Tampa Bay Rays

(American League, South Division)

The Rays arrived in 1998 and have found innovative and creative ways to compete in the always-tough A.L. East – employing the shift and the opener in front of Carl Crawford, David Price, and Evan Longoria.

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Pre-season Game #01 – Birmingham Knights at the Tampa Bay Rays

KNIGHTS BLANK RAYS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL DEBUT Eternal Baseball TAMPA – Thousands of cellphones recorded the moment the Birmingham Knights took the field for their first-ever Major League Baseball game, and they showed they belonged with an impressive 4-0 victory...

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Active 26 Man Roster

Catchers & Infielders:

  • C – Mike Zunino
  • C – Toby Hall
  • 1B – Carlos Peña
  • 2B – Brandon Lowe (LF)
  • SS – Ben Zobrist (1B/2B/3B/OF)
  • 3B – Evan Longoria
  • CI – Logan Forsythe (1B/2B/3B/SS)
  • MI – Wander Franco (SS)


  • LF – Tommy Pham
  • CF – Carl Crawford (LF)
  • RF – Aubrey Huff (LF/1B/3B)
  • OF – Austin Meadows (LF/RF)
  • OF – Kevin Kiermaier (CF/RF)
  • CF – Matt Joyce (LF/RF)

Starting Pitchers:

  • SP – David Price
  • SP – Blake Snell
  • SP – Jeremy Hellickson
  • SP – Alex Cobb
  • SP – Chris Archer
  • SP – Tyler Glasnow

Relief Pitchers:

  • CL – Fernando Rodney
  • SU – Andrew Kittredge
  • RP – Jake McGee
  • RP – Alex Colome
  • RP – Grant Balfour
  • RP – Shane McClanahan

On the Farm

Catchers & Infielders:

  • SS – Jason Bartlett
  • SS – Willy Adames
  • C – John Flaherty


  • CF – Randy Winn (LF/RF)
  • CF – Rocco Baldelli (LF/RF)
  • LF – Luke Raley (1B/LF/RF)


  • P – James Shields
  • P – Danys Baez
  • P – Matt Garza
  • P – Brad Boxberger
  • P – Matt Moore
  • P – Scott Kazmir
  • P – Rolando Arrojo
  • P – Jake Odorizzi

Building the Roster: Tampa Bay Rays

There’s no easy way to put this…but expansion teams are at a true disadvantage in Eternal Baseball. The rosters are built from the best players in a team’s overall history, so the less overall history you have to pull from the greater your likely disadvantage.

Expansion teams’ initial rosters are largely made up of players who came from other teams, so even the debut teams take a few seasons to “belong” to their new club more than their previous team. Tampa has been a threat in the ultra-competitive American League East for more than a decade, add given their ability to identify and draft strong talent the future is bright in the Sunshine State.

As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries.

The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.

WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us build out the Tampa roster.

We get lots of help here, as searching the career WAR (earned as a Ray) we find: Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford, Ben Zobrist, Kevin Kiermaier, Carlos Pena, Melvin “B.J.” Upton Jr., Desmond Jennings, Julio Lugo, Aubrey Huff, Jason Bartlett, Matt Joyce, Rocco Baldelli, Logan Forsythe, Sean Rodriguez, Randy Winn, Aki Iwamura, Tommy Pham, Steven Souza Jr., Toby Hall, Willy Adames, and Mallex Smith.

Because each team needs at least three catchers, Dioner Navarro and John Flaherty are under consideration as well.

Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:

CATCHER: Dioner Navarro, Toby Hall
FIRST BASE: Carlos Pena, Aubrey Huff (sometimes)
SECOND BASE: Ben Zobrist, Willy Adames (sometimes)
SHORTSTOP: Logan Forsythe, Willy Adames (sometimes)
THIRD BASE: Evan Longoria
LEFT FIELD: Carl Crawford, Tommy Pham
CENTER FIELD: Randy Winn, Rocco Baldelli
RIGHT FIELD: Matt Joyce, Aubrey Huff (sometimes)

The Rays have quite a bit of defensive versatility thanks to jack-of-all-trades Ben Zobrist, Willy Adames, Logan Forsythe, and Aubrey Huff.

That leaves inactive roster options for: Jason Bartlett, Kevin Kiermaier, Julio Lugo, Desmond Jennings, John Flaherty, Mallex Smith, and Melvin Upton Jr.

For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive. 21 players on the total roster we have room for 19 pitchers.

Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as Padres) we came up with: David Price, James Shields, Scott Kazmir, Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Blake Snell, Matt Garza, Jake Odorizzi, Jeremy Hellickson, Rolando Arrojo, Jake McGee, Tanyon Sturtze, Matt Moore, Roberto Hernandez, Victor Zambrano, Albie Lopez, Jeff Niemann, Fernando Rodney, Wilson Alvarez, Alex Colome, and Jim Mecir.

Young star Tyler Glasnow is in the discussion too.

We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:

STARTING ROTATION: David Price, Blake Snell, Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Tyler Glasnow
RELIEVERS: Matt Moore, Brad Boxberger, Jake McGee, Danys Baez
SET-UP: Alex Colome
CLOSER: Fernando Rodney

I’m a little nervous about the starting rotation, but the back end of the bullpen looks pretty strong. The inactive pitcher options are: Jake Odorizzi, James Shields, Rolando Arrojo, Tanyon Sturtze, Matt Garza, Victor Zambrano, Albie Lopez, and Scott Kazmir.

So how did we do?

Would you pick someone lese to close instead of Fernando Rodney?

Do you start Randy Winn or Rocco Baldelli in center field?

Can you leave “Big Game” James Shields down on the Farm?

Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Rays for Eternal Baseball.

Visit Our Tampa Bay Rays Discussion Board

Give your 2 cents on the composition of the roster!