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Toronto Blue Jays start their 2023 season with high expectations and injuries

Blue Jays, , Jays
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Toronto Blue Jays start their 2023 season with high expectations and injuries

Toronto Blue Jays start their 2023 season with high expectations and injuries

The Toronto Blue Jays are set to begin their 2023 season with a tough test against the St. Louis Cardinals. The team has high expectations after missing the playoffs last season and making a few key offseason acquisitions, but they will have to deal with a couple of injuries right out of the gate.

Injury Concerns The Blue Jays announced that two of their pitchers, Hyun Jin Ryu and Tyler White, will start the season on the injured list. Ryu, who is the team's ace, has been dealing with a shoulder issue and is expected to miss a couple of starts. White, a reliever, has a strained hamstring and his return date is uncertain. The team will have to rely on their depth to fill those spots in the rotation and bullpen.

Roster Announced The Blue Jays have announced their 26-man roster for the opening day, which includes some surprises. One of the biggest surprises is the inclusion of Jay Jackson, a third baseman, who was added to the 40-man roster just a few days ago. Jackson, who has been in the minors for most of his career, had a strong spring training and impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a spot on the team.

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Another surprise was the exclusion of Jonathan Davis, an outfielder, who was expected to make the team. The Blue Jays opted to go with a four-man bench instead of five, which meant that Davis was the odd man out. Davis will likely start the season in the minors and be called up if there is an injury or if the team needs an extra outfielder.

Opening Day Preview The Blue Jays will face a tough test in the Cardinals on opening day. The Cardinals have a strong lineup and a solid rotation, which will test the Blue Jays' pitching staff. The Blue Jays will counter with their own strong lineup, which includes some new additions like second baseman Cavan Biggio and outfielder Starling Marte.

One of the key matchups to watch will be the battle between the two aces, Jack Flaherty for the Cardinals and Robbie Ray for the Blue Jays. Flaherty is coming off a strong season where he had a 3.34 ERA and 233 strikeouts in 202 innings. Ray, on the other hand, had a career year last season with a 2.84 ERA and 248 strikeouts in 193.1 innings.

Optimism for the Future Despite the injury concerns, the Blue Jays are optimistic about their chances this season. They have a talented roster and a deep farm system that could provide reinforcements if needed. The team also made some renovations to their ballpark, which will improve the fan experience.

There are also some new MLB rule changes that the Blue Jays could take advantage of, such as the universal designated hitter and the three-batter minimum for pitchers. The universal DH means that the Blue Jays can keep Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the lineup as a hitter instead of having to play him at first base. The three-batter minimum means that managers will have to be more strategic with their pitching changes, which could benefit teams with deep bullpens like the Blue Jays.

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