Game Preview: Present vs. Future as Rays Take on Montgomery Biscuits

By Robbie Knopf

The Tampa Bay Rays have one final game before Opening Day, and it will be an interesting one as they take on their Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits. Here are the starting lineups.

Tampa Bay Rays
1. David DeJesus, LF
2. Wil Myers, RF
3. Ben Zobrist, 2B
4. Evan Longoria, 3B
5. James Loney, 1B
6. Desmond Jennings, CF
7. Matt Joyce, DH
8. Yunel Escobar, SS
9. Justin O’Conner, C

Starting Pitcher: Chris Archer, RHP

Other than O’Conner, who gets the start because none of the Rays’ starting catchers are making the trip to Montgomery (and three other options are on the other team), the Rays will show the Biscuits pretty close to a regular season lineup. Interesting to see Myers batting second and Jennings backing before Escobar–you know Joe Maddon likes to change things around, and he could resort to that at some point this season. Here are the players we will see from the Biscuits.

Montgomery Biscuits
1. Ryan Brett, 2B
2. Willie Argo, LF
3. Curt Casali, C
4. Cameron Seitzer, 1B
5. Richie Shaffer, 3B
6. Alejandro Segovia, DH
7. Taylor Motter, RF
8. Jake Hager, SS
9. Joey Rickard, CF

Starting Pitcher: Victor Mateo, RHP

There is a pretty decent chance we will see at least one player from this Biscuits lineup in the major leagues by the end of the year, and we will almost surely see at least one by 2015. The best prospect is likely the leadoff man Brett, a second baseman with a quick bat and excellent speed who broke out in 2013. Also interesting is Casali, who earned quite a few starts in big league spring training after he came out of nowhere to have a huge year at the plate. The Rays have some depth options at Triple-A, but if the disaster scenario strikes and Ryan Hanigan and Jose Molina both get hurt, Casali would be the guy to start for the big league time. Seitzer will return to the Biscuits after jumping from High-A to Double-A, and if he can add some power in his second year with the team, he could emerge as the Rays’ first baseman of the future. Competing with him in that role is the ex-first rounder Shaffer, who the Rays are hoping will make major strides in his second full pro season.

Jake Hager is also a first round pick, and he is a solid defensive shortstop who could have an interesting future if he can start tapping into his power potential. Joey Rickard will follow in the path of Seitzer by jumping from Low-A to Double-A, and with an advanced approach and excellent speed and defense, he could also prove successful. The remaining three players–Segovia, Motter, and Argo–are less known, but Segovia can really hit, Motter has shown excellent versatility, and the Rays love Argo’s hustle.

Finally, we have the starting pitcher Mateo, who broke out with the Biscuits in the second half of 2013. Mateo has a long way to go to establish himself as a prospect, but he has developed a solid changeup to go along with his 88-91 MPH fastball with movement and the Rays will give a chance to prove himself.

It is going to be a lot of fun seeing the Rays take on their prospects, and it would be crazy if the Biscuits come away with a win. What are the odds? 100 to 1? 500 to 1? In any event, enjoy the game and check back at Rays Colored Glasses for the recap when it’s over.