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.
We are half-way through spring training, 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: Spots 1-4 and 8-9 appear to be set. 5-7 are a bit up in the air. This is all dependent on who is named the third baseman. We should start getting a better idea in the next few days.
- Bench: The Rays will need a 4th outfielder. Jon Weber and John Rodriguez are the only real candidates and whomever can handle center will get the edge. Ben Zobrist is a lock…if he is ready to go on opening day. If Evan Longoria is in the lineup, Willy Aybar is on the bench. If Aybar is in the lineup, Joel Guzman or Eric Hinske will be on the bench as a utility player. Elliot Johnson is playing lights out and can handle shotstop, so we see him on the bench of Zobrist is a no-go. The only backup catcher getting a serious look is Shawn Riggans, so we have to assume he is the guy.
- Rotation: Edwin Jackson pooped on the mound last time out. Can he get back to throwing strikes? If yes, 4th spot is his. If not, look for a trade and either Jeff Niemann or JP Howell in the rotation. Andy Sonnanstine finally got a start and looked good in three innings. One more of those and he will be a lock.
- Bullpen: Five spots spoken for. That leaves long reliever that will come from the rotation left-overs and one mop-up role. With no Juan Salas and the career-ending injury to Brian Anderson it now looks like the only challenge to Scott Dohmann is Grant Balfour. Dohmann can breathe easy.