{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

{"content":["spring_training" ] }

Rays roster decisions forthcoming

Rays roster decisions forthcoming

|
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Long after Saturday afternoon's game with the Pirates was banged due to rain, Rays officials and coaches met in the owner's box at Al Lang Field to talk about the team that will begin the 2008 season.

"We had some good discussions, we're narrowing it down," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The rotation is set. Still looking at the bullpen a little bit yet. And the team on the field is still a bit up in the air. But we advanced things pretty good yesterday as far as putting all of our thoughts together."

Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations, said the Rays will conduct further discussions Sunday night.

"In a big picture sense, health plays a role in what we're going to do in shaping our roster and also having guys in a position to be ready for Opening Day," Friedman said. "We've got a lot of things to balance that we need to go through and figure out, so we'll continue those discussions tonight.

"It will be a busy week. This time of year, conversations with other teams get a little more pointed. You get a little better sense of what's available, and in the meantime, try and juggle the internal decisions. [We've] put ourselves in a position to set our roster on the 30th, while maintaining as much depth as we can, but it's a fluid situation. The timing aspect of it is critical to navigate as well as we can."

Spring Training
News and features:
Multimedia:
• Chastain on Longoria, Aybar  400K
• Yanks-Rays incident  400K
• Spring Spotlight: Rays  400K
• Shields on his contract  400K
Spring Training info:
MLB.com coverage  |  Schedule  |  Ballpark  |  Tickets

Maddon said decisions on the bullpen will probably go right up until the end of Spring Training. In particular, the Rays are trying to decide between Grant Balfour and Scott Dohmann for the last spot. Both of the right-handers are out of options, which means they would have to clear waivers in order to be reassigned to Minor League camp.

The looming decision on the status of Evan Longoria will likely be made in the next couple of days.

"That was obviously a big topic of discussion [at the meeting]," Maddon said.

Maddon speculated that the team will likely carry five outfielders, six infielders and two catchers on the Opening Day roster.

Ben Zobrist, who broke the tip of his left thumb, will visit the doctor Monday, but it's almost certain that he'll begin the season on the disabled list. If he does, the move will likely be retroactive to March 24, which would make him eligible to play on April 5. Zobrist was earmarked to be the team's super utility player, playing several different positions as needed. Without him, the options are limited, because the team must have a backup who can play shortstop.

Players still battling for spots include Reid Brignac, Eric Hinske, Elliot Johnson, Joel Guzman, Andy Cannizaro, Willy Aybar, Jon Webber, and John Rodriguez.

"Some of our overall trimming has to do with trade discussions out there," Friedman said. "There's a lot of moving parts here that we need to balance."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español