Rays Roster Update – 3/13
Since we’re in the second of three off days, I thought it was a good time to update the Rays roster situation. A total of 48 players remain in major league camp. That total includes Juan Carlos Oviedo (the former Leo Nunez), who is not pitching this camp as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. It also includes Jose Molina, Fernando Rodney and Ben Zobrist, who are still playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Of the 48 players in camp, 20 are pitchers and 28 are position players. The remaining battles this Spring Training are for the fifth starter’s spot, which is now down to Roberto Hernandez and Jeff Niemann, as well as the remaining bullpen jobs, where Brandon Gomes and Jamey Wright are among the top contenders. Position-player wise, it would appear the best battle is between Jose Lobaton and Chris Gimenez for backup catcher.
To keep David Price on regular rest in advance of the regular-season opener, he pitched today in a minor league game while the rest of the Rays were off. Price threw 60 pitches (45 strikes), and went five innings (his limit was six innings or 75 pitches, whichever came first), allowing four hits, all singles, no runs or walks, while striking out six.
Since we’re less than three weeks from the start of the season, Joe Maddon will continue to observe as he also gives some consideration as to how he builds the batting order. In his Tuesday media scrum, Maddon said he will hone in on that in the final 10 days, but this clip will give you an indication as to what he’s going to have to consider I asked Maddon whether he prefers hitting Zobrist in front of Longoria in the lineup to set him up, or hit behind the Rays third baseman to protect him:
Certainly health will play a factor, and the ability of players like Luke Scott or Matt Joyce to protect Longoria. It should be an interesting final three weeks.
Again, the Rays visit the Orioles in Sarasota on Thursday, and will start Jeff Niemann. Dave Wills (happy birthday Dave!) and Andy Freed will host Countdown to Opening Day on Thursday night with Dave Martinez and Jeremy Hellickson the guests.