Cecil, Jeffress make Blue Jays' Opening Day roster
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Relievers Brett Cecil and Jeremy Jeffress were informed on Wednesday morning that they have made the Blue Jays' Opening Day roster.
Cecil and Jeffress entered camp competing for one spot in the bullpen, but the club has opted to start the year with eight relievers now that third baseman Brett Lawrie will begin the season on the disabled list.
Both relievers were informed of Toronto's decision during individual meetings with pitching coach Pete Walker and manager John Gibbons.
"When I was in there and they told me I was on the team, it wasn't a sigh of relief, it just made me want to work that much harder," Cecil said. "To be told that I was on a big league team that's got a good chance to be in the playoffs, a good chance to be in the World Series, is pretty awesome.
"It just pumped me up even more to work harder in my workouts, work harder in my 'pens, and have a lot more conviction during the game, the better to make sure I stay here."
Even though the 25-man roster is set, the competition between Cecil and Jeffress is far from over. When Lawrie returns from a strained right oblique muscle, the Blue Jays are expected to carry only seven relievers.
That likely will result in either Cecil or Jeffress being cut from the team. Both relievers are currently out of options on their contract and cannot be sent to the Minors without first clearing waivers. The battle will continue, but for now the Blue Jays have at least bought themselves some extra time.
"Going in, they could both pitch any time," Gibbons said. "It gives us an extra arm. They get a chance to show us what they can do. You never know how this game works out, but I believe there's some guys who aren't too far off being ready to go, either. Everybody who's in that bullpen has got to be productive."
Even though the 25-man roster has yet to be officially announced, Toronto has decided which players will head north barring any last-minute injuries. In addition to Cecil and Jeffress, the bullpen will include Casey Janssen, Sergio Santos, Darren Oliver, Steve Delabar, Esmil Rogers and Aaron Loup.
The starting rotation features R.A. Dickey, Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and J.A. Happ. Toronto will, at least temporarily, go with a three-man bench that includes utility man Mark DeRosa, outfielder Rajai Davis and veteran catcher Henry Blanco.
The starting nine is set to feature Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, J.P. Arencibia, Colby Rasmus, Emilio Bonifacio and Maicer Izturis.
Janssen remains on target for Opening Day
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Casey Janssen remains on schedule to start the season on the Blue Jays' 25-man roster.
Toronto's closer threw 1 1/3 innings in a Minor League game versus the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon. It's another step in the right direction following a series of minor setbacks on his way back from right-shoulder surgery.
There had been some debate for the past month whether Janssen would be ready Opening Day, but the doubts seem to have been erased and he's on track to head north April 2.
"Early on I didn't think there was [a chance of being ready], and even on the 10th or 12th of March I thought it was going to be a stretch," Janssen said. "Then one day, I just saw a little bit more carry and that was the one day I was like, 'Alright, if this keeps up I have a shot.'
"It started to come back. I started to regain some of the strength, arm speed and most important, the command."
Janssen retired the first three batters he faced on Wednesday, including a pair of three-pitch strikeouts. The side was retired so quickly that the Blue Jays opted to extend the inning to give Janssen some more work.
The 31-year-old reliever then surrendered a pair of back-to-back doubles -- neither of which was very well hit -- before getting another out and having his day come to an end.
Janssen will remain in Florida to throw another side session before making one final spring appearance in a Minor League game on Sunday.
"We have a job to do," Janssen said. "Spring doesn't matter. I'm happy that things are going good but when the lights turn on, what you did this spring, nobody really cares about. It's all about April 2 and beyond.
"We want to win, I want to be a part of the winning, so I'm not taking a deep breath yet until we're flying home at the end of the year."
Right-hander Moscoso claimed by Cubs
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Right-hander Guillermo Moscoso was claimed on waivers by the Cubs Wednesday afternoon.
Moscoso was originally claimed by the Blue Jays earlier this spring.
The 29-year-old appeared in 23 games for the Rockies last season and posted a 3-2 record with a 6.12 ERA. In parts of four Major League seasons, Moscoso has an 11-12 record with a 4.16 ERA in 57 games, including 24 starts.
The Blue Jays now have one vacant spot on their 40-man roster.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.