25-Man Roster Projection and Lineup (notes and explanations on the projection can be found following the roster)…

Notes on the 25-man roster projection

  • Lineup: There is still about a 0.1% chance that Gabe Gross will not be part of the RF platoon, so his block is still blue. The only real question now is the lineup and specifically, who will leadoff. Even though BJ Upton hasn’t played yet, Joe Maddon has been using Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and Pat Burrell pretty consistently at 3-4-5 in the spring. And unless you think Upton is going to hit 6th, that means Maddon is leaning towards Upton as the leadoff hitter. If so, does Aki Iwamura replace Jason Bartlett at the bottom of the order as a second leadoff hitter?
  • Bench: Ben Zobrist and Gabe Kapler are still yellow, barely. This should be the four players on the bench the opening week…unless, BJ Upton is on the DL and then Justin Ruggiano will be included here with Kapler and Zobrist platooning in center.
  • Rotation: Mitch Talbot and Carlos Hernandez have both been reassigned to minor league camp, but we never thought they had a real shot anyway. Now all signs point to Jason Hammel as the 5th starter, but for how long?
  • Bullpen: Five spots are a lock now that it looks like Troy Percival is going to be on the opening day roster. That leaves two spots and Joe Nelson and Jeff Niemann have the edge, but there are still several other names in the hunt.




  1. david says:

    i don't know why you all assume that Hammel has the 5th job simply b/c he's pitching this week and Niemann is not. we have 4 starters who HAVE to pitch, meaning there is only 1 other slot available. this week it went to Hammell, next time around the rotation is could go to Niemann. so far no decision has pointed to anything.

    • Elijah's 6th Love Child says:

      You mean other than the fact that Madeon pretty much said yesterday that the job is Hammel's unless something happens

      And other than the fact that both Maddon and Friedude said they prefer Niemann in the pen

      Then yeah, it means nothing

      • david says:

        show me a quote? all i have read from Maddon is that he thinks Niemann could be good out of the pen, but then again we all already knew that. no one else has said anything that wound indicate how they are leaning one way or another.

        • Elijah's 6th Love Child says:

          Is Jason Hammel the 5th starter?

          Maddon: "it’s looking that way and it may turn out that way, but it’s really not finalized"

          It's looking that way sure sounds like they are leaning that way. Circumstantial? Yes. But it is not the only piece of evidence.

          Also Maddon said a decision will be made within a week...Starters are already lined up through Sunday, and the top 4 are all on pace to be on their regular rest for the first week of the season. that means Kaz, Garza and Sonny need to go Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. That means, unless somebody is bumped to a minor league game, the earliest Niemann can get a start is NEXT thursday. Maddon made it sound like he will have a decision before then. And do you really want to go two weeks in between starts for somebody you want in the rotation?

          It is all circumstantial. But it all STRONGLY SUGGESTS Hammel is going to be the 5th starter, so you need to come to grips with it.

    • Boggs Head says:

      If Prof thought a decision had aleady been made Hammel's name wouldn't be in blue

  2. Stephen says:

    There was a post over at the site that shall not be named that showed it makes little difference who they pick considering they are close in ablility and it will only be a handful of starts

    • That is an oversimplification. That's like saying you have to pick between 2 guys with a career obp of .340 for 5 games and just drawing a name out of a hat because "they are basically the same.". Meanwhile they are ignoring all of the factors that can affect a small sample size like matchups, health, who is closer to being in midseason form, etc.

      Over 5-10 starts there can potentially be a huge difference between Hammel and Niemann, more than over an entire season when things tend to even out. And not all of those factors are random

  3. james says:

    Who cares! Price will be up in two month.

    Better subject: 20 wins?

    I got garza at 17, shields and Kaz at 15, Sonny 10 wins

    Suprise Guy- Davis with 8

  4. Tyler says:

    I would love to see Upton bat leadoff when he returns. With his on-base skills and speed, he would be a nice guy to put at the top of the order.

    "Andy Sonnanstine: like a volvo, safe, dependable but won't attract girls."

    That is hilarious.

  5. Scot says:

    Baseball Prospectus has been using Joyce as the primary RF for Rays. With this choice, the Rays were predicted to finish 3rd with 91 wins, 6 games behind the Red Sox. By switching it to the Gabe and Gabe show, Rays now are predicted to still finish third, but at 95 wins, 1 game behind the Red Sox, which is statistically insignificant. (The other situation wasn't.)

    It is going to be an exciting year.

  6. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Prof- any decision on the "Rays Index "Charitable Donation" David Price Pool?"

  7. Dirtbag Fan says:

    Press Release:
    Rays Index has moved to Central Standard Time... I wasn't even made aware that the franchise was moving, I just showed up today and my locker was empty- in fact it was gone! They just left me here in the Eastern Time Zone; all alone.

  8. Steve Gold says:

    I seriously can't believe it. I pray Wayne Rooney is ok for the cup!


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