Following yesterday's game against the Detroit Tigers, the Rays announced their opening day roster. There is only game left of spring training, which will take place today at 12:35 at The Trop, again against the Tigers.
On Sunday the first regular season game of the season will take place as the Cardinals take on Joe Maddon's Cubs at the (possibly unfinished) Wrigley Field at 8:05. The Rays will play their first game at home, with the first pitch at 3:10.
However, Sun Sports will begin their coverage at 1 pm, with a preseason special. A half hour later, that will be followed by the pregame the show which will include the Don Zimmer ceremony where the Rays will officially retire the #66. The game will begin after the opening ceremonies and be followed by two Inside the Rays Specials (Unlikely Journey (2014) and Cooking With Longoria (2014)). A Don Zimmer special will come on at 7:30, then if you missed the game, there will be a replay of it at 8 and again at 12.
Rene Rivera - After shuttling back and forth from the minors for the past decade, Rivera was finally able to stick in the big leagues last season with a breakout year. He was acquired by the Rays as part of the Wil Myers trade back in December. Over the course of 6 seasons in the majors, Rivera has slashed .228/.279/.358 with 15 home runs in 224 games.
Bobby Wilson - The St. Pete native spent five seasons (2008-2012) in the Angels organization, serving as a backup catcher. He then jumped around to a couple of different teams, playing only two game in the majors during that time. The Rays signed him back in December, he has slashed .209/.271/.321 with 8 home runs.
James Loney - After spending seven solid seasons playing for the Dodgers, Loney was part of the megadeal with Boston that sent Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford to L.A. In 2012, Loney signed with the Rays and had a great bounce-back year. He then signed a three year deal following the season and is currently in the second year of the deal. In nine seasons, he has slashed .285/.340/.415 with 95 home runs in 1,239 games.
Logan Forsythe - After spending three seasons with the Padres, Forsythe was acquired in January of 2014. He played in a career high 110 games last year and over the course of four seasons, he has slashed .235/.303/.343 with 18 home runs in 338 games.
Asdrubal Cabrera - He spent eight solid seasons with the Indians, even winning a silver slugger award in 2011. He was traded to the Nationals at last year's trade deadline and signed as a free agent with the Rays in January. In eight seasons, he has slashed .268/.330/.409 with 87 home runs in 963 games.
Evan Longoria - He accomplished a career goal last year of playing in 162 games, but it was a down year offensively for Longoria. In 2015, Longoria will be playing in his eighth major league season and during that time, he has slashed .271/.351/.494 with 184 home runs in 959 games.
Tim Beckham - The 2008 first overall pick will finally make his first opening day after spending seven seasons in the minors. Beckham made his much anticipated debut back in September, 2013 but suffered a torn ACL that winter that caused him to miss most of the 2014 season. In 645 games in the minors, Beckham has slashed .267/.332/.381 with 35 home runs.
Kevin Kiermaier - After working his way through the minors, Kiermaier burst onto the big league scene last year and quickly became one of the most exciting players on the team. In 108 games lat year, he slashed .263/.315/.450 with 10 home runs.
Desmond Jennings - After being hyped as Carl Crawford's replacement, Jennings has never quite lived up to those expectations despite being a very solid player. In 2015, he'll move back to left field and also down from the leadoff spot. In five big league seasons, Jennings has slashed .248/.327/.401 with 47 home runs in 474 games.
Brandon Guyer - After being acquired in 2010 in the Matt Garza deal, Guyer made his major league debut in 2011. Guyer fractured his thumb last year and that made him miss 22 games, and he has struggled with injuries during the better part of his career. In three big league seasons, Guyer has slashed .254/.315/.371 with 6 home runs in 115 games.
Steven Souza Jr. - Souza became a household name after making one of the best plays of the year last season when he saved Jordan ZImmerman's no-hitter on the last day of the season with a great diving catch. He was acquired in the Wil Myers deal and quickly became one of the Rays top prospects (according to most analysts). He played in 21 games for the Nationals last year and slashed .130/.231/.391 with 2 home runs.
David DeJesus - Although he could be traded any day now, DeJesus will serve as a backup outfielder and a platoon bat. He spent eight seasons with the Royals, then was traded to Oakland. After one season there, he signed with the Cubs, then was traded to the Nationals, and again quickly traded to the Rays in August of 2013. He was injured last season, but was still decent. In 12 seasons, he has slashed .277/.352/.416 with 94 home runs in 1,360 games while playing good defense all over the outfield.
John Jaso - Jaso returns to the Rays after spending the past three seasons with the Mariners and Athletics. Back in 2010, he served as the Rays leadoff hitter, and is likely to hit near the top of the lineup for them once more. His catching days are mostly over, as he's suffered multiple concussions behind the dish, but he could produce enough to be a solid DH. Over the course of six seasons in the majors, he has slashed .259/.359/.399 with 32 home runs in 480 games.
Chris Archer - The Rays opening day starter will be pitching in his 4th season in the majors. After struggling with his control during the early stages of his career, Archer has managed to turn two consecutive solid seasons en route to being named the Rays opening day starter after Alex Cobb went down with an injury. In 3 seasons, has a 20-19 record, with a 3.39 ERA, 3.64 FIP, and 310 K's in 352.2 IP and 61 games.
Nathan Karns - Acquired last year for Jose Lobaton, Karns has only pitched five games in the majors over two seasons. He came into the Rays camp hoping to win the final starting spot, but injuries have allowed him to swoop in and become the second starter in the rotation. In four minor league seasons, he has a 33-21 record with a 3.45 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 515 K's in 449 IP and 87 games.
Jake Odorizzi - Acquired in the first Wil Myers deal, Odorizzi pitched his first full season last year. He developed a new pitch that helped him rack up some strikeouts, and he followed suit this year, again learning a new pitch that should be fun to watch. Over the course of three seasons, he has a 11-15 record with a 4.13 ERA, 3.83 FIP, and 200 K's in 205 IP and 40 games.
Erasmo Ramirez - Acquired at the end of March to help the Rays with their starting depth, Ramirez is slated to be in the back end of the Rays rotation. He's served in the Mariners rotation for the past two seasons, but has struggled. In three big league seasons, he has a 7-12 record, with a 4.62 ERA, 4.66 FIP, and 165 K's in 206.2 IP and 47 games.
Matt Andriese - Acquired in the Alex Torres trade last year, he has spent the past four seasons working his way though the minors. Spent all of 2014 at Durham and will make his major league debut this season. During the four seasons in the minors, he has a 37-24 record, with a 3.38 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 407 K's in 484.2 IP and 94 games.
Kevin Jepsen - Acquired this past off season for Matt Joyce, he had a career year this past season for the Angels pitching in a career high, 74 games. He has spent seven seasons in the majors (all with L.A.), during which time he accumulated a 3.94 ERA, 3.16 FIP, and 271 K's in 280.2 IP and 315 games.
Grant Balfour - Signed last year by the Rays to a two year deal, Balfour had an off year and was removed from the closer role in June. He began his career with the Twins as one of their top prospects, before multiple surgeries sidelined his career. It would resurrected when he became one of the Rays dominant bullpen pieces during their 2008 pennant run, and he'd be a force in the bullpen for years to come. In 11 big league seasons, he has a 3.46 ERA, 3.50 FIP, and 571 K's in 535.1 IP and 528 games.
Grant Balfour's Season Preview
Brad Boxberger - Another player that was acquired in the Torres deal last year, Boxberger forced his way onto the Rays roster last year after dominating at Durham. He became one of the best setup men in the league, in parts of three seasons in the majors, he has a 2.52 ERA, 3.49 FIP, and 161 K's in 114.1 IP and 105 games.
Ernesto Frieri - Signed as a free agent during the offseason, the Rays are hoping to have another reclamation project in Frieri. Once a solid bullpen arm and closer, Frieri had a down year in 2014 which he split between the Angels and Pirates, before being released in early September. In six big leagues, he has a 10-13 record, with a 3.46 ERA, 3.74 FIP, and 363 K's in 273 IP and 276 games.
Ernesto Frieri's Season Preview
Jeff Beliveau - Was drafted in 2008 by the Cubs and worked his way into the majors in 2012, but has been up and down since. It 2014 though, he was finally able to stick with a solid campaign in the Rays pen. In three seasons, he has a 3.40 ERA, 4.46 FIP, and 45 K's in 42.1 IP and 53 games.
Kirby Yates - The Rays signed Yates as an undrafted free agent back in 2009. He has dominated at every level along the way, but was never really considered a prospect. He only allowed one run in 25 innings at Durham, forcing the Rays to notice and deem him worthy of a callup. During his time in the Rays bullpen, a couple of rough outings skewed him numbers, but he finished the year with a 3.75 ERA, 3.74 FIP, and 42 K's in 36 IP and 37 games.
Steve Geltz - The Rays acquired Geltz at the end of spring training in 2013 for Dane De La Rosa. After working his way though the minors, he had made his major league debut in 2012, but only pitched in two games and he'd spend all of 2013 at Durham. In 2014, the Rays brought him up when rosters expanded and he pitched decently outside of a few rough outings. He has a 3.48 ERA, 6.90 FIP, and 15 K's in 10.1 IP and 13 games
Alex Cobb - Season Preview
Matt Moore was placed on the 60-day DL to clear room on the 40-man roster for Wilson. Curt Casali and C.J. Riefenhauser were both optioned to Triple-A Durham, while Jake Elmore and Jaun Francisco were reassigned as well. Francisco has until Sunday to decide whether or not to to accept the assignment or become a free agent.
Kevin Cash hasn't decided who will start the 4th game of the season yet, as it's a tossup between Ramirez and Andriese. Both pitchers are expected to throw during today's game against the Tigers.
Now that the roster has been announced, here's the opening day lineup:
#Rays Opening Day lineup:
Archer p— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 4, 2015