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Blue Jays reveal Wild Card roster ahead of series against Twins


The Toronto Blue Jays announced their roster for the Wild Card series against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday; the only regular-season mainstay omitted was catcher Danny Jansen, who continues to recover from a broken finger. 

The lineup stays the same as expected, with Alejandro Kirk the starter at catcher and Tyler Heineman his backup.

The infield is comprised of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio as options for first base, Whit Merrifield, Santiago Espinal and late-season call-up Davis Schneider likely options for second base, Bo Bichette the primary shortstop and Matt Chapman at third base.  

Toronto Blue Jays playoff roster - infielders

Player Position Regular-season starts
Alejandro Kirk  97 
Tyler Heineman  13 
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  1B  154 
Cavan Biggio  1B/2B/OF  78 
Santiago Espinal  2B/SS/3B  60 
Whit Merrifield  2B/OF  137 
Davis Schneider  2B/3B/OF  32 
Bo Bichette  SS  134 
Matt Chapman  3B  139 

The outfield consists of the three regulars throughout the season: Daulton Varsho in left field, Kevin Kiermaier in centre, and George Springer in right. Cam Eden, who was a late-season call-up and stole 57 bases in the minor leagues this year, will serve as the fourth outfielder and primary pinch runner.

Toronto Blue Jays playoff roster - outfielders

Player Position Games started
Daulton Varsho  LF/CF  141 
Kevin Kiermaier  CF  111 
George Springer  RF/CF  148 
Cam Eden  OF 

The final hitter the Jays will roster is lefty Brandon Belt, who made 69 of his 97 starts this season as the designated hitter. He can play first base, but the Blue Jays prefer to use Gold Glover Guerrero Jr. in that spot as often as possible. 

Toronto will feature the four rotation starters on the roster and a nine-man bullpen. Hyun-Jin Ryu joined the rotation in July after recovering from Tommy John surgery, but there is no need to carry five starting pitchers for a three-game series. 

Staff ace Kevin Gausman will take the mound in game one, and Jose Berrios will pitch against his former team in game two. 

Gausman, 32, led the American League with 237 strikeouts this season, and finished with a sparkling 3.16 earned runs average. “You like your chances against anybody really in the league with him,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.

Toronto Blue Jays playoff roster - starting pitchers

Player Games started Regular-season ERA
Kevin Gausman  31  3.16 
Jose Berrios  32  3.65 
Chris Bassitt  33  3.60 
Yusei Kikuchi  32  3.86 

The bullpen is headlined by closer Jordan Romano, who made his second-consecutive All-Star game this summer and finished the season with 36 saves - good for second in the AL. 

Jordan Hicks and Genesis Cabrera have both made a positive impact on the bullpen since they were acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in two separate deals in July. 

Toronto Blue Jays playoff roster - bullpen pitchers

Player Appearances Regular-season ERA
Jordan Romano  59  2.90 
Erik Swanson  69  2.97 
Yimi Garcia  73  4.09 
Tim Mayza  69  1.52 
Trevor Richards  56  4.95 
Jordan Hicks  65  3.29 
Genesis Cabrera  61  4.04 
Chad Green  12  5.25 

The Blue Jays open their matchup with the Twins on Tuesday afternoon at 4:07pm ET / 1:07pm PT.