Monday, the Rays released preliminary rosters for their four full-season affiliates, which start play on Thursday.
We knew Joe McCarthy was hurt, and now we know it’s serious enough that he has to start the season on the injured list. In his absence, the outfield may appear thin, but Nick Solak, Andrew Velazquez, and Kean Wong all have outfield experience.
Aaron Slegers was acquired from Pittsburgh last week.
Montgomery starts the season with a fairly lengthy injured list. Greg Harris and Grant Kay didn’t play at all in 2018, and Ryan Boldt and Benton Moss have each been injured in the past. David Rodriguez’s injury gives Rene Pinto and Brett Sullivan — both consistent typicall solid performers — more opportunities behind the plate.
Like Durham, Montgomery only has three listed outfielders, but Dalton Kelly, Miles Mastrobuoni, and Robbie Tenerowicz have all played the outfield. Josh Lowe and Jesus Sanchez will occupy two of those spots in most games anyway.
Tanner Dodson went straight to Charlotte, which I did not expect after McKay did not last season. He’s not the only 2018 draft pick skipping over Bowling Green — Tyler Frank is making the jump that Tristan Gray did the season before him.
After missing the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury, the Rays are glad to see Garrett Whitley healthy and ready to open the season Thursday. He’ll supplement the core of the team that just won a championship in the Midwest League last season.
As expected, Wander Franco is starting the season with Bowling Green.
I expected that 2017 draft picks Shane Baz and David Mercado would start the season with the Hot Rods. Matthew Liberatore starting the season in extended spring training doesn’t surprise me, but I thought those two might be ready for full-season ball. With Shane McClanahan and Michael Plassmeyer on the roster, they still start the season with some promising pitching.