We made the first run on the opening day roster. Since then I have been to Surprise to see the team in person.
I came away impressed with certain players and had good conversations with others.
The time has come to make a second go at this.
NOTE: Any player listed in bold will be the player who is different from the previous prediction. I will also explain why the change is being predicted.
Let’s get things rolling.
Cory Kluber RHP, Mike Minor LHP, Lance Lynn RHP, Kyle Gibson RHP, Jordan Lyles RHP
In the first go-round, I had Joe Palumbo as the fifth starter with the knowledge that the ulcerative colitis that Gibson had may still linger. Gibson made a start and went two scoreless innings showing no signs of any issues. Meanwhile, Palumbo made his second start and cruised for two innings before getting hit a bit in the third.
Jose Leclerc RHP (No change)
Leclerc was on maternity leave with the birth of his child. He got back my last day in Surprise. He hasn’t pitched in a game yet. Chris Woodward still seems set to start of with him.
Nick Goody RHP, Rafael Montero RHP, Joely Rodriguez LHP, Brett Martin LHP, Jessie Chavez RHP, Luke Farrell RHP (No change)
I saw Farrell pitch in two games and he looks unhittable. In fact, I assumed he might be on the bubble, but he may end up with a late-inning role. He got hit in the jaw last spring and missed most of the year with a fracture and concussion.
Robinson Chirinos, Jeff Mathis (No change)
Especially with the finger issue of Jose Trevino, Mathis is now almost guaranteed to make the opening day roster.
Slam Huff nearly clearing the batter's eye!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) March 1, 2020
Although Sam Huff hit one off the top of the batters eye last Sunday.
Elvis Andrus SS, Todd Frazier 3B, Rougned Odor 2B, Greg Bird 1B, Isaiah Kiner-Falefa UT, Nick Solak UT
No offense to Ronald Guzman, but Greg Bird has looked better. Bird has been the victim of some great defensive plays that make his average in the spring look worse than it is. I watched both play live and Bird just looks more comfortable and is good defensively.
Joey Gallo RF, Danny Santana CF, Willie Calhoun LF, Scott Heineman OF, Adolis Garcia OF, Shin-Soo Choo OF/DH (No change)
Here is a prediction that may make some of you roll your eyes. I think Scott Heineman may end up as the starting centerfielder. He is good defensively and hitting well this spring. He looks the most comfortable and dangerous at the plate. He seems to be barreling the ball very well even when they are outs.
OPENING DAY LINEUP
- Choo DH
- Calhoun LF
- Gallo RF
- Frazier 3B
- Bird 1B
- Andrus SS
- Heineman CF
- Odor 2B
- Chirinos C
- Kluber P
Featured Image: Greg Bird/Associated Press