Opening Day is upon us! Let’s look at the rosters for the AL East.
NEW YORK YANKEES
The starting rotation for the Yankees was discussed last week: Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Jameson Taillon, and Nestor Cortes Jr. The first three will face the Boston Red Sox this weekend. The bullpen will consist of Clarke Schmidt, JP Sears, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Clay Holmes, Michael King, Jonathan Loaisiga, Lucas Luetge, Wandy Peralta, Miguel Castro (acquired from a trade with the Mets), and Ron Marinaccio.
The outfield will most likely have Joey Gallo at left, Aaron Hicks at center field, and Aaron Judge at right. Giancarlo Stanton will most likely be the DH. The infield will have a combination of Anthony Rizzo at first, Gleyber Torres at second, Isaiah Kiner-Falefa at short, and Josh Donalson at third. DJ LeMahieu could be in the mix on the Opening Day lineup. Marwin Gonzalez and Jose Trevino will be the backups on the roster.
How the lineup will look is up to whether LeMahieu is in it or not. That would require either Rizzo, Torres, or Donaldson to sit out. It can possibly cause Hicks to sit out with Stanton playing right field, Judge at cetner field, and LeMahieu the DH for Opening Day.
Next stop: The BX ✈️ pic.twitter.com/OpRFz4Cg88
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) April 5, 2022
BOSTON RED SOX
The starting rotation for the Red Sox, for now, will be Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, Michael Wacha, and Rich Hill. Eovaldi will face Cole on the mound again since the Wild Card game last year. The bullpen for the Sox includes Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Kutter Crawford, Hirokazu Sawamura, Matt Stram, Jake Diekman, and Garrett Whitlock.
Their lineup for Opening Day will look something like Kike Hernandez leading off and playing centerfield, Rafael Devers playing third base, Xander Bogaerts at short, J.D. Martinez as the DH, Alex Verdugo in left field, Trevor Story at second, Bobby Dalbec at first, Jackie Bradley Jr in right field, and Christian Vazquez doing the catching.
Kevin Plawecki will be the backup catcher but don’t be surprised if he is named the Opening Day catcher with Eovaldi on the mound. Travis Shaw could be the backup first basemen. Christian Arroyo and Jonathan Arauz will also be backups.
When there is a lefty on the mound, like there will be on Sunday with Montgomery, Story can move up to the number 2 spot in the lineup with Martinez playing the outfield, which will have Bradley Jr sitting.
TAMPA BAY RAYS
The starting rotation will have Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, Corey Kluber, Luis Patino, and Ryan Yarbrough. We know the Rays love openers so don’t be surprised to see one or two of the starters as openers. Their bullpen will include Josh Fleming, Andres Kittredge, J.P. Feyereisen, JT Chargois, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, Matt Wisler, Jalen Beeks, Pete Fairbanks, and Jason Adam.
Their lineup will include Mike Zunino, Ji-Man Choi, Yandy Diaz, Wander Franco, Randy Arozarena, Kevin Keirmaier, and Manuel Margot. Taylor Walls, Brandon Lowe, Josh Lowe, Luke Raley, Harold Ramirez, and Brett Phillips can also be in the mix.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Their starting rotation will be Hyun Jin Ryu, Jose Berrios, Yusei Kikuchi, Kevin Gausman, and Alek Manoah. Not in that order.
The lineup will include George Springer in center field, Bo Bichette as short, Vladmire Guerrero Jr at first base, Teoscar Hernandez, Lourdes Gurriel Jr in left field, Matt Chapman at third, Santiago Espinal and Danny Jansen as the catcher. Alejandro Kirk will be the backup catcher. Ramiel Tapia can be a backup outfielder if Hernandez isn’t the DH.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 6, 2022
Their Opening Day starter will be John Means. Jordan Lyles and Tyler Wells will pitch somewhere after.
Their lineup will include Trey Mancini, Robinson Chirinos, Ryan Mountcastle, Rougned Odor, Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, and DJ Stewart. Kelvin Gutierrez, Ramon Urias, Jorge Mateo, Ryan McKenna, and Tyler Nevin can also be in the mix.
OPENING DAY MATCHUPS
The Yankees and Red Sox face each other for the first time since the Wild Card where both Opening Day starters last faced each other. Gerrit Cole and Nathan Eovaldi.
The Orioles and Rays will face each other. John Means and Shane McClanahan will pitch for their respective teams.
The Blue Jays start the season at home against the Rangers. Jose Berrios will take the mound for the Jays.
ONE LAST NOTE
The most significant advantage of the AL East will go to the Blue Jays at the moment. Due to Canada’s vaccination rule, no player unvaccinated will be allowed to travel into Canada. This can greatly affect the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees during the few series each team has in Canada. It will be interesting to see how that works out. New York City athletes are allowed to play in NYC even if unvaccinated so this will help a reported couple of Yankee players still not vaccinated. The remaining 9 games in Canada will be a problem. The Blue Jays have their entire active roster vaccinated.