News & Rumours

Blue Jays Notes On Melvin Upton, Ryan Goins, Ryan Tepera

At the conclusion of the Blue Jays’ first game in Montreal, management still had to decide the final two spots on their 25-man roster. After a strong spring, Aaron Loup had nailed down the sixth spot in the bullpen, and Ezequiel Carrera appears destined to be the bench outfielder. As such, the Jays still had to determine who would win the last spot in the bullpen, and who to keep between Ryan Goins and Melvin Upton Jr. The bullpen situation is now clearer, while the outfield continues to get more complicated.

Ryan Tepera Will (Finally) Make the Opening Day Roster

Ryan Tepera looked destined to make the 2016 Opening Day roster. That was, until the Jays signed Franklin Morales at the last minute. The left-hander forced Tepera back to Buffalo. He ultimately spent the season riding back and forth from Coca-Cola Field to the Rogers Centre.

It looks as though things will turn out better for Tepera this year. Although the right-hander still has options, his 1.80 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over 10.0 innings this spring looks to have convinced management to give him the nod. The organization essentially confirmed this earlier this evening, as Mike Bolsinger was placed on waivers.

With Bolsinger on waivers (which he will hopefully pass through to provide starting depth in Buffalo), the door is open for Tepera. The problem for the bullpen is that they are now without a long-man. Both Tepera and Joe Biagini can provide 1.0+ innings in a pinch, but can’t be expected to do so with any regularity. Nevertheless, in terms of Opening Day decisions, Tepera will finally get his opportunity.

Chris Coghlan Crowds the Outfield

The outfield situation is…. complicated. At one point today, it looked as though the newly-acquired Chris Coghlan would make sense as a platoon partner for Upton. The former can hit righties, while the latter can hit lefties. At best, Coghlan could take over as the full-time left fielder, with Upton as a replacement. This approach would leave both Carrera and Goins exposed to waivers.

However, as Buster Olney reports, the Jays might not bring Upton with them for their trip to Baltimore on Monday:

UPDATE: Jon Heyman has also weighed in:

At first glance, Coghlan should be thought of as the alternative to Upton. But perhaps the Jays are still interested in Angel Pagan, or perhaps in pursuing a trade. It’s important to remember that the Jays only owe Upton $1M this season, so it won’t cost much to unload him. At any rate, the situation in left field is still up in the air. What that means for Goins and Carrera also remains to be seen.

While the Jays have been able to close the door on their bullpen, it seems as though they have opened several new possibilities for the outfield. With less than 24 hours until rosters need to be announced, expect some more news soon.

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