We are beginning to get a clear picture of what the Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day roster will look like after they option seven players to the minors on Thursday.
The Tampa Bay Rays have tremendous depth across the board. It left many wondering who would make the Opening Day roster and who would earn playing time. Several big names to Rays’ fans were optioned on Thursday.
Players Optioned by Rays Thursday
Most of these players could be starters if they were on the Orioles. The Rays have immense organizational depth, and it is on full display with the talent that won’t be opening the season with the big club.
The red-hot Randy Arozarena was optioned after a scorching spring training. Kevin Kiermaier, Austin Meadows, Hunter Renfroe, and Manuel Margot appear on track to get the most playing time in the Rays outfield to start the season. There’s no doubt that Arozarena’s progress in Durham will be closely monitored after hitting .400 with a 1.116 OPS this spring.
Nate Lowe came into camp 20 pounds lighter and began working at third base. His defensive versatility should open up more avenues for the Rays to call up the slugging infielder.
Trevor Richards has been a solid starting pitcher and was very good out of the pen when asked. Unfortunately, the Rays are loaded with pitching. There was a glimmer of hope for Richards that he could fight his way into the rotation, but without an opportunity to make an impact this spring, he’s off to the minors.
Brian O’Grady is a proven slugger in Triple-A. Someone has to give this guy an extended look in the majors. The Rays have limited space but you never know what could happen during the course of a regular season.
Brendan McKay came up one-inning shy of meeting his rookie eligibility last year and it appears he’ll have to be patient in waiting for his opportunity to make a run at that Rookie of the Year Award in 2020. McKay was also an outside candidate at earning a final spot in the rotation.
It appears the Rays will likely go with a combination of Charlie Morton, Blake Snell, and Tyler Glasnow at the top with Yonny Chirinos and Ryan Yarbrough at the backend. They haven’t completely ruled out the use of an opener this year, but they certainly have a plethora of options.