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: The only question here is still the biggest question for the opening day roster and all signs point to Evan Longoria in Durham.
- Bench: This has become a jumbled mess because of injuries. Ben Zobrist is the key. If he is healthy, he is the main utility-guy. He is the backup shortstop and backup center fielder that Joe Maddon desires. If he is not ready that should open the door for Elliot Johnson or Jon Weber. Shawn Riggans and Eric Hinske both look like they are in, but a trade or free agent signing could shake that up a little. The final spot is a bigger question mark, but it is starting to look like Joel Guzman person that stands to gain the most by Longoria’s demotion. He has good position flexibility and is out of options.
- Rotation: When the spring started, it was 5 pitchers for 2 spots. Now, after Scott Kazmir’s latest set-back, it looks more like 4 guys for 3 spots. Especially considering recent quotes by Maddon that suggest he prefers JP Howell in the ‘pen. Andy Sonnanstine and Edwin Jackson look like locks although who knows what Jackson will do in his next spring start. So the big question is whether Jeff Niemann’s strong spring gives him the nod over Jason Hammel.
- Bullpen: Top 5 are locked in. We see three arms for the final two spots. JP Howell, Jason Hammel and Scott Dohmann. Interestingly, Howell may have the strongest grip on one of the spots.