen, C
He’s made remarkable strides as a defender and game-caller, but can he get back the offensive form he flashed in his minor league career?
#11 Bo Bichette, SS
Is a 30/30 season in the cards? In 2021, he hit 29 home runs and stole 25 bases.
#13 Lourdes Gurriel Jr, OF/1B
Was the second half of his season real or a mirage? If he can carry over July-September, he makes a great lineup even more dangerous.
#15 Raimel Tapia, OF
Can he adequately cover centre field when Springer can’t? Has lots of experience there in the minors, but not much at the big league level.
#16 Yusei Kikuchi, LHP
Is he the guy who was an All-Star in the first half of 2021, or the guy who was barely useable in the second half?
#17 Jose Berrios, RHP
Can he handle the pressure of being the ace on a team with World Series aspirations?
#21 Zach Collins, C
“What is it you say you do around here?”
#26 Matt Champan, 3B
Are the lingering effects of his 2020 hip surgery far enough in the rearview mirror to help him regain his old offensive form?
#27 Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 1B
What can he do for an encore now that the production finally matches the hype? A year-long Triple Crown watch is realistic.
#30 Alejandro Kirk, C
With Reese McGuire gone, is his defence good enough to be the primary backup behind Jansen, or to be the starter if Jansen gets hurt?
#33 Trevor Richards, RHP
Will his second full season as a reliever be as successful as the first, or can it be even better?
#34 Kevin Gausman, RHP
Blue Jays fans remember him as a draft bust with the Orioles. Does his return to the A.L. East turn him back into a pumpkin, or was his San Francisco transformation sustainable?
#35 David Phelps, RHP
Did his serious injury zap him of his effectiveness, or can he replicate his small-sample success from early last year?
#37 Teoscar Hernandez, OF
Will we finally stop asking if he’s legitimate after two and a half years of All-Star level productivity?
#48 Ross Stripling, RHP
He settled into a back-of-the-rotation role nicely in the middle of last season, but can he maintain that form as he returns to a bullpen job he commonly held with the Dodgers?
#54 Taylor Saucedo, LHP
An injury to Ryan Borucki has opened the door–will he turn his opportunity into a full-time gig?
#57 Trent Thornton, RHP
Can he be even a little bit useful until Nate Pearson recovers from mono?
#58 Tim Mayza, LHP
After being a pleasant surprise in 2021, can he remain a lights-out setup man?
#67 Julian Merryweather, RHP
Can he stay healthy long enough to be relevant?
#68 Jordan Romano, RHP
After battling injuries in each of the last two seasons, can he shoulder the load as the full-time closer?
#75 Gosuke Katoh, UTIL
On a team full of good vibes, Is he the feel-good story of 2022?
#90 Adam Cimber, RHP
Were the best numbers of his career after becoming a Blue Jay just a product of a fresh start?
#93 Yimi Garcia, RHP
Can he be a reliable next man up to record saves when Romano isn’t available?
#99 Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP
Can he have success if anyone other than Danny Jansen is catching for him?
- LHP Ryan Borucki (hamstring)
- RHP Nate Pearson (mono)