Maybe the most important stat during Spring Training is playing time. The positions that a player plays, the amount of playing time the players receive and when that playing time is logged, gives us some insight into what Joe Maddon is thinking as we head towards the regular season.
Below is a look at all the playing time that has been logged by the Rays during the first four games of Spring Training. We will update this list every few days.
Playing time is broken down to the early innings (1-5) and the later innings (6+). This is important because playing time early in the game means the player is more likely to face big league competition. And if JoeMa thinks a player is ready for the big league roster, or if Maddon wants to see if a player is ready, that player will see more playing time early (our notes on the table can be found below)…
Notes on the table…
- Robinson Chirinos has logged a lot of innings so far (12) but only two of those innings have come early. So thoughts of Chirinos competing for a big league job or forcing the Rays to trade Kelly Shoppach may be premature.
- There is a good chance that Dan Johnson and Casey Kotchman are fighting for one roster spot. And right now it looks like they are going to get equal looks early in the game.
- Felipe Lopez is getting a lot of innings early, but most are at third base. Joe Inglett is getting more at 2B, and Elliot Johnson has received very little playing time so far. Is Johnson now on the outside looking in since the signings of Lopez and Inglett? Or is Maddon just giving Inglett an early look before moving back to Johnson? If the latter, that is a dangerous game to play with a player without much big league experience.
- Not surprisingly, Sam Fuld looks like the fourth outfielder. But interestingly, Brandon Guyer is getting a long look.
- Most relievers have only made one appearance so we can’t draw any conclusions yet. Still, we were a little surprised that Jake McGee’s first appearance came against minor leaguers late in the game, while 11 other relievers have seen time in the first 5 innings of a game.