The Rays made a trade with the Seattle Mariners, adding pitcher Erasmo Ramirez. According to Matt Silverman, Ramirez will be on the Opening Day roster, but only said he “might” be in the rotation.

That is just one of several questions still surrounding the roster with less than a week to go before the season starts. Let’s take a look at what the roster and lineups might look like on Opening Day (some notes below).



The biggest hole is behind the plate. Rene Rivera is going to be the main catcher. Bobby Wilson and Curt Casali are battling for the backup spot, with the other going to Durham to be the third catcher. Wilson has big league experience but is not on the 40-man roster. Casali has no experience but is on the 40-man roster. With only one available spot on the 40-man roster, along with Casali’s strong play behind the plate this spring (Casali has thrown out 5 of 7 base stealers, Wilson has thrown out 2 of 7), Casali gets the edge for now.

Complicating matters is that Rivera tends to hit lefties better and Casali hits better against righties. But Rivera is going to get the most starts, so he will likely start against lefties most of the time and split time with Casali against righties.

In the outfield, it will be Desmond Jennings-Kevin Kiermaier-Steven Souza left-to-right against right-handers. But if there is a lefty on the mound, we may be more likely to see Brandon Guyer replace Kiermaier, with Jennings moving back to center. Another possibility is to keep Jennings in left for stability and just have Guyer replace Kiermaier in center.

The rest of the lineup looks pretty well set. Logan Forsythe will get most of the starts at second base, but Tim Beckham will be there occasionally, maybe 1-2 times per week. Same at DH with John Jaso. Look for other names occasionally, especially against lefties.


With David DeJesus still on the team, he gets one spot. Two others will go to Brandon Guyer and the back-up catcher. That leaves one spot and with Nick Franklin starting on the DL, that means Tim Beckham is almost certainly on the Opening Day roster.


The Wild Card here is that the Rays don’t need a fifth starter right away. This gives the Rays a chance to carry an extra reliever the first week or so.

Chris Archer is set as the Opening Day starter. He will almost certainly be followed by Nathan Karns in game 2 and Jake Odorizzi in game 3.

Unless another trade or signing is coming, the fourth starter will either be Erasmo Ramirez or Matt Andriese.


The top five spots seem to be locks with Jake McGee set to start the season on the DL.

CJ Riefenhauser, Kirby Yates, and Steve Geltz seem like the best candidates to make the team in the final sports. But Jose Dominguez is also available and would not be a surprise to survive the final cuts.

This becomes a bit more complicated if the Rays choose to keep a fifth player in the bench to start the season instead of an eighth reliever. But most signs seem to be pointing towards the extra bullpen arm.



  1. angrybuddha says:


    Have you done your traditional analysis where you look at innings played per position... and by portion of the game? Any insights there?

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      He posted it a few weeks ago... (of course, they've played a lot of games since then though.)


Leave a Comment