The positions that a player plays in spring training, 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.
Here are the updated numbers after two weeks.
Playing time is broken down into total innings played in the early innings (1-5) and the later innings (6+). This is important because if Maddon 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)…
- Players in grey are on the 40-man roster. These are the players that are most likely to be on the opening day roster. Players in white are players on minor league contracts with an invite to spring training. Maybe one or two of these players will make the opening day roster. Players in cross-shading are minor leaguers that have already been cut or were brought over from minor league camp to help fill out a game roster. This happens most often on split-squad days and travel days. These players have no shot to be on the opening day roster.
- In the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation, the innings all look comparable at this point. However, there is other evidence that Erik Bedard will be the fifth starter barring a set-back.
- In the bullpen, the name to keep an eye on appears to be Mark Lowe. With Juan Carlos Oviedo just now arriving in camp, the Rays could turn to Lowe if Oviedo is not ready on opening day.
- Ali Solis is the only other catcher receiving significant playing time early in game. It appears he will be the third catcher and will be the first guy up from Durham when an extra catcher is needed.
- Logan Forsythe is going to be this team’s super-utility player this year. It will also be interesting to see how many positions Ben Zobrist will play this year other than second base. At this point, it would not be surprising if second base is the only position Zobrist starts at this season, possibly playing other spots late in games.
- Not a big surprise, but it looks like the Rays will indeed carry five outfielders as it looks like Brandon Guyer will make the team. He is getting a ton of playing time at all three outfield spots, especially the corner outfield spots early in games. That hurts the chances of guys like Jerry Sands, Wilson Betemit, and Jayson Nix who may have to go down to Durham for a while.