Wilson Betemit - #15 - Third Base - 6'2" - 222lbs
Thu. Mar 6, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Betemit reported to training camp on Thursday after resolving visa issues.
Impact: Betemit inked a minor league deal with the Rays in January and could battle for a bench spot on the Rays roster.
David Price - #14 - Pitcher - 6'6" - 210lbs
Thu. Mar 6, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Price was scheduled to start Thursday against the Orioles but the game was canceled due to rain, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Instead, Price threw 61 pitches in a simulated game to stay on schedule. He said it went well, so the left-hander can now look ahead to his next real outing early next week.
Sean Rodriguez - #1 - Left Field - 6'0" - 200lbs
News: Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with a home run in Tuesday's exhibition game against the Red Sox.
Impact: Rodriguez started the spring training game at second base, one of the many positions in the field he can play. He is expected to serve as the primary backup to James Loney at first base again, but now has added playing time competition from Logan Forsythe, who is also a right-handed hitting utility man. Rodriguez does hit left-handed pitchers better typically, which should hold his value to the team again as a matchup play in 2014.
James Loney - #21 - First Base - 6'3" - 235lbs
News: Loney went 1-for-2 with a walk and a two-run homer in Tuesday's exhibition game against the Red Sox.
Impact: Loney revived his career last season in Tampa Bay and the team rewarded him with a three-year, $21 million extension. His strong defensive skills and a .348 OBP last season will make him the everyday player at first base again, though the team could use Sean Rodriguez and Logan Forsythe in occasional favorable matchups to give Loney a day off.
Chris Archer - #22 - Pitcher - 6'3" - 185lbs
News: Archer allowed just one hit over two scoreless innings in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox.
Impact: Archer is entering and enjoying his first spring training in which he does not have to compete for a spot in the starting rotation, as that is locked up. He has been focusing on refining his command and improving his changeup to mix in with his nasty slider. Archer will have the chance for his first full season in the majors and has a high ceiling of potential heading into 2014.
Heath Bell - #13 - Pitcher - 6'3" - 250lbs
News: Bell allowed one run on three hits in one inning of Monday's exhibition game against the Phillies.
Impact: Bell was acquired in the offseason by the Rays as a part of a three-team trade. He is expected to contend for a role in the back end of the bullpen setting up for closer Grant Balfour. Joel Peralta is the incumbent successful set-up man, but with Bell's track record in high-leverage situations, he could be a candidate to see a bigger role as the season progresses.
Juan Oviedo - #46 - Pitcher - 6'2" - 190lbs
News: Oviedo (elbow) has been throwing regularly while awaiting clearance for his visa, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Oviedo is still stuck in paperwork trying to receive his visa and report to spring training. Due to his past identity fraud problems, his application is taking longer than many other players, so he has been throwing daily to try and jump right in when he arrives. He is coming off elbow surgery, but is apparently ready to grab a spot in the bullpen right away for the Rays, assuming he reports to camp in the near future.
Logan Forsythe - #10 - Second Base - 6'1" - 195lbs
News: The Rays will try Forsythe at first base in some spring training games, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Forsythe was acquired in a trade in the offseason and is expected to provide a utility backup role for the Rays this season. He mainly has played second base, third base, and shortstop in the majors, but does have experience at first base in the minor leagues. James Loney is locked in as the starter with Sean Rodriguez the primary backup at first, but adding another position to the repertoire will only provide Forsythe with more opportunities to find the field.
Cesar Ramos - #27 - Pitcher - 6'2" - 203lbs
News: Rays manager Joe Maddon confirmed Tuesday that Ramos is being considered for the No. 5 starter job, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: The 29-year-old southpaw posted rather underwhelming numbers out of the Rays' bullpen last season (4.14 ERA, 7.1 K/9), but it seems the Rays think he could be a fit in the rotation. Considering his splits last season (lefties hit .272/.325/.369 against him), he's likely not cut out for a specialist's role, and he had some success as a starter in the minors. He'll start Wednesday but will need to outperform the likes of Jake Odorizzi, Erik Bedard, Alex Colome and Enny Romero to earn the job.
Mon. Mar 3, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Zobrist (back) said he felt great, after going 0-for-2 in his 2014 Grapefruit League debut on Monday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: The minor back injury appears to be a non-issue and shouldn't have an impact on Zobrist's draft position. The versatile 32-year-old veteran is locked in as the Rays' starting second baseman, after slashing .275/.354/.402 in 2013, with 12 home runs, 71 RBI, 77 runs and 11 stolen bases.
Joel Peralta - #62 - Pitcher - 5'11" - 210lbs
Mon. Mar 3, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Peralta threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Twins.
Impact: Peralta has been a workhorse the past three seasons with Tampa Bay, pitching in 70 or more games in each season, mainly out of the setup role. He appears destined to return to that role at the start of the season again in front of closer Grant Balfour. The Rays did acquire Heath Bell and still have Jake McGee and Juan Oviedo that could push for the eighth-inning role over the course of the season.
News: Zobrist (back) said he was feeling good Sunday, but likely won't get into a game until Wednesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: While lifting weights last week, Zobrist tweaked his back and was forced to take it easy for several days as a result. He was able to hit in the cage Tuesday and was scheduled to take batting practice and run the bases this weekend. No issues were reported, so barring a setback, the 32-year-old seems likely to get the green light to play by mid-week.
News: Zobrist (back) is scheduled to play three innings Monday against the Phillies, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports.
Impact: A Tampa Bay Times report from earlier Sunday suggested Zobrist likely wouldn't play in a game until Wednesday, but the trainers have evidently cleared him a bit sooner than expected. Zobrist tweaked his back while working out last week, and chances are the team will monitor his workload closely in hopes of avoiding a setback.
David Price - #14 - Pitcher - 6'6" - 210lbs
News: Price allowed one run on one hit in 1.2 scoreless innings Saturday in an exhibition game against the Pirates.
Impact: It was the first start of the spring for Price, who appears to be staying with the Rays to start the season after being the subject of offseason trade rumors. Injuries limited the Rays' ace to 27 starts last season, but he had great control, posting a career-best 5.59 K:BB ratio. The early spring schedule has Price lined up to start for the Rays on Opening Day, though no official announcement has been made.
Wil Myers - #9 - Right Field - 6'3" - 205lbs
News: Myers, appearing as the DH, went 0-for-2 in Saturday's exhibition game against the Pirates.
Impact: Coming off his AL Rookie of the Year award, Myers will have his first full season in the majors in 2014 after hitting .293 with an .831 OPS and 13 home runs in his first year. He is expected to mainly line up in right field and rotate with Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce at DH in order to occasionally take a day off from the field.
Enny Romero - #45 - Pitcher - 6'3" - 210lbs
News: Romero allowed one hit in a scoreless inning in Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Pirates.
Impact: Romero, one of the Rays' top pitching prospects, made the rise from Double-A to a spot start in Tampa Bay last season. Though he may technically be considered a dark horse candidate for the final spot in the rotation, it seems likely the Rays will start him in Triple-A to develop his control before being called up in 2014. In 148.1 minor league innings in 2013, he went 11-7 with a 2.61 ERA, but did allow 75 walks.
Jeff Beliveau - #38 - Pitcher - 6'1" - 197lbs
News: Beliveau allowed one hit and recorded one out in Saturday's exhibition game against the Pirates.
Impact: Beliveau only pitched in one game last season with the Rays, but posted a 2.62 ERA in 38 games for Triple-A Durham. The Rays have a few lefties in the bullpen, but Beliveau could push for a LOOGY spot, though it may mean bouncing between the minors and majors much of the season.
Ryan Hanigan - #24 - Catcher - 6'0" - 207lbs
Sat. Mar 1, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Rays manager Joe Maddon said that Hanigan is expected to catch more than half of Tampa Bay's games, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Hanigan will probably see less playing time than your average starting catcher, but the expectation that he'll be the Rays' No. 1 is no new development. Jose Molina is ticketed for the backup role and never figured to handle anything more. While Hanigan should bounce back in 2014, the 33-year-old backstop has never offered much from a fantasy perspective, aside from a decent batting average and strong on-base percentage. He has 20 home runs and zero stolen bases through 1,580 career plate appearances.
Yunel Escobar - #11 - Short Stop - 6'2" - 215lbs
News: Escobar went 2-for-2 with a double in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles.
Impact: Escobar had a nice performance with hits in both of his first two at-bats of the spring. Though he did not post spectacular offensive numbers in his first season with the Rays, he provided a steady glove and durable player for manager Joe Maddon to play every day. He will continue to be a mainstay in the lineup in 2014, though prospect Hak-Ju Lee could push him at shortstop as the season progresses if he struggles.
Evan Longoria - #3 - Third Base - 6'2" - 210lbs
News: Longoria had one at-bat and started at third base in Friday's exhibition game against the Orioles.
Impact: Longoria enters the 2014 season completely healthy and returns as the anchor in the batting order. Coming off his third 30-homer season of his career, having a developing star in Wil Myers near him in the batting order should only help Longoria see better pitches to hit.
Kevin Kiermaier - #39 - Center Field - 6'1" - 195lbs
News: Kiermaier went 0-for-3 in Friday's exhibition game against the Orioles.
Impact: Kiermaier made his surprising debut late in the season for the Rays and is widely regarded as the best defensive player in the entire organization. There is a crowd of outfielders at the major league level and his bat needs some development, but his glove could bring him up to majors in 2014. He played in 39 games last season for Triple-A Durham and it seems a likely destination at the beginning of the season for the center-field prospect.
Josh Lueke - #52 - Pitcher - 6'5" - 245lbs
News: Lueke allowed one hit in a scoreless inning in Friday's exhibition game against the Orioles.
Impact: Lueke bounced between Triple-A Durham and Tampa Bay last season with mixed success at the major league level. He posted stellar numbers in Triple-A, going 3-1 with a 0.63 ERA in 40 games and had a tremendous 12.7 K/9 rate. He will try to crack the roster out of spring training with a role in middle relief, but ultimately could bounce between locations again in 2014.
Brandon Gomes - #47 - Pitcher - 5'11" - 195lbs
News: Gomes allowed one hit in a scoreless inning in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles.
Impact: Gomes had much of his 2013 season cut short by an injury and spent time in the minors trying to get back to full strength. He struggled a bit overall in September, but those numbers were bloated by a bad outing early in the month. He is expected to compete for a bullpen spot in spring training in middle relief.
Jayson Nix - #16 - Short Stop - 5'11" - 180lbs
News: Nix (hand) went 1-for-2 in Friday's exhibition game against the Orioles.
Impact: Nix, who signed as a non-roster player in the offseason, had his season end with a broken left hand. He appears completely recovered from that as he tries to make the squad as a utility infielder for the Rays. Although there are multiple players competing for a similar role, Nix is familiar to the Rays from playing in the AL East and can provide a backup at multiple positions around the horn.
Hak-Ju Lee - #36 - Short Stop - 6'2" - 170lbs
News: Lee (leg) went 0-for-1 in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles.
Impact: Lee entered late in the Rays' spring training opener and played shortstop while logging one at-bat. All reports have indicated that Lee has looked good and healthy this spring, coming off a major knee injury that ended his 2013 season. He is one of the Rays' top prospects and is expected to begin the season with Triple-A Durham.
News: Zobrist (back) participated in infield drills on Friday and is scheduled to take batting practice and run bases this weekend, after which he will be re-evaluated, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Zobrist claims to be pain-free but will rest Sunday to avoid any potential setbacks with his back. If he's deemed all clear Monday, he should be in line to resume his normal spring routine.
Tue. Feb 25, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Zobrist (back) will field some groundballs and hit in the cage Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Zobrist will return to the field Tuesday, and attempt to walk the fine line of loosening his back up without overexerting himself and risking a setback. The 32-year-old said recently that he's pain-free and hopeful he can play in Friday's Grapefruit League opener against the Orioles.
Mon. Feb 24, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Zobrist (back) will attempt to return to team workouts Tuesday and is hoping to play in Friday's exhibition opener, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: While the pain is no longer an issue, Zobrist said that loosening up his back is still a priority. The Rays have little incentive to rush him onto the field this early in spring training, so it would hardly be surprising to see him take a cautious approach with the injury even once the spring games begin Friday. Zobrist played catch Monday and was scheduled to take dry swings later in the day.
Tim Beckham - #29 - Short Stop - 6'0" - 190lbs
News: Beckham (knee) hopes to return to the field by May, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Beckham suffered a torn ACL in an offseason workout back in December and was given a 6-8 month recovery window. Returning to the field will put him about six months after surgery, then a return to minor league games would follow shortly after that. It will likely be at least mid-season before he is available as depth for a call-up from the minors.
Brandon Guyer - #5 - Left Field - 6'2" - 195lbs
News: Guyer (finger) is healthy and has a chance to make the Rays' roster out of spring training, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Guyer did not play in any major league games last season, but was productive with Triple-A Durham. He hit .301/.374/.458 with seven home runs and 41 RBI. He also showed some speed with 22 stolen bases in 25 attempts. Now past shoulder and finger injuries, he is healthy and ready to compete. Because he is out of minor league options, it is believed he is on the inside track to see a first look at a bench outfield spot as well to keep him in the organization.
News: Zobrist (back) may return to the practice field as early as Sunday, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Impact: Zobrist tweaked his back lifting weights Wednesday, but stated that he felt much better on Friday, lining him up for a Sunday return. It sounds like the injury is minor as expected, therefore shouldn't hurt his fantasy value heading into 2014.