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.