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