A baseball team, in 2023, will be allowed 13 pitchers. By force of circumstance, this means that 13 batters will logically be in each club.
At the Blue Jays, I counted the positional players and at the moment there is a lack of depth within the club. Of the guys from the Majors, there aren’t 13 right now.
Among the launchers, however, it is a different discourse. There are several guys yearning for a spot at the top…but seats are limited.
That’s why some guys sometimes get left behind, like Anthony Kay.
Of the 13 pitchers, there will be five starters. Due to Hyun-Jin Ryu’s injury, Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi will likely form the rotation.
Kikuchi will have to fight for his position, though.
Of the eight reliever positions, several guys are guaranteed to make the club. We are talking here about Jordan Romano, Tim Mayza, Erik Swanson, Adam Cimber, Yimi Garcia, Trevor Richards and Anthony Bass. It’s not a bad base, actually.
There will therefore remain one position, which means that there will be many called, but few elected.
Why? Because Zach Pop, Mitch White, Trent Thornton, Julian Merryweather, Matt Gage and Thomas Hatch are going to want justice too.
At least two of them deserve their place and some names will be cut from the 40-man roster as needed.
Hatch is a candidate to be cut one day.
You will have noticed that I forgot an important name: Nate Pearson. And when I say an important name, I mean less and less important to the success of the club.
Because he’s still injured and can’t get his way, it’s hard to believe the Jays will make room for him early in the season.
Even if he dominates in training camp, I have a feeling that going to AAA to pick up the pace will be the go-to option for a guy like Pearson.
Whoever did well in the winter league (0.75 ERA in 12 innings pitched) must demonstrate that he can dominate the AAA before being recalled.
Is it better to convert to a reliever right now? Possibly, yes. I think he’ll have a better chance of staying healthy that way… and therefore, by force of circumstance, of being recalled.
But I seriously wonder if 2023 won’t be the year the Jays give up. There are people at mass and he takes someone’s place.
On January 1, when his aunts go to wish him well, let’s REALLY wish him well, to fight on equal terms for his position.