Blue Jays roster and schedule
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Toronto Blue Jays roster and schedule for 2020 season

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The 2020 MLB season is now a 60-game dash, starting on July 23 and ending, hopefully, with a full-size postseason in October. Between now and the start of the season, we’ll be giving quick capsule previews of each team, reminding you of where things stood back in Spring Training and where they stand now as we embark on what is sure to be the strangest season in baseball history. Next up: The Toronto Blue Jays roster and schedule:

BLUE JAYS ROSTER (projected) 

When the season opens on July 23-24, teams can sport rosters of up to 30 players, with a minimum of 25. Two weeks later, rosters must be reduced to 28 and then, two weeks after that, they must be reduced to 26. Teams will be permitted to add a 27th player for doubleheaders.

In light of that, there is a great degree of latitude for which specific players will break summer camp. For now, though, here are who we expect to be on the Blue Jays roster to begin the season:

Catchers

Danny Jansen
Reese McGuire

Infielders:

Travis Shaw
Cavan Biggio
Bo Bichette
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Joe Panik
Brandon Drury
Rowdy Tellez

Outfielders

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Teoscar Hernández
Randal Grichuk
Derek Fisher
Anthony Alford

Starters

Hyun-Jin Ryu
Tanner Roark
Matt Shoemaker
Chase Anderson
Shun Yamaguchi
Trent Thornton
Ryan Borucki
Anthony Kay
Nate Pearson

Relievers

Anthony Bass
Wilmer Font
Sam Gaviglio
Rafael Dolis
Ken Giles
Jordan Romano
Thomas Pannone


BREAKDOWN:

Time to see how that excellent core of young position players is developing. Bichette, Biggio, Gurriel, and Guerrero are all another year older and are ready to establish themselves. It may be too much to ask all of them to do so — they’re still pretty green — but a coordinated breakout for these guys could radically alter the AL East race. For Guerrero’s part, he’ll now be a first baseman and a DH rather than struggling as a third baseman, so that should help. Beyond the core, Shaw and Panik are new faces who could play nice complementary roles.

The rotation, in contrast, is pretty radically different after the offseason acquisitions of Ryu, Roark and Anderson. As is the case all over Major League Baseball these days, of course, there will be a lot of fluidity in the staff, with the short season making roles even less certain for a lot of the pitchers listed above. Borucki, Kay, Sean Reid-Foley, and Pearson will all likely see action, either as starters or long men after openers, or in some other role. There’s decent pitching depth on the club, even if there are ceilings on a lot of the pitchers.

The Jays lost 95 last year, so don’t necessarily expect miracles. But they’re a club definitely ready to turn the corner and the short season might make that easier. There’s definitely some excitement surrounding them. They should be fun to watch.

BLUE JAYS SCHEDULE:

Every team will play 60 games. Teams will be playing 40 games against their own division rivals and 20 interleague games against the corresponding geographic division from the other league. Six of the 20 interleague games will be “rivalry” games.

Blue Jays home stands — though we’re not exactly sure where “home” will be yet given the different rules for people traveling into Canada — will be July 29-August 2 (Nationals, Phillies), August 11-16 (Marlins, Rays), August 25-21 (Red Sox, Orioles), September 7-13 (Yankees, Mets), September 21-27 (Yankees, Orioles).

The entire Blue Jays roster and schedule can be seen here.

Cardinals beat Brewers, both clinch postseason berths

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ST. LOUIS (AP) Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee, and the Brewers also earned a playoff spot Sunday via help on the West Coast moments later.

St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a coronavirus outbreak in the clubhouse.

“You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs.”

The Brewers (29-31) locked up the eighth seed and a third consecutive postseason berth after the Padres beat San Francisco 5-4 in a game that ended about 15 minutes after St. Louis’ victory. The Giants finished with an identical record as the Brewers but lost out on a tiebreaker due to an inferior intradivision record.

“It’s fitting for 2020 and everything we went through,” Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich said. “It felt just as good as past years. This year’s a unique one. There’s so many challenges we had to go through on a daily basis behind the scenes, things you don’t deal with in a normal year.”

Milwaukee will face the top-seeded Dodgers in Los Angeles in a three-game series that also starts Wednesday.

The Brewers haven’t had a winning record at any point this season. Milwaukee and Houston will be the first teams ever to qualify for the playoffs with a losing mark.

“It’s a celebration,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re in the playoffs. That’s how you see it. There’s no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs.”

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber allowed one run, one hit and two walks and struck out three over four innings.

Giovanny Gallegos (2-0), Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes combined to pitch the final five innings. Reyes got his first save.

“We’d have been happy getting in as the eight seed,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We’d have been happy being the one seed, but people can say we got in if there was no expanded playoffs so that’s even another feather in this group’s cap.”

Brett Anderson (4-4) surrendered a triple to Bader and a walk to Tyler O'Neill to start the third inning before departing with a blister on his left index finger. Anderson opened the season on the injured list with a blister on the same finger and did not make his debut until Aug. 3.

Freddy Peralta replaced him a day after being activated from the paternity list, and O’Neill promptly stole second. Kolten Wong then hit a line drive off Peralta’s leg that Peralta threw into right field to score Bader and O’Neill.

Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong each added RBI singles to push the St. Louis lead to 4-0.

After Milwaukee scored in the top of the fifth, Bader hit his fifth home run of the season.

“That was a big counterpunch,” Shildt said of Bader. “Got them on their heels again.”

THREE TIMES THE FUN

Yadier Molina grounded into a triple play in the eighth inning when he hit a one hop grounder to Jace Peterson at third base in the eighth inning. It was Milwaukee’s first triple play since Sept. 23, 2016, when Cincinnati’s Joey Votto lined out to first base. Molina was also the last Cardinals player to hit into a triple play when he grounded out to third base at Boston on Aug. 15, 2017.

TRAINING ROOM

Brewers: Counsell said it was too early to prognosticate Anderson’s status after departing with the blister.

Cardinals: St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced that RHP Dakota Hudson will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Monday. Hudson went 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts before leaving his start on Sept. 17 at Pittsburgh with right elbow discomfort after two innings.

UP NEXT

Brewers: The Brewers head to Los Angeles and will likely be without two of their top starters in Anderson and Corbin Burnes, who sustained a left oblique injury on Thursday.

Cardinals: This will be the fourth postseason series between St. Louis and San Diego, who faced each other in 1996, 2005, and 2006 in the Division Series.