Here is the 25 man roster that will make the team for opening day and projected line up.
- Jason Bartlett SS Sean Rodriguez INF/OUT
- Carl Crawford LF Reid Brignac INF
- Evan Longoria 3B Willy Aybar DH
- Carlos Pena 1B
- Ben Zobrist 2B
- BJ Upton CF
- Pat Burrell DH
- Kelly Shoppach/Dioneer Navarro C
- Gabe Kapler RF
- James Shields
- Matt Garza
- Jeff Neiman
- David Price
- Wade Davis
Andy Sonnanstine, Lance Cormier, Grant Balfour, Randy Choate, Mike Ekstrom, Dan Wheeler and Closer Rafael Soriano
The teams pitching staff is overall a little weak in the bullpen and when JP Howell comes off the DL Mike Ekstrom will be designated to Durham. Balfour is garbage and should not be on the team. He’s had one good half of year and that was during the playoff run and even then he wasnt spectacular. Having only one pitch will not cut it for too long. Wheeler just gives up way too many long balls for me to trust him in any situation. Lets just hope with the addition of Soriano we wont have to rely on these bozos as much. I only have one word for the starting rotation this year. A-MAZING. I look at other teams starting pitchers and there are only a few teams that have the same caliber rotation as the Rays do but just worth a whole hell of a lot more.
The line up is pretty much well rounded except for the fact Gabe Kapler is still on the team. Will this guy just become a bench coach or something. The Rays need to stop worrying about another wasted contract and let him go. I think the Rays will have to when Matt Joyce becomes healthy again. I just cant see them sending down Sean Rodriguez or Reid Brignac. These two guys made the team for a reason and provide so much more to the team. I personally think Rodriguez should be in the starting line up in RF and Kapler can sit in the dugout and put Vaseline on everyones gloves.
This Rays team is the best Ive seen and I predict them to win this division with a record of (98-64). The Rays are very capable of winning this many games if not more, as long as our relief pitchers and Soriano hold their end of the bargain. If not then its going to be just another average year like the one past. Evan Longoria AL MVP!!!