Rays' lineup reflects focus on flexibility

Tampa Bay's projected Opening Day batting order, pitching staff

February 15th, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG -- Flexibility will be the key to the Rays' roster in 2016. Save for a few players, most players in camp will have multiple gloves in their lockers to play multiple positions, whether they start at that position or move there during the game.

Comeback candidates | Newcomers | Prospects | Position battles

Recently acquired Steve Pearce personifies the team's flexibility. He can play outfield, DH, first base and second base.

Given that flexibility, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash will likely offer worlds of different lineups this season based on matchups, how the players are playing, etc.

Considering the Rays open against the Blue Jays, it's likely they will face right-hander Marcus Stroman on Opening Day, so we'll speculate on that fact when coming up with Tampa Bay's Opening Day lineup.

2015 record

80-82, fourth place in the American League East

Projected batting order (stats for 2015)

  1. CF Kevin Kiermaier:

    .263 BA, .298 OBP, .420 SLG, 10 HR, 40 RBI

  2. 2B Logan Forsythe:

    .281 BA, .359 OBP, .444 SLG, 17 HR, 68 RBI

  3. 3B Evan Longoria:

    .270 BA, .328 OBP, .435 SLG, 21 HR, 73 RBI

  4. LF Corey Dickerson:

    .304 BA, .333 OBP, .536 SLG, 10 HR, 31 RBI

  5. DH Logan Morrison:

    .225 BA, .302 OBP, .383 SLG, 17 HR, 54 RBI

  6. 1B James Loney:

    .280 BA, .322 OBP, .357 SLG, 4 HR, 32 RBI

  7. RF Steven Souza Jr.:

    .225 BA, .318 OBP, .399 SLG, 16 HR, 40 RBI

  8. C Curt Casali:

    .238 BA, .304 OBP, .594 SLG, 10 HR, 18 RBI

  9. SS Brad Miller:

    .258 BA, .329 OBP, .402 SLG, 11 HR, 46 RBI

    Projected rotation (stats for '15)

  10. Chris Archer,  12-13, 3.23 ERA

  11. Jake Odorizzi,  9-9, 3.35 ERA

  12. Drew Smyly,  5-2, 3.11 ERA

  13. Erasmo Ramirez,  11-6, 3.75 ERA

  14. Matt Moore,  3-4, 5.43 ERA

    Projected bullpen (stats for '15)

    Closer: Brad Boxberger,  41/47 saves, 3.71 ERA

    RH setup man: Alex Colome,  3.94 ERA

    LH setup man: Xavier Cedeno,  2.09 ERA