Toronto

Toronto Blue Jays baseball returns for 2015

The Toronto Blue Jays will kick off the 2015 season with a game against the New York Yankees on Monday.
Sportsnet's Mike Wilner breaks down the Blue Jays' chances in 2015. 4:32

It's all set to begin again.

The Toronto Blue Jays play their first game of the 2015 season on Monday afternoon, as they take on the Yankees in New York.

Drew Hutchison will take the mound for the Jays, after a solid performance during spring training.

Hutchison is one of three members of the starting rotation under the age of 25. The others are Daniel Norris and Aaron Sanchez.

Drew Hutchison, shown above during a game in June of 2014, will take the mound for the Jays' first game of the season on Monday. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Veteran starters Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey are veteran anchors of the five-man rotation.

Filling out the rest of the field are a mix of well-known Blue Jays and some high-profile newcomers.

Sluggers Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion will be part of the opening day lineup, alongside newcomer Josh Donaldson — the team's starting third baseman, who hit 29 home runs last year.

Mike Wilner, a journalist who covers the Blue Jays for Sportsnet, believes the team looks good on paper compared to the other teams in their division.

But how they fare on the field will depend on several factors.

Russell Martin, shown above, is one of the many new faces that joined the Blue Jays during the off-season. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

"The Blue Jays are a very good team, so one hopes that they'll be able to stay healthy, perform up to the way that we expect them to and they'll be really good," Wilner told CBC News Network on Sunday.

Toronto will play three games against the Yankees and another three against the Orioles, before the team has its home opener next week.

The Jays will take on the Tampa Bay Rays for the home opener at the Rogers Centre on April 13. It's too late for anyone looking for tickets to this game, which sold out on the first morning that tickets were offered for it.

The city's baseball fans are hoping the Jays can put together a trip to the post-season this year, breaking the more than two-decade-long playoff drought in Toronto. That's the longest in Major League Baseball.

Wilner said the Jays fell five games short of making the playoffs last year but this year's team should, in theory, be able to bridge that gap.

"Are they a win a month better? They should be at least a win a month better," he said.

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