Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Figuring out the Opening Day Roster
First off, I'm going to assume JR will carry 12 pitchers. Next, I'm going to assume Jeff Clement wins the first base job, something the Bucs are hoping as well. In your scenerios though, assume whatever you want.
Here are the guys that should have the team made
Catchers- Doumit and Jaramillo
First Base- Clement
Second base- Iwamura
Third base- Laroche
Outfielders- Jones, McCutchen, Milledge, Church
Backup Infielders- Vazquez and Crosby
Assuming they keep 12 pitchers, they have a difficult decision ahead of them. The final outfield spot. It will come down to Brandon Moss, Delwyn Young and Rule 5 guy John Raynor. Longshot candidates include Brandon Jones, Neil Walker and Steve Pearce.
So who gets the final job? They could go with 11 pitchers but for a young team that will likely use the pen a good bit, that would likely be a bad idea, so we are still assuming only one roster spot is open, barring injury.
I say NH will work out a deal with the Malins to keep Raynor in the system, otherwise they either give him back, or Moss and Young are in trouble. They love Raynors speed and ability to get on base, so I can't see them offering him back to the Marlins. NH did similar with the Rays in order to keep Evan Meek in the system.
I also would hate to see them give up on Moss so soon, but when there is talent behind you, the pressure is on to perform and Brandon Moss simply hasn't. I would expect them to wait until closer to opening day, to make sure they are healthy and then deal Moss.
If all that happens, then my last roster spot goes to Delwyn Young. I was happy with what Young showed last season. I also feel he was more effective as a pinch hitter and a spot starter than playing second base everyday. Young is a valuable guy to have and he is can play a couple different positions and is a switch hitter, although he is much better from the left side.
Young earns the job in my mind and adds depth to the ballclub. That's just my opinion though, let me know who makes your opening day roster.