Rays Notes: Rays Roster Appears to be Set, Injury Updates

By David Hill

After much speculation, it appears as though the Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day roster may be set. Despite the presence of Craig Albernaz and Juan Carlos Oviedo in camp, the decision to send Brandon Gomes to Durham to start the year appears to have finalized the roster. According to Bill Chastain, the Rays roster going into Opening Day is expected to look as follows:

Catchers: Jose Molina and Jose Lobaton

Infielders: Evan Longoria, Yunel Escobar, Ryan Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Sean Rodriguez, James Loney

Outfielders: Sam Fuld, Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist, and Matt Joyce

DH: Luke Scott

Starting rotation: David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, and Roberto Hernandez or Jeff Niemann

Bullpen: Fernando Rodney, Joel Peralta, Jake McGee, Cesar Ramos, Kyle Farnsworth, Jamey Wright and whoever ends up losing out on the fifth starter role.

For Wright, this marks the seventh consecutive year that he has gone into camp as a non-roster invitee, only to win a job through his efforts in Spring Training.

Even though Hernandez struggled in his final outing of camp, Joe Maddon seemed unconcerned. he noted that his pitches appeared lively, and that he did not employ his regular season defensive shifts.

"“I thought Roberto threw the ball well today,” Maddon said. “A lot of the damage was done by balls hit on the ground. I thought he had good stuff, so I was not displeased by any of that.”"

Depending on how Jeff Niemann, Wednesday’s starter, fares in his final outing of the spring, Hernandez may still find himself in the rotation. He still appears to have kept Maddon’s confidence, and should have a fairly decent role regardless of what spot he finds himself in.

There was some news on the injury front, as it was learned that Luke Scott will not play on Wednesday due to tightness in his right calf. However, Sam Fuld is ready to go, and is slated to be a part of Wednesday’s lineup. Both players are still expected to be ready for Opening Day on Tuesday.

Finally, it was reported that Rays senior advisor Don Zimmer will be throwing out the first pitch for the Rays season opener. Zimmer, despite his health concerns, will be entering his 65th season in professional baseball, and will be a part of his 54th Opening Day. Hopefully, Zimmer’s health will be able to improve where he can once again be a regular at Tropicana Field.