Toronto Blue Jays Player News: Last 24 hours, All Positions

News: Sparkman is in the hunt for a long-relief role on the team's Opening Day roster, SB Nation reports.
Impact: There's a laundry list of right-handers vying for a few slots, but Sparkman's situation is unique. If the team decides to keep the Rule 5 addition, then Sparkman will need to remain on the roster all season or be waived. Toronto's Rule 5 pick from a year ago, Joe Biagini, turned into a gem, so the club may feel like rolling the dice again with its latest selection. The 24-year-old Sparkman has a career 2.68 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and an impressive 9.5 K/9 over 238 innings as a minor-leaguer.
News: Tulowitzki will get some rest and sit out the first week of Grapefruit League games, Mike Nabors of reports.
Impact: On Wednesday, Jays' manager John Gibbons confirmed the decision to delay Tulowitzki's spring start to keep the 11-year veteran from being overworked early in the campaign. It's no secret that the five-time All-Star shortstop has an extensive history of injuries and DL stints, so easing Tulowitzki's workload this spring makes perfect sense. With the extended Grapefruit League schedule this year (due to the World Baseball Classic), Tulowitzki should still see plenty of at-bats to be running on all cylinders by Opening Day.
News: Upton feels his struggles in recent years have made him "mentally stronger" and well-prepared to win the starting job in left field, Mike Nabors of reports.
Impact: In the past three years, Upton has changed his name, changed uniforms three times and late last year jumped back into an American League lineup for the first time since playing for the Rays in 2012. The 12-year veteran feels he's benefited from the roller-coaster ride. "Having some pretty good highs and feeling the lowest of lows kind of put things into perspective and has [helped me] stay even keel," Upton said. "It makes you continue to work and makes you mentally stronger." His competition in left field includes journeyman Ezequiel Carrera, former top prospect Dalton Pompey and the newly acquired Steve Pearce. Upton wasn't given a boost of confidence last week when his general manager, Ross Atkins, stated that the Jays' best lineup would include Pearce as the starting left fielder. Upton's 2017 fantasy value hinges on what type of role he'll play. He may be subjected to the short side of a platoon.