Snell named opening day starter and Duffy cant get on the field
It’s becoming the worst kept secret in Tampa this spring, but Brandon Lowe will break camp with the Rays big league club in three weeks.
Not only will Lowe make the team, there is a very good chance that he has a chance to be in the starting lineup. against the Astros on opening day.
Brandon Lowe is having a fantastic spring and continues to tear the cover off the ball. When camp opened, Brandon Lowe was one of the rookies projected to make the roster as he had a solid 2018 season after getting called up And he has done nothing to change the minds of the Rays front office.
Lowe is hitting .462 with two home runs and eleven runs batted in.
Another player the Rays were counting on to be healthier in 2019 is third baseman Matt Duffy, but Duffy continues to struggle with his hamstring issues.
Duffy was slated to start at third base yesterday against Baltimore but said he just didn’t feel right so was scratched.
There is still time for Duffy to get his at bats and get in game shape in time for the opener on March 28th. But the longer this issue lingers the greater the chances that Duffy will open the season on the IR.
The Rays do have options at third with Yandy Diaz the most likely to start if Duffy is unable to go on opening day Which means Ji-Man Choi would start at first.
The competition is heating up in the race for the starting for the starting rightfield spot. Austin Meadows, Guillermo Heredia and Avasail Garcia are all having a good spring with Garcia hitting .333 and Meadows hitting .300 with two homers.
Kevin Cash announced earlier this week that Blake Snell will start the opener followed by Charlie Morton and then Tyler Glasnow. The Astros have announced that Justin Verlander will start against the Rays on opening day matching the Cy Young award winner against the runner-up From 2018.
The Rays will then again employ the opener strategy which got mixed reviews around the league last season. Ryan Yarborough, Yonny Chirinos, are the two candidates for those opener roles.
None of those guys have been overly impressive so far this spring, but with the first roster cuts coming soon that will give everyone a chance to settle into their roles a bit more and get more acclimated to the roles that they will play in the regular season.
Vegas has not backed off on their prediction that the Rays will win 85 games and be the second wild card team in the American League.
For that to happen the Rays will need to stay healthy, the pitching to be just as good or better than it was last year, and the Rays will have to find some offense form the newly acquired Garcia, Heredia, and Michael Perez.