Osuna trying to earn roster spot sooner rather than later

Recovered from Tommy John surgery, prospect eager to make jump from Class A

Osuna trying to earn roster spot sooner rather than later

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Roberto Osuna is finally back to full health, and the Blue Jays' prospect now has his eyes set on trying to crack the big league roster.

The Toronto right-hander missed almost the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned late in the year and made a handful of appearances in the Arizona Fall League to continue his development after more than 12 months away from real games.

Osuna appears to be facing an uphill battle to make the Opening Day 25-man roster, but the Blue Jays have been very open about the fact that he could contribute at some point this season. That could come either in the rotation or the bullpen, but the fact he looks strong in camp can be considered a big positive for the club's overall depth.

"Being here, everyone's got the same chance and the same opportunity, so I hope I can make the team, but nobody knows," said Osuna, who is attending big league camp for the first time in his career. "Nobody knows, and the only thing I know is I'm going to do my best. ... But I have no idea what's going to happen.

"I've learned a lot of things from [R.A.] Dickey, Mark [Buehrle] and [Brett] Cecil. Those guys I try to learn everything from them. It's an awesome experience to be here and play with those guys. It's very exciting and it's a big motivation for us. If I don't make the team I hope to make it later."

Osuna is currently ranked as the Blue Jays' No. 5 prospect by MLB.com, and he arguably has as much upside as anyone in the system. He has the ability to hit the mid-90s on the radar gun with a plus slider and a changeup that's still in the process of being developed.

There's no question that Osuna's best long-term fit will be in the rotation, but the impact he could have this season might be in the bullpen. He joins fellow prospect Miguel Castro as a pair of young arms that the Blue Jays believe could help compensate for a lack of bullpen moves made during the offseason.

Osuna has never pitched above Class A Dunedin, and there's a good chance he'll start 2015 with that team again, but it might not take him very long to move through the system. He might follow the lead of left-hander Daniel Norris, who started last year in Dunedin, but then went through every level and was eventually called up to the big leagues in September.

"I'm glad to be here and stay healthy, pitching in games," said Osuna, who has yet to pitch a full season as a professional. "Good feeling. I've got a lot of time not feeling this, and I feel happy."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.