Now that the Rays have officially announced the Wil Myers trade, let’s take a look at what the roster looks like and how it might look on opening day (some notes below).



The biggest hole is behind the plate. The Rays added Rene Rivera but lost Ryan Hanigan. The Rays still need somebody else to share duties behind the plate.

Will Ben Zobrist be the everyday second baseman? Maybe not, but with the addition of Steven Souza Zobrist is probably going to be the most-days second sacker with Nick Franklin and Logan Forsythe mixing in.

You don’t trade Wil Myers and bring in an older part-time player. So look for Souza to be in left field almost everyday, with David DeJesus and Brandon Guyer getting mixed in.

As usual, look for designated hitter to just be a hodge-podge mix that will include DeJesus, Guyer, Franklin, and Forsythe.


The one thing that could change here is if for some reason Ben Zobrist sees more playing time in the outfield. If that happens, look for Nick Franklin and Logan Forsythe to share duties at second base.


Alex Colome would seem to have the inside track for the final spot while Matt Moore continues to rehab. The Rays also have Enny Romero, Nate Karns, and newly-acquired Burch Smith who could potentially fill that role.

The Wild Card is that the Rays could sign a veteran starter to take that spot. But that seems like a long-shot with the experience and talent already available.


The top four spots seem to be locks with Jake McGee set to start the season on the DL. Jose Dominguez (received in the Joel Peralta trade) would seem to have the best shot at one of the final three spots. Ernesto Frieri, Steve Geltz, CJ Riefenhauser, and Kirby Yates are the other names with shots at the final spots.

This is also a spot that is likely to get shuffled as we get closer to February as the Rays like to add relievers off the scrap heap late in the winter.

The Rays could also move one of the starters to the bullpen. Two good candidates to move would be Alex Colome and Burch Smith.



  1. STARMAND says:

    If I may.

    I see Jennings in LF, Kiermaier in CF, and Souza in RF.

    The arm and speed of Kiermaier seems more suited for CF. Or to put in another way, both Jennings and Souza should watch out for Kiermaier barreling-in when balls are hit in the gaps.

    • STARMAND says:


      Most importantly, Jennings' knees have started to act up. If there's one thing the Rays are careful with, it's the health of the players.

      Or to put it another way, the carpet in the outfield at the Trop ain't exactly the shaggy, plushy kind.

  2. Political_Man says:

    Seems like anther left hander out of the pen is needed
    I'm not sure I'd leave Beliveau

  3. Political_Man says:

    Seems like anther left hander out of the pen is needed. I'm not sure I'd leave Beliveau as the only option out of the pen against lefties.

  4. STARMAND says:

    Brandon Gomes has been designated for assignment in order to clear space on the roster.

    It's like Christmas eve many decades ago. Will it be a catcher... will it be a hitter... will it be a reliever... will it be another leader....

  5. Dave L says:

    Its hard to say exactly how Cash will manage his lineup, but if his coaching staffing is any indication, those above him will have very strong influence.

    In the past the only players who were truly everyday for an entire season were are infielders and Jennings. All of the other outfielders had such severe splits that it was hard to justify keeping them out there when a fellow outfielder had that as thier strength.

    Now we have an outfield of five plus defensive guys so that factor has been neutralized. KK had very bad splits vs lefties as has Dejesus. Guyer has put up the weakest overall output of all so far, certainly had his best success vs lefties and much better than KK and David.

    I expect DJ to be the primary CF though to log less innings there than in the last few years. Souza put up mammoth numbers at A AA and AAA but his sample size is tiny at the bigs. He didnt do much but it was exclusively against lefties. Ok its only 26 PA but I dont have access to MiLB splits, but I am sure the Rays do and if there is any tendencies the Rays will sit him against the type of righties that particularly trouble him.

    Although backups Guyer and Dejesus will be in every lineup vs LHP and RHP respectively. I still dont view KK as a superior overall outfielder to DJ. His arm stregnth is 100x better than DJ no doubt but over the course of a season his gambling style will allow too many balls to get by him fpr my taste. I like Desmonds conservative stlye in the long run with our pitchers. I also expect Kevins offensive output to dip in his second year and to get alot of rest versus lefties. Injuries will play a factor but I see Guyer having a better year at the plate and get more AB's and innings in the field than some others might.

    One thing is for sure our outfield defensive will be a strength.

    Contrast that with Myers being projected to patrol that spacious centerfield in Petco. I just dont see it happening for very long.

    • STARMAND says:

      Who is this guy Myers ye speak of, David?


      • STARMAND says:

        Btw, in this age of sabermetrics, lineups are not the provenance of managers.

        • STARMAND says:

          Also, it is no accident that Rocco Baldelli was named 1st base coach.

          He was a solid outfielder. Took good routes. Never barrelled into anyone. And had great respect for that extra plush, extra thick mattress we lovingly refer to as the Trop's outfield. Where even the warning track has a charming, earthy color.

        • Dave L says:

          I thought i constructed my first sentence to give that exact impression. I was trying to say he would be weaker than most even.

          • STARMAND says:

            I believe that Coach Cash is his own man. But he is willing to learn and is disposed towards listening to others. By all appearances it seems a tight group.

            Proof is in the pudding, though.

  6. Rob says:

    Unless Souza mashes like he did in the minors there isn't much power potential in these lineups. Longo can hit 25+, but there is nobody else you can reasonably expect to hit 20.

    • Skateman says:

      Souza has the power potential, for sure. The two home runs he hit in the bigs last year were two of the four longest all year by the Washington Nationals. The other thing that's great about his is he hits righties just as well as lefties. Finally, he has power to all fields, unlike Myer, who could only pull the ball with power.

      The reality, though, is that offense is at a premium everywhere. Very few guys hit more than 20 dingers anymore and over 30 will probably be counted on one hand. The strike zone, particularly down around the knees, needs to be shrunk (it has expanded a lot during the offensively starved last few years).

      • Dave L says:


        Help direct us to the evidence of the power to all fields and equally hitting against both sides of the mound. I always wondered where to find that sort of stuff. He had less than 30 MLB PA and Minor League extended data is hard to find.

        • Skateman says:

          Souza's heat map can be found scrolling down here:

          Myers is here:

          Jason Hanselman, of Dock of the Rays in the comments at draysbay wrote:

          I think the downside is a mini Joyce-like player that gives you 15-20 homers most years, but that might come with a .230 BA and a ton of strikeouts, averagish defense, and a few runs on the bases. That sounds an awful lot like Wil’s downside, as well. The upside is that he’s able to make consistent contact allowing him to tap into power that is comparable to anything that Myers has done at any level and pitchers in turn allow a good BB% to blossom into a great one.

          I think both of these players are 2-3 WAR guys, but one is surrounded by a ton of name recognition and the other is considerably less heralded. In the extremely limited sample of 109 pitches he has shown a GAGR that is bested only by Joey Votto and steamer projects him for a similar ISO this year (.176 for SS, .192 for JV). The results weren’t there last year, but you have to love the approach and we’ve always said that process>results.

          One of those guys [Souza] has power to all fields while one looks to yoke everything he can out of the park to LC [Myers]. I don’t see Wil ever making the necessary adjustments to get the ball in the air more often and to stop rolling over soft stuff away.

          Souza's splits can be found here:

          He hit right handed pitching better than lefties last year in the minors.

          I was actually wrong about Myers' splits. He was equally bad with both righties and lefties last year!

          • STARMAND says:

            Good stuff, Skateman.

            One candid comment. I have no idea where the comparison of Joyce and Souza comes from, or in what year it started. From where I sit, Joyce would be grateful for the comparison. Souza would be above it and remain quiet.

          • Dave L says:

            Yeah thats good stuff. His numbers in the minors were great overall. I was surprised by the mini Joyce comparison. Considering Joyce is a lefty pull hitter who never hit LHP. Also Sousa steals bases and I thought he was a plus defender??

            I'm just getting to know this guy. All this info you have given helps to reinforce my first blush thought that he is not an everyday LF but just another guy added to the mix. He has what? 26 MLB PA?

            I just hope we temper the expectations for Sousa. He's still a prospect. As we have found with Myers, in MLB they find your weaknesses and exploit them.

  7. STARMAND says:

    I'll go out on a limb here (while I'm recovering from pulling both hamstrings) and state that by the end of the season, Souza will be one of the top three hitters in the team.

    We'll see.


Leave a Comment