The 2008 25-man roster prediction is based only on players currently within the organization and will be updated when trades are consummated and free agents are signed.

With Spring Training games underway, let’s update our 25-man roster projections with a couple of changes. We are now also going to include a most-days lineup projection.

Notes on the projection can be found after the roster…


  • Lineup: We now have to assume that Rocco Baldelli is going to start the season on the DL. It is the only way we can keep from going loco. Spot 1-4 and 8-9 appear to be set. 5-7 are a bit up in the air. This could be dependent on who is name the thirdbaseman. We are leaning towards Evan Longoria but that could change tomorrow.
  • Bench: If Jonny Gomes is the right fielder, the Rays will need a 4th outfielder. Justin Ruggiano has received a ton of playing time this spring, so we give him the edge. Ben Zobrist is now a lock. If Evan Longoria is in the lineup, Willy Aybar is on the bench. If Aybar is in the lineup, Joel Guzman likely will make the team. And as usual we have no idea on the backup catcher. It just makes no sense to us that the team would talk all winter about veteran backup catcher to mentor Dioner Navarro, then go and sign two such catchers and yet give the job to Shawn Riggans. Strange.
  • Rotation: Edwin Jackson has been sharp, but he was last year also. Can he keep throwing strikes? If yes, 4th spot is his. Andrew Sonnanstine seems like a lock but he has yet to start a spring game and Jeff Niemann looked solid in last outing.
  • Bullpen: Five spots spoken for. That leaves long reliever that will come from the rotation left-overs and one mop-up role. Scott Dohmann? Brian Anderson? Juan Salas? Grant Balfour? Plenty of options.


  1. Robert Rittner says:

    This has been raised elsewhere. I wonder what your take is on it. Why do you think Sonnanstine has not been given a start and has only pitched the last inning in games, against the minor leaguers?

    Is Maddon planning on using him in the bullpen rather than Hammel or Howell? Are the Rays trying to showcase Hammel or Howell for a trade? Surely if he is in the rotation, Sonnanstine needs to build his arm so he can go at least 7 innings by April. Every other starter but Kazmir has gone multiple innings already.

  2. The Professor says:

    I am little surprised but I am not ready to start worrying...yet.

    My best guess right now is that Sonnanstine is a "what you see is what you get" type of pitcher. In other words, Maddon knows what Sonny is. He knows what he can do what to expect (Howell might be in that same category). On the other hand, Jackson and Hammel and Niemann all have bigger question marks and Maddon wants to see what those guys are bringing to the table.

    Sonny might now have much of an impact on who will be in the rotation. His bar is set. Now it is up to the other pitchers to either pitch above that bar or below it.

    Another factor here is I get a sense that Sonny's mechanics might be a bit more fine-tuned than the others. Some pitchers need the Spring games to find their rhythm. Sonny might be the type of pitcher that is ready to go from the start. in other words, i think Sonny could go out and pitch 7 strong innings tomorrow if he had to.

    Now...if we dont see Sonny get a start by next weekend (half way through spring) then we might be looking at Andrew the Reliever.

  3. Robert Rittner says:

    I suppose those might explain it, but I cannot think of any starting pitcher who did not build his strength by starting with one or two innings and adding one or two every outing. It's not just mechanics, but stamina.

    Also, it seems to me that Sonnanstine needs even more fine tuning than most starters. A pitcher like Kazmir might be able to get along with just stuff, blowing his fastball past batters if he can't get the feel of is other pitchers. But Sonnanstine seems to need more repetitions to get all his stuff together.

    I am not so much worried as wondering.

  4. Robert Rittner says:

    Apparently, Sonnanstine is scheduled to start Wednesday's game, according to Lancaster. No word on why he has not started to date, but it is a good sign that he is getting to pitch the first part of a game against more regulars. I wonder how many innings he will be allowed to pitch.


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