The Tampa Bay Rays announced their 60-man roster pool on Sunday afternoon as the second round of spring training is set to get underway this week.
The Rays will take half that number (30) for their opening day roster on July 24, and then pare it down twice more of the next month, before settling in with a 26-man roster as originally planned for the 2020 season.
About 35 players are expected to report to Tropical Field on July 1 with the remaining 25 or more headed to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte. Following testing, workouts will begin two days later. All workouts at both sites are closed to the public.
There weren’t a ton of the surprises among the 60 roster invitees. Oft-injured pitcher Brent Honeywell, who is currently recovering from elbow surgery,is the only player on the 40-man roster not included in the pool.
The group does feature a number of prospects, including former Stone Crabs infielder Wander Franco, the Rays and baseball’s No. 1 overall prospect, as well as some players who were non-roster invitees to spring training, such as left-hander Aaron Loup, outfielder Ryan LaMarre and catcher Kevan Smith.
Rays general manager Erik Neander discussed the process with Tampa area media over a Zoom conference call on Sunday afternoon.
“We’ve got 60 players that are available to us this year, I think last year we used 57. So I think it’s reasonable to assume that this year, to cover 60 games, its unlikely that we’re going to need all 60,” Neander said.
“First and foremost, we prioritized what we needed to help our Major League club, and then, at a point, we had some spots we thought we could play with. It’s just something where we identified the next wave, of sorts, that could, obviously, benefit developmentally from the experience.”
Here is the Rays’ full 60-man list. Those not on 40 man roster are in bold;