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Kikuchi is slated to open the season in the Blue Jays' starting rotation, Ben Nicholson-Smith of reports.

Kikuchi enjoyed his best start of the Grapefruit League schedule Thursday against the Twins, striking out nine batters over five scoreless innings. That put him at 25 strikeouts through 18 innings this spring, though he has also issued 10 walks. It's difficult to expect much consistency from the 31-year-old left-hander leading into the 2023 campaign after his rough showing in 2022, which saw him finish with a 5.19 ERA. Mitch White (shoulder) could eventually be an option to unseat him in that No. 5 spot in the rotation.

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