Spring Training started roughly for the Rays as they went 1-8-1 through the first ten games. Since then, the Rays have gone 14-6, winning the last 5 games by a margin of 3 wins or higher. Though the Spring Training records are in no way a barometer for regular season success, it has made watching and listening to the games much more enjoyable.
The Rays recent roster cuts have all but finalized their opening day bullpen. Kyle Farnsworth, Jake McGee, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Joel Peralta, and Juan Cruz look to fill out the bullpen, while the Rays starting rotation will include David Price, James Shields, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, and top prospect Jeremy Hellickson.
That leaves 13 position players. Most of the positions are locked down by regulars such as Manny Ramirez, Evan Longoria, and platooners such as John Jaso, Matt Joyce, and Kelly Shoppach. The two remaining spots have been seemingly won by utility man and AAA veteran Elliot Johnson and recently acquired outfielder Sam Fuld.
There have been a few competitions this Spring -- namely between Elliot Johnson and Felipe Lopez, Dan Johnson and Casey Kotchman, and the now-closed bullpen openings -- but it seems unlikely the opening day roster will feature many surprises.
Today's lineup, per Marc Topkin:
Jeremy Hellickson P