The Tampa Bay Rays have 67 players in camp competing for a place on the 26-man roster. We take a look at a few players who are battling for a spot.
The Tampa Bay Rays are in their second week of spring training and barreling toward the season. There are still a few roster spots they need to get lined out this spring. Today we take a look at a position that could be up for grabs this spring.
Final Bench Spots
To me, it appears that the Rays have 12 spots very likely to be locked up for their Opening Day roster:
- Austin Meadows
- Willy Adames
- Brandon Lowe
- Kevin Kiermaier
- Ji-Man Choi
- Yandy Diaz
- Jose Martinez
- Yoshitomo Tsutsugo
- Hunter Renfroe
- Mike Zunino
- Manuel Margot
- Winner of the backup catcher spot.
"Tampa Bay Rays Spring Skirmish: Battle at Backup Catcher"
With the new 26-man rosters in effect, teams can carry a maximum of 13 pitchers. That means there’s one more spot for a bat if the Rays maximize the pitching staff. No matter which way you cut it, there is not a lot of space on the outer edges of this roster.
Let’s take a look at one of the players duking it out for that final spot.
Daniel Robertson was excellent for the Rays in 2018 with a .262/.382/.415 slash. He followed that up with a miserable 2019, slashing .213/.312/.295. His season was so rough last year he was left off of the postseason roster and even mentioned as a possible candidate to be non-tendered this offseason.
The former first-round draft pick will turn 26 before the end camp. Last season he logged time at second, third, and shortstop, proving to be an effective defender at all three positions. He’ll need to prove he can get on base the way he did in 2018 to make this squad. His primary competition as a backup infielder comes from Joey Wendle and Mike Brosseau. There likely won’t be room for all three of them on the Opening Day Roster. Nate Lowe’s weight loss and previous reps at third base could add even more interference to Daniel Robertson’s attempt to make the squad.
Rays’ fans will be anxious to see if Daniel Robertson can re-claim his 2018 form this spring.