(UPDATE: Hours before today’s 2015 debut against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Baltimore Orioles added C Ryan Lavarnway to the team’s Opening Day roster and designated reliever Ryan Webb for assignment. The article below has been revised to reflect Lavarnway’s last-minute promotion. — 4/6/2015 @ 5:45pm EST)
By Scott Barancik, Editor

When MLB teams made their 2015 debut today, 11 Jewish players had made the final roster cuts.

They are:

  1. Ryan Braun (LF), Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Craig Breslow (P), Boston Red Sox
  3. Ike Davis (1B), Oakland A’s
  4. Scott Feldman (P), Houston Astros
  5. Sam Fuld (CF), Oakland A’s
  6. Ian Kinsler (2B), Texas Rangers
  7. Ryan Lavarnway (C), Baltimore Orioles
  8. Jason Marquis (P), Cincinnati Reds
  9. Joc Pederson (CF), Los Angeles Dodgers
  10. Kevin Pillar (LF), Toronto Blue Jays
  11. Danny Valencia (3B), Toronto Blue Jays

The best story of all might be that of Jason Marquis, a 36-year-old journeyman who missed all of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery and arrived this Spring as a non-roster invitee with scant hope of staying on through Opening Day. Marquis blew everyone away by going 3-1 with a 2.90 ERA across seven starts, including a near-perfect finale in which he allowed just one baserunner in 5 innings.

Two players — Toronto’s Kevin Pillar and L.A. rookie Joc Pederson, who set the N.L. afire this Spring — made an Opening Day roster for the first time in their careers. Scott Feldman survived Houston’s cut despite going 0-3 with a 6.87 ERA this Spring and being hit for a .346 average. Josh Zeid blew a shot at Detroit’s Opening Day roster by going 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in seven relief apperances this Spring. Nate Freiman might have joined Sam Fuld and Ike Davis on Oakland’s roster but missed all of Spring Training with a back injury. He’s now on the 15-day disabled list.

Baltimore didn’t add Ryan Lavarnway to its 25-man roster until a few hours before today’s season debut against the Tampa Bay Rays.

By comparison, eight Jewish players made Opening Day rosters both in 2014 and 2013, seven in 2012, nine in 2011, and ten in 2010, the year Jewish Baseball News debuted.

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