Left field among 5 storylines at spring camp

Upton, Carrera and Pompey in mix; Toronto 'pen has spots up for grabs

Left field among 5 storylines at spring camp

The Blue Jays begin Spring Training with a roster that is closer to being finalized than most years, but that doesn't mean the camp will be void of interesting storylines.

There are questions surrounding left field and the bullpen. A starting job at first base could be up for grabs. The rotation and the heart of the lineup are firmly in place, but the secondary pieces remain in flux.

Toronto's position players officially reported to Spring Training on Friday and now the real work on answering those questions begins. Here's a closer look at the top five storylines:

The battle for left: Melvin Upton Jr. and Ezequiel Carrera are the early favorites to form a platoon in left, but Dalton Pompey should not be forgotten. The former top prospect has been written off in some circles, but he's still just 24, and an impressive showing could put him back on the radar. Pompey might be the underdog, but the Blue Jays are paying Upton and Carrera a combined $2.1 million this year, so large contracts will not be a factor.

Rounding out the 'pen: Toronto knows it will have Roberto Osuna, Jason Grilli, J.P. Howell and Joe Smith in the bullpen, but everyone else is facing some uncertainty. Joe Biagini, Mat Latos, Mike Bolsinger, Gavin Floyd, Rule 5 Draft pick Glenn Sparkman, Bo Schultz, Aaron Loup, Danny Barnes and several others are part of a lengthy list competing for work. One thing to keep in mind is that Bolsinger, Sparkman and Schultz cannot be optioned and Floyd and Latos are on Minor League deals, which often include opt-out clauses. There are a lot of options here, but not a lot of flexibility.

Gibbons on Latos signing

Starter or reliever: Biagini has a future in Toronto, but his exact role still needs to be sorted out. He's being stretched out as a starter, but manager John Gibbons sounds like a man who would like to have him available out of the bullpen. The problem is Toronto has very little depth in the rotation beyond its starting five, and using Biagini in that role at Triple-A would go a long way in alleviating some of those concerns. It's a tough call, but the guess here is that Biagini heads north as a reliever after last year's success and the Blue Jays take their chances elsewhere.

Figuring out first: Steve Pearce and Justin Smoak likely will split time at first base, but how both players perform this spring could play a role. Smoak is coming off a rough season (.217/.314/.391) and will need to bounce back in a big way to guarantee regular at-bats. Pearce was added primarily to face lefties, but he also has a career .774 OPS compared to Smoak's .700, so the opportunity for more playing time is there.

Leading off: Gibbons won't commit to a batting order just yet, but eventually he'll have to decide on either Devon Travis or Jose Bautista for the top spot. Travis is the clear favorite after he took over the role midway through last season and hit .277 with a .735 OPS.

Bautista arrives at camp with same approach

Bautista discusses motivation

Travis' average was fine but the lack of walks -- 11 in 278 at-bats -- was concerning. That's not an issue for Bautista, who posted a .366 OBP even in a down year. Bautista led off 40 times last season, but the most likely scenario will see him slotted a little further down.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.