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Tampa Bay Rays Opening Day Countdown: 17 Days to Go

Count the Rays current skipper as one of those don the #17

Tampa Bay Devil Rays v New York Yankees Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

There are 17 days until Opening Day.

There have been eight players to have worn the number 17 in franchise history, including their first All-Star, an Opening Day starter, and their current manager.

  • Dave Silvestri (1998)
  • Rolando Arrojo (1999)
  • Joe Kennedy (2002-2003)
  • Charles Gipson (2004)
  • Kevin Cash (2005)
  • Raul Casanova (2007)
  • Jumbo Diaz (2017)
  • Taylor Featherston (2017)

Dave Silvestri played in all of 8 games for the inaugural team in 1998, collecting a hit in 14 plate appearances.

Rolando Arrojo fresh off his All Star campaign in 1998, took over the number 17 jersey for the 1999 season. Unfortunately, his success didn’t carry over and he struggled during the ‘99 season, finishing the year with an ERA north of 5. He would be traded during that off-season to the Colorado Rockies.

It wouldn’t be until the 2002 season when Joe Kennedy took ownership of the Rays number 17. Kennedy became one of the team’s top pitchers in the early 2000’s and was their starter on Opening Day in 2003. Unfortunately, he struggled that year and lost his spot in the rotation at the onset of September. He would be dealt to Toronto during that off-season.

Joe Kennedy pitches Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Charles Gipson donned the the number 17 for all of five games in 2004.

Kevin Cash to came to the Devil Rays in 2005 from the Toronto Blue Jays, playing in a total of 13 games that year for Tampa Bay. He would be come a free agent after spending all of 2006 in Triple-A.

In 2007, another backstop took up the #17 mantle as Raul Casanova spent 29 games with the Rays that year, belting 6 home runs over 89 plate appearances.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

It would be a decade until the number 17 was worn again by a major leaguer for the Rays, as Jumbo Diaz took the jersey at the start of the 2017 season. However, he would only last a couple of months on the active roster. Upon Diaz’s release, utility player, Taylor Featherston took over the jersey for the rest of the season.

Check back tomorrow as the countdown continues.