MLB

February 11, 2019, 8:58 am

Rays' Opening Day roster prediction

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays pridefulness themselves on handling a team full of players that are able of musical performance aggregate positions. Having such players allows director Kevin Cash to get originative with his 25-man roll, but it also creates some tough decisions during camp. A lot can alteration during Spring Training, but here's the archetypal effort to try and foretell the 25-man roll Tampa Bay will trot out on Opening Day against the Astros.

Rays' Opening Day roster prediction
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ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays pridefulness themselves on handling a team full of players that are able of musical performance aggregate positions. Having such players allows director Kevin Cash to get originative with his 25-man roll, but it also creates some tough decisions during camp.

A lot can alteration during Spring Training, but here's the archetypal effort to try and foretell the 25-man roll Tampa Bay will trot out on Opening Day against the Astros.

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays pridefulness themselves on handling a team full of players that are able of musical performance aggregate positions. Having such players allows director Kevin Cash to get originative with his 25-man roll, but it also creates some tough decisions during camp.

A lot can alteration during Spring Training, but here's the archetypal effort to try and foretell the 25-man roll Tampa Bay will trot out on Opening Day against the Astros.

:: Spring Training coverage bestowed by Camping World ::

Catcher (2): Mike Zunino, Michael Perez
Adding Zunino was the archetypal big move for the Rays during the offseason and he's anticipated to get most of the musical performance time down the dish. Perez will go into camp competitive with Nick Ciuffo for the backup spot, but Perez showed adequate quality at the sheet to get the leg up over Ciuffo, who could payment from consistent at-bats at Triple-A Durham to start the year.

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    First base (1): Yandy Diaz
    It'll be interesting to see how Diaz transitions to musical performance mostly archetypal base during spring, but the Rays are confident that he can be good adequate defensively to play the position. He won't be the only one musical performance archetypal base for the Rays, but Diaz will get most of the musical performance time here, at least until the club's No. 13 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Nate Lowe, is ready to get called up to the big league club.

    Second base (2): Joey Wendle, Brandon Lowe
    Wendle will move all around the field, but second base should be the position where he sees most of his time. As for Lowe, his quality to play aggregate positions -- possibly even archetypal base -- is a big reason why he's projected to make the 25-man roll. Lowe showed that he belonged at the big league level last season, but depending on what route the Rays elect to go with the roll, Lowe's spot could wind up being one of the hot topics this spring.

    Video: Joey Wendle is the No. 7 second baseman right now

    Third base (2): Matt Duffy, Daniel Robertson
    If healthy, Duffy and Robertson are near locks to make the Opening Day roll, but the competition heading into spring will be which of the two will open the season as the starting third baseman. Robertson will also see time at second base, shortstop and left field, which should open up some extra musical performance time for Duffy.

    Shortstop (1): Willy Adames
    Of the young core, Adames seems to be establishing himself as the future face of the franchise. He hit .305 in the second half of the season and quickly became a clubhouse leader. The Rays expect a big season out of their young shortstop.

    Outfield (4): Tommy Pham, Kevin Kiermaier, Austin Meadows, Avisail Garcia
    There won't be any drama out of this group. Pham, Kiermaier and Meadows will anchor the outfield, with Garcia getting most of his musical performance time as the designated hitter. Guillermo Heredia, who was acquired from Seattle in the same deal that the Rays acquired Zunino, also has a chance to make the roll as another outfield option. Heredia, however, still has options and could start the year in Durham.

    Designated Hitter (1): Ji-Man Choi
    Choi could play archetypal base, but most of his value comes at the DH spot against right-handed pitchers. The Rays can afford having a DH-only player on the roll due to the versatility of the other players. Garcia will get most of the work against left-handed pitchers.

    Starting pitchers (3): Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow
    Snell, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, will lead the way for the Rays, but he has some help in 2019. Morton adds another quality starter and is a proven veteran, while Glasnow has all the tools to be a starting pitcher, now it's just a matter of putting them together.

    Video: Glasnow is excited for the Rays' season to begin

    Relief pitchers (9): Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos, Wilmer Font, Jose Alvarado, Chaz Roe, Diego Castillo, Adam Kolarek, Emilio Pagan, Ryne Stanek
    Determining the bullpen will be the toughest task for Cash and the Rays during the spring. It remains to be seen just how many bullpen arms Tampa Bay wants to carry on Opening Day due to the fact that the Rays have plenty of players that can pitch aggregate innings. In this projection, Jake Faria, Hunter Wood and Jalen Beeks would be left off the Opening Day roll. Of the three, Faria has a good shot at making the roll if he shows the same potential he did during the 2017 season. Wood, Beeks and No. 24 prospect Colin Poche will all find their way to the big leagues at some point in 2019.

    Video: Yarbrough discusses the Rays using an 'opener'

    Now that we've completed the task of foretelling the 25-man roll, let's take a look at what it could look like on Opening Day.

    CATCHERS
    Mike Zunino
    Michael Perez

    INFIELDERS
    Yandy Diaz
    Joey Wendle
    Brandon Lowe
    Willy Adames
    Matt Duffy
    Daniel Robertson

    OUTFIELDERS
    Tommy Pham
    Kevin Kiermaier
    Austin Meadows
    Avisail Garcia

    DESIGNATED HITTER
    Ji-Man Choi

    STARTING PITCHERS
    Blake Snell
    Charlie Morton
    Tyler Glasnow

    RELIEF PITCHERS
    Ryan Yarbrough
    Yonny Chirinos
    Wilmer Font
    Jose Alvarado
    Chaz Roe
    Diego Castillo
    Adam Kolarek
    Emilio Pagan
    Ryne Stanek

    Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.

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