My Shot at the Opening Day Roster

After seeing the roster cuts flying along this spring, I see a roster becoming more definable. This is my take on what I think the roster will look like come opening day. My process of selecting these players was the use of logic and reasoning as well as trying to incorporate Mills logic. This is not necessarily a list of the players who I want on the team, but are players who will most probably make the team. However, I do agree with these picks once I had the time to analyze them.

Starting Lineup:

CF: Jordan Schafer
SS: Jed Lowrie
LF: J.D. Martinez
1B: Carrrrlos Leeee
RF: Brian Bogusevic
3B: Chris Johnson
2B: Jose Altuve
C: Jason Castro
P: Wandy Rodriguez

Bench: Matt Downs, Marwin Gonzalez, Travis Buck, Justin Ruggiano, Chris Snyder

Rotation: Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris, Livan Hernandez, J.A. Happ, Kyle Weiland (not necessarily in this order)

Bullpen: Brett Myers (CL), Wilton Lopez, Fernando Rodriguez, Brandon Lyon, Wesley Wright, Lucas Harrell


Brett Wallace would be another left-handed bat off the bench if he made the club, which we would have too many of. It would be more beneficial to him if he could play in the minors on a consistent basis in order to try to distinguish himself from a major league starter or a bench player.

Marwin Gonzalez is a rule 5 pick who has not done much of anything fantastic. At least giving him a better look in the majors for a few weeks would allow him to better exhibit his talents in case he wasn't showing them in Spring Training. If Mar-go ends up being a total disappointment, we can always call up Angel Sanchez. But giving Angel Sanchez or Brett Wallace the roster spot out of spring training wouldn't be so beneficial as to justify giving up on Mar-go. It is probably in our best interest to keep him on the club for as long as possible unless he pulls a Joe Inglett (bad hitting in pinch hitting situations) or a Bill Hall (strikeout king, poor defense) .

Rhiner Cruz showed good stuff when I saw him, but not much in terms of control of his pitches. Having similar performances to Juan Abreu this spring, I think Rhiner Cruz is not going to be with the club to start the season because his control has been lacking and because there is not a whole lot of room for him on the roster.

Justin Ruggiano & Travis Buck as the two backup outfielders. Buck has hit well this spring and should make the roster. Shuck has also hit well and has a very high OBP. I recall Brad Mills being fond of Angel Sanchez last year because he was able to pinch hit and be selective in the count and be able to draw walks late in games. I think Shuck provides this advantage more than Justin Ruggiano does, the last RHHing outfielder in camp, but if Ruggiano is the speedier and better defensive outfielder, he might gain an edge over Shuck depending on what Brad Mills wants out of the 5th outfielder position. Ruggiano would provide a little more power at the position as opposed to Shuck. I think Shuck & Ruggiano have fairly close chances at making the ML roster, but Mills probably would be uncomfortable with having two LH hitting bench outfielders, just because it's Mills logic. So I would be betting that Ruggiano gets the call over Shuck.

Lucas Harrell profiles as a groundball situational / long reliever kind of guy. I'd much prefer him over EDR and Mills certainly wouldn't piece a roster together without either EDR or Harrell. Carpenter gets the footing here because of his iffy performances his past few games and the superior performances and major league histories of the other pitchers. I think Brandon Lyon also is well enough to start the season on the ML team. He's had a good spring and his arm is holding up. Hopefully he is used in low-pressure situations as to avoid unnecessary stress on his arm / shoulder.

Fernando Abad sort of profiles as F-Rod last season because F-Rod had a good spring yet was sent to the minors to start the year. Abad has had a better spring than Wesley Wright, but Wright is out of options. I think if both players are managed properly, they would only be used as LOOGIES since Abad and Wright don't have problems pitching to lefties. I think the decision on who becomes the LOOGY comes down to options. Abad can be optioned and called up in case Wright gets injured, but if Wright is sent down, he could be claimed by another team, in which case Abad gets injured, the only replacement would be Xavier Cedeno, who I like, but has not shown any sense of reliability when facing major league hitters. All in all, LOOGY is a fairly minor role, and I think Abad or Wright have somewhat equal footing when it comes to a chance to be on the major league roster. I think Brad Mills puts a lot of weight on options and past performances (remember Fulchino over F-Rod last ST), so Wright seems like just what Brad Mills would choose.

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