Mariners, Blue Jays set rosters ahead of wild card series

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 6 - Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Luis Castillo (21) warms up as the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners practice on the eve of their American League Wild Card series at Rogers Centre in Toronto. October 6, 2022. (Ste

The Toronto Blue Jays are carrying 13 pitchers and 13 position players on their roster for the wild-card series against the Seattle Mariners, including former Seattle All-Star left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, who lost his spot in the rotation this season.

The Mariners will carry 12 pitchers and 14 position players for the best-of-three series, which begins in Toronto on Friday afternoon. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. EDT.

Infielder Santiago Espinal made Toronto’s roster despite not playing since Sept. 21 because of a strained left oblique, but outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. did not. Gurriel has not played since Sept. 7 because of a strained left hamstring.

Interim Blue Jays manager John Schneider said Gurriel was healthy enough to hit but wouldn’t have been able to run the bases.

"It was tough with Guri because he’s a big part of what we do and who we are," Schneider said. "The hope is you keep playing and he would most likely be ready for a longer five-game series in Houston."

Both teams will have three catchers, including Blue Jays regulars Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk. Toronto’s third catcher, rookie Gabriel Moreno, also played infield and outfield during the regular-season finale at Baltimore earlier this week.

Manoah, Blue Jays vs Castillo, Mariners in playoff opener

There’s a whole lot riding on Alek Manoah’s first career playoff start, but the Toronto Blue Jays All-Star right-hander isn’t the least bit fazed about facing the Seattle Mariners in Friday’s wild-card opener.

Seattle’s three catchers are Cal Raleigh, Curt Casali and Luis Torrens.

The Blue Jays have six infielders and four outfielders, including George Springer, who was MVP of the 2017 World Series with Houston, and Jackie Bradley Jr., who was MVP of the 2018 ALCS for Boston.

Kikuchi’s inclusion meant the Blue Jays did not have space for speedy outfielder Bradley Zimmer.

Toronto has four starting pitchers, including Game 1 starter Alek Manoah, plus righties Kevin Gausman, José Berríos and Ross Stripling.

Seattle’s starting pitchers include right-hander Luis Castillo, who’ll start Game 1, as well as left-hander Robbie Ray, the Game 2 starter, and righty Logan Gilbert, the projected Game 3 starter.