With the addition of Carlos Pena, the Rays 25-man roster is now nearly set, barring any trades. And really, we don’t see a lot of jobs up for grabs in spring training.

Let’s take a look…

A few notes on this projection

  • Barring a trade, the 13 positions spots seem set to us. Can you make a case for Elliot Johnson? Or maybe you think Robinson Chirinos has a shot to beat out Jose Lobaton for the second catcher’s position? Seem like long shots to us.
  • The only question we see with the hitters is determining who will play shortstop. Our belief is that, unless there is a bat that is clearly superior on an everyday basis, Reid Brignac will be the shortstop versus righties. His wOBA was 100 points higher in 2010 than in 2011 and he will be given a shot to get back to that level. Against lefties, we see Jeff Keppinger at shortstop and Sean Rodriguez at second base. But you could easily flip-flop their positions.
  • We put question marks next to Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann because we feel the recent signings (Carlos Pena, Luke Scott) tell us the Rays are going for it in 2012. That means James Shields is not going anywhere and if somebody is moved to make room for Matt Moore it will be The Giraffe or Big Dub. The Rays could send Davis to the minors, but that seems unlikely.
  • Josh Lueke and Burke Badenhop have the best shots at crashing the bullpen party. But it might take a monster spring training to beat out Cesar Ramos or Jake McGee.


  1. Joe says:

    Badenhop has 0 options and we just gave him over a million....btw I hate that Rodney signing more and more!

    I also don't think you will see Keppinger ever playing SS, thats a Reid/Sean platoon with Keppinger taking over the Elliot back up role.

  2. Alex says:

    Jake McGee is going to make the team. I think Ramos or a JP Howell DL stint may be in order because the Rays aren't just going to let Badenhop go

    • Drew says:

      Seconded. If Howell looks anything but great in spring training I'd give him 5-10 appearances in AAA to start the year. So what if he doesn't like it.

  3. Joe says:

    Feelin a bounce back from JP with the full Spring and full season and he's another guy making actual money, if anyone is going to lose their job/phantom injury it's Cesar Ramos

    We should have 2 lefties in the pen and they will be McGee and Howell

  4. Sledge says:


    What do we generally expect the split of lefty\right lineups to be? 60\100? I'm struggling with why Joyce wouldn't be an everyday starter after last year's performance, but I could live with the thought for now if we are projecting over 100 starts anyway. We've seen his potential - let's get more out of him.

    And I love the sound of "the recent signings (Carlos Pena, Luke Scott) tell us the Rays are going for it in 2012".

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Usually 100/60 is a good estimate. But I just looked and last year the Rays faced 112 right handed starters. It was 105 in 2010 and 102 in 2009. This could mean that there are fewer lefties in the AL East now. I havent checked.

      But yeah, I would not be surprised if Joyce gets a good number of starts versus lefties.

  5. Hal says:

    Cork, you've got your catching Jose's mixed up. Doesn't the bullpen seem deep all of the sudden? Remember this time last year? Our bullpen was just a wish and a guess. I actually think that the last 4 spots in the pen are open - Spring will be interesting.

  6. Mike says:

    I can't see Matt Moore not making the team out of camp. There are no service time issues to deal with, and he is clearly one of the best 5 starters on the staff right now (he would be one of the top 3 starters on any team other than the Rays and Phi). Whether they go with a 6 man rotation, move Davis to the pen, or make a trade, they are going to find a roster spot for his talent.

  7. Mark says:

    Sorry buddy, but Kep isn't going to see any time at SS unless it's an emeregency. You should switch Kep and Srod

    • J 2.0 says:

      Actually Mark, this is called speculation. With that being said, I doubt Brignac will see a lot of playing time this year considering he is garbage. You will see alot of Keppinger at short I anticipate, but mostly SRod. Atleast I hope mostly SRod, I think he has a very bright future.


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