Jays are pitching-rich

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:54 PM ET

DUNEDIN — The numbers tell the tale in the battle for bullpen jobs in this Blue Jay camp.

The team will likely carry seven relief pitchers into the regular season. Five men — Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco, Jason Frasor and Shawn Camp — are all but certain to break with the team. That leaves two spots and as many as 10 candidates.

“This is going to be a hotly-contested spot on our club,” said manager John Farrell. “In those last two spots you want somebody who can match up against lefties and somebody with multiple-inning capabilities.”

That group of candidates includes Carlos Villanueva, Josh Roenicke, David Purcey, Casey Janssen, Jesse Carlson, Chad Cordero, Rommie Lewis and perhaps Jo-Jo Reyes or Marc Rzepczynski, who both have eyes on a starting job. The residue of this competition will be either bullpen depth readily available at triple-A or potential trade bait.

“Honestly, because of the depth and because of the talent, I wouldn’t be surprised if Alex (Anthopoulos) gets approached (about trades) sometime in camp,” said Farrell. “That’s not to say there are any discussions currently. But when you have the number of pitchers we have in camp who have had success at the big-league level, I’m sure we’ll have a number of people watching closely what’s going on here.”


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