Yesterday, the Rays demoted two relievers, Rob Delaney and Cory Wade. And today, seven more position players were reassigned, including Casey Kotchman, Felipe Lopez, Joe Inglett, Chris Carter, Ray Olmedo, Craig Albernaz and Justin Ruggiano.

[Update] The Rays have also reassigned Jose Lobaton.

SEE THE UPDATED OPENING DAY ROSTER AT THE END OF THIS POST

These moves confirm what we have expected for a while…

  • John Jaso must be fine with Jose Lobaton being cut.
  • With Kotchman being demoted, Dan Johnson will be the first baseman.
  • Elliot Johnson will be the Rays backup middle infielder and utility player now that Felipe Lopez has been reassigned.
  • Sam Fuld will indeed be the fourth outfielder.
  • Juan Cruz and Jake McGee will be in the bullpen and Cesar Ramos is likely to get the finally spot unless the Rays make a trade this week.

We will have to wait and see if Kotchman or Lopez received promotion promises. That is, the Rays may have promised to release either or both players if they are not in the big leagues by a certain date.

The Rays spring roster is now at 28 players, meaning three moves remain.

  • JP Howell to the DL.
  • Rule 5 pickup Cesar Cabral will most likely either be traded or returned to the Red Sox unless Andrew Friedman can come up with a sneaky way to circumvent the Rule 5 restrictions.
  • Jose Lobaton will eventually be reassigned to minor league camp unless John Jaso needs to start the season on the DL. Jaso did play in a minor league game yesterday.
  • Juan Cruz still needs to be officially added to the 40-man roster.

Here is what the Rays opening day roster will look like barring any trades or injuries in the next six days. You can also see the updated spring roster at The Cork-Board (which is always found in the sidebar)…

Notes on the roster

  • The only question surrounding the most-days lineup is whether Dan Johnson starts at 1B against lefties, or if Joe Maddon is comfortable enough to throw Ben Zobrist out there right away. If Maddon is, look for Matt Joyce in right field.
  • Cesar Ramos is the only question mark in the bullpen because the Rays could still make a trade this week for another reliever.

 

 
 

11 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Now Lobaton is gone. Howell will probably hit the DL soon, like today. I wonder if we are trying to trade Cabrel or just gonna waive him, no way he makes the team.

  2. Don says:

    Johnson& Johnson add the two old guys plus david Price…How long till FRI?
    IF maddon plays DJ at 1st MOST(90%) days….HE will fight it out with Manny as HR leader..LET Zo. play RF or 2nd which ever player fails…..

  3. Rome says:

    With the exception of DanJo, I like the roster. Bascially I can see EJo and Fuld being placed on waivers come may unless they come out crisp from the start. Fuld has been playing better of yet and, let’s be honest, there isn’t a better outfield option as of right now. I guess Ruggiano will hit the waiver wire.

    DanJo will get a fair shot but, come May, I can see Kotchman and Lopez moving in replacing the Johnson boys.

    So, as a late inning sub, Damon will come out and be replace by who? Zobrist moving from second to Left putting SRod at 2nd?

    • Justin H says:

      Ruggiano already hit the waiver wire when the Rays signed Manny and Damon. They optioned Ruggiano and Anderson down to AAA and they both cleared waivers. And Fuld can be a defensive replacement, or either Joyce or Zobrist can come in which ever isn’t playing. And why is everyone hating EJo he already has the franchise record for steals in spring training with 11. He’ll do what Maddon needs, be versatile and steal bases.

    • Derek says:

      There’s nobody to replace Damon, because you’ve placed the defensive sub on waivers, all because he wasn’t producing at the plate. Solid move, Friedman.

      Dan Johnson doesn’t need a fair shot, or better yet, had his shot last year. There is a reason Kotchman is going to AAA, let’s hope he stays there.

      • Justin H says:

        Who is the defensive replacement that was placed on waivers? They still have Fuld, Joyce, and Zobrist that would all be above average left fielders. I don’t see how this is a problem for them when the season starts.

      • Indiana Rays Boy says:

        Damon will play mostly in LF in 2011 until Desmond Jennings develops in AAA and tears it up for the LF of the future. Elliot Johnson is Elliot Johnson on the bench wear he belongs. I am fine with Fuld as a scrappy 4th outfielder. Kotchman has a great glove at first base but he can’t hit worth a lick.

        • Derek says:

          This is all that I was talking about.

          “Bascially I can see EJo and Fuld being placed on waivers come may unless they come out crisp from the start”

          There is no reason to place late inning subs on waivers.

  4. John S says:

    Goodness.. Russell has been horrible…

    If they can find someone, they should cut him… If he wasn’t involved in the Bartlett trade, he would have been cut already.

    • Joe says:

      They really don’t like risking any talent, which personally, I think he will show plenty of when it counts. Russell is out of options and was going to make the team no matter how he did. They could of DL’d the guy, maybe see what they have in Delaney.

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