Final 26-Man MLB Roster Predictions 1 Week from 2021 Opening DayMarch 25, 2021
Final 26-Man MLB Roster Predictions 1 Week from 2021 Opening Day
One more week!
After another long, cold offseason, there is a light at the end of the tunnel with the start of the 2021 MLB season fast approaching.
We rolled out Opening Day lineup predictions at the three-month, two-month and one-month out marks, and now that we're close, it's time to broaden our focus to full rosters.
Ahead we've provided our best guesses for the 26 players who will break camp with each MLB team, complete with a starting lineup, bench, starting rotation, bullpen and injured list for each club.
Those are followed by quick notes highlighting teams' biggest remaining roster decisions.
Who's ready for some baseball?
Starting Lineup: CF Ketel Marte, LF David Peralta, 1B Christian Walker, 3B Eduardo Escobar, RF Pavin Smith, C Carson Kelly, SS Nick Ahmed, 2B Josh Rojas
Bench: C Stephen Vogt, IF Asdrubal Cabrera, IF Wyatt Mathisen, OF Tim Locastro, OF Trayce Thompson
Rotation: LHP Madison Bumgarner, RHP Luke Weaver, LHP Caleb Smith, RHP Merrill Kelly, RHP Taylor Clarke
Bullpen: RHP Taylor Widener, LHP Alex Young, RHP Yoan Lopez, LHP Joe Mantiply, RHP Chris Devenski, RHP Kevin Ginkel, RHP Stefan Crichton, RHP Joakim Soria
IL: RF Kole Calhoun, RHP Zac Gallen, RHP Tyler Clippard
- Non-roster invitees Joe Mantiply and Chris Devenski have pitched well enough to earn spots in the bullpen, which will be without free-agent signing Tyler Clippard to begin the year.
- Playing time still needs to be sorted out alongside Ketel Marte and David Peralta in the outfield, but look for Pavin Smith, Tim Locastro and non-roster invitee Trayce Thompson to break camp.
- With the left-handed hitting Josh Rojas looking like the starter at second base, right-handed hitter Wyatt Mathisen is a better fit for the bench than lefty Josh VanMeter.
Starting Lineup: RF Ronald Acuna Jr., 2B Ozzie Albies, 1B Freddie Freeman, LF Marcell Ozuna, C Travis d'Arnaud, SS Dansby Swanson, 3B Austin Riley, CF Cristian Pache
Bench: C William Contreras, 1B/3B Jake Lamb, IF Ehire Adrianza, IF Johan Camargo, OF Ender Inciarte
Rotation: LHP Max Fried, RHP Charlie Morton, RHP Ian Anderson, LHP Drew Smyly, RHP Bryse Wilson
Bullpen: RHP Josh Tomlin, LHP Sean Newcomb, RHP Nate Jones, RHP Luke Jackson, LHP Tyler Matzek, LHP A.J. Minter, RHP Chris Martin, LHP Will Smith
IL: RHP Mike Soroka
- Bryse Wilson has outpitched Kyle Wright for the No. 5 starter job, which will eventually go to Mike Soroka once he returns from the torn Achilles he suffered last season.
- The Braves could opt to leave Ehire Adrianza off the roster in favor of a reliever, while veterans Jason Kipnis and Pablo Sandoval are in the mix for that bench spot.
- Grant Dayton is out of options and would be exposed to waivers in this projection. Non-roster invitee Carl Edwards Jr. has also thrown well enough to land on someone else's Opening Day roster.
Starting Lineup: CF Cedric Mullins, 1B Trey Mancini, RF Anthony Santander, LF Ryan Mountcastle, 3B Maikel Franco, DH Austin Hays, C Pedro Severino, SS Freddy Galvis, 2B Yolmer Sanchez
Bench: C Chance Sisco, 3B Rio Ruiz, IF Ramon Urias, IF Pat Valaika
Rotation: LHP John Means, RHP Matt Harvey, LHP Keegan Akin, RHP Jorge Lopez, LHP Bruce Zimmermann
Bullpen: LHP Wade LeBlanc, RHP Shawn Armstrong, LHP Paul Fry, RHP Cole Sulser, RHP Travis Lakins Sr., RHP Dillon Tate, LHP Tanner Scott, RHP Cesar Valdez
IL: 1B Chris Davis, OF DJ Stewart, RHP Hunter Harvey
- Sending Dean Kremer to the alternate site to start the year would be a logical way to limit his innings and allow him to dial in his command after he tallied seven walks in 11 innings. Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann has pitched his way onto the staff with nine scoreless innings of one-hit, 10-strikeout ball.
- With no one seizing the open second base job, 2019 Gold Glove Award winner Yolmer Sanchez looks like he will start there. Don't be surprised if Jahmai Jones takes over by midseason.
- The O's have four outfielders on the projected roster with Austin Hays penciled in to the designated hitter slot, opening the door for Pat Valaika and Ramon Urias to earn bench spots.
Boston Red Sox
Starting Lineup: 2B Enrique Hernandez, CF Alex Verdugo, SS Xander Bogaerts, 3B Rafael Devers, DH J.D. Martinez, RF Hunter Renfroe, 1B Bobby Dalbec, C Christian Vazquez, LF Franchy Cordero
Bench: C Kevin Plawecki, IF/OF Michael Chavis, IF/OF Marwin Gonzalez
Rotation: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Garrett Richards, LHP Martin Perez, RHP Nick Pivetta
Bullpen: RHP Matt Andriese, RHP Garrett Whitlock, RHP Kevin McCarthy, RHP Austin Brice, LHP Josh Taylor, RHP Hirokazu Sawamura, LHP Darwinzon Hernandez, RHP Adam Ottavino, RHP Matt Barnes
IL: LHP Chris Sale, RHP Ryan Brasier
- The Red Sox will have to decide between Michael Chavis and Christian Arroyo for a bench spot. Arroyo is out of options, but Chavis is swinging the bat too well to not be included when the team breaks camp.
- Franchy Cordero is just now returning from the COVID-19 list, so it's not out of the question that he could spend time at the alternate site. In that case, Marwin Gonzalez would be the starting left fielder, and Arroyo would make the team.
- Nick Pivetta still looks like the front-runner for the No. 5 starter job, but he'll be on a short leash with Tanner Houck waiting in the wings in the minors.
Starting Lineup: CF Ian Happ, C Willson Contreras, 1B Anthony Rizzo, 3B Kris Bryant, LF Joc Pederson, SS Javier Baez, RF Jason Heyward, 2B Nico Hoerner
Bench: C P.J. Higgins, IF David Bote, IF Ildemaro Vargas, OF Jake Marisnick, OF Cameron Maybin
Rotation: RHP Kyle Hendricks, RHP Jake Arrieta, RHP Zach Davies, RHP Alec Mills, RHP Trevor Williams
Bullpen: RHP Shelby Miller, LHP Rex Brothers, RHP Dillon Maples, RHP Ryan Tepera, RHP Dan Winkler, LHP Andrew Chafin, RHP Brandon Workman, RHP Craig Kimbrel
IL: C Austin Romine, RHP Rowan Wick
- With 12 strikeouts and one earned run allowed in nine innings, Shelby Miller has made a strong case for a spot in the bullpen.
- Backup catcher Austin Romine has a sprained knee, which is a less-than-ideal injury for someone who has to crouch behind the plate. There's an outside chance he'll be included on the Opening Day roster, but for now non-roster invitee P.J. Higgins gets the nod.
- Alec Mills, Ildemaro Vargas and Dillon Maples are among the notable out-of-options players on the roster, so expect all three to break camp. Non-roster invitee Rex Brothers gets the nod over Jason Adam to add a second lefty to the bullpen.
Chicago White Sox
Starting Lineup: SS Tim Anderson, C Yasmani Grandal, 1B Jose Abreu, 3B Yoan Moncada, CF Luis Robert, DH Andrew Vaughn, RF Adam Eaton, LF Leury Garcia, 2B Nick Madrigal
Bench: C Jonathan Lucroy, C/1B Zack Collins, IF Danny Mendick, OF Billy Hamilton
Rotation: RHP Lucas Giolito, LHP Dallas Keuchel, RHP Lance Lynn, RHP Dylan Cease, LHP Carlos Rodon
Bullpen: RHP Michael Kopech, LHP Nik Turley, RHP Codi Heuer, RHP Matt Foster, LHP Garrett Crochet, RHP Evan Marshall, LHP Aaron Bummer, RHP Liam Hendriks
IL: LF Eloy Jimenez, OF Adam Engel, LHP Jace Fry, RHP Jimmy Cordero
- Top prospect Andrew Vaughn has made his case for a roster spot, going 14-for-49 with five extra-base hits and a .386 on-base percentage in 57 plate appearances.
- The decision to option Reynaldo Lopez to the minors opens up a spot in the bullpen, which will likely go to left-hander Nik Turley, who was just claimed off waivers. Jose Ruiz is the only other reliever on the 40-man roster still in camp.
- Speedster Billy Hamilton is a candidate to snag a bench spot with Adam Engel expected to start the year on the injured list. His speed and defense will provide a different wrinkle to the outfield mix.
Starting Lineup: LF Jesse Winker, RF Nick Castellanos, SS Eugenio Suarez, 3B Mike Moustakas, CF Nick Senzel, C Tucker Barnhart, 1B Max Schrock, 2B Jonathan India
Bench: C Tyler Stephenson, IF Alex Blandino, IF Kyle Farmer, IF/OF Dee Strange-Gordon, OF Aristides Aquino
Rotation: RHP Luis Castillo, RHP Tyler Mahle, LHP Wade Miley, RHP Michael Lorenzen, RHP Jeff Hoffman
Bullpen: RHP Sal Romano, LHP Cionel Perez, RHP Jose De Leon, LHP Jesse Biddle, RHP Tejay Antone, LHP Sean Doolittle, RHP Lucas Sims, LHP Amir Garrett
IL: RHP Sonny Gray, 1B Joey Votto, OF Shogo Akiyama
- The lack of a proven shortstop and emergence of Jonathan India has paved the way for a shuffling of infielders. Eugenio Suarez shifts to shortstop, Mike Moustakas moves back to his natural position at third base, and India takes over at second base.
- After missing 12 days following a positive COVID-19 test, it doesn't sound like Joey Votto is going to be ready for Opening Day. Max Schrock is hitting .453 and has played his way onto the roster. The Reds could also shuffle the infield again and go with Moustakas at first base, Kyle Farmer at shortstop and Suarez at third base.
- The bullpen is a crapshoot beyond Sean Doolittle, Lucas Sims and Amir Garrett. Sal Romano, Carson Fulmer and Noe Ramirez are all out of options, while non-roster invitee Jesse Biddle will get scooped up by another team if he's not added to the roster.
Starting Lineup: 2B Cesar Hernandez, 3B Jose Ramirez, LF Eddie Rosario, DH Franmil Reyes, RF Josh Naylor, 1B Jake Bauers, C Roberto Perez, SS Andres Gimenez, CF Bradley Zimmer
Bench: C Austin Hedges, IF Yu Chang, IF/OF Amed Rosario, OF Jordan Luplow
Rotation: RHP Shane Bieber, RHP Zach Plesac, RHP Aaron Civale, RHP Triston McKenzie, LHP Logan Allen
Bullpen: RHP Adam Plutko, RHP Trevor Stephan, RHP Bryan Shaw, LHP Oliver Perez, RHP Phil Maton, RHP Emmanuel Clase, RHP Nick Wittgren, RHP James Karinchak
IL: RHP Cam Hill
- With Logan Allen pitching his way into the No. 5 starter job and Adam Plutko out of minor league options, Cal Quantrill looks like the odd man out. That assumes non-roster invitees Bryan Shaw and Oliver Perez are added to the roster.
- Oscar Mercado will start the season in the minors after being optioned, which opens up the starting center field job. Former top prospect Bradley Zimmer, Harold Ramirez and non-roster invitee Ben Gamel are competing for that spot.
- Slugger Bobby Bradley could be the answer at first base. For now, the out-of-options Jake Bauers will get one more chance to prove he can be a long-term piece of the puzzle.
Starting Lineup: LF Raimel Tapia, 3B Ryan McMahon, SS Trevor Story, RF Charlie Blackmon, 1B C.J. Cron, CF Sam Hilliard, 2B Garrett Hampson, C Elias Diaz
Bench: C Dom Nunez, IF Josh Fuentes, IF/OF Chris Owings, OF Yonathan Daza
Rotation: RHP German Marquez, RHP Jon Gray, LHP Austin Gomber, RHP Antonio Senzatela, RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez
Bullpen: RHP Jordan Sheffield, RHP Carlos Estevez, RHP Jairo Diaz, RHP Yency Almonte, LHP Ben Bowden, RHP Robert Stephenson, RHP Scott Oberg, RHP Mychal Givens, RHP Daniel Bard
IL: LHP Kyle Freeland, IF Brendan Rodgers, RHP Tyler Kinley, 1B/OF Ian Desmond (opt-out)
- Manager Bud Black said he's "concerned" with Kyle Freeland, who exited his most recent outing with a strained shoulder. Non-roster veteran Chi Chi Gonzalez and top prospect Ryan Rolison are the top in-house candidates to replace him in the rotation, but don't be surprised if the Rockies scoop up someone on the waiver wire.
- Reliever Justin Lawrence has thrown 5.2 scoreless innings and could shake things up if he's given a spot. However, Robert Stephenson, Yency Almonte, Carlos Estevez and Jairo Diaz are out of minor league options.
- Another ill-timed injury to Brendan Rodgers opens up the second base job. Chris Owings has already been informed he made the team, and utility man Garrett Hampson can play there. Colorado could also use Ryan McMahon at second base and Josh Fuentes at third base.
Starting Lineup: LF Robbie Grossman, 3B Jeimer Candelario, SS Willi Castro, DH Miguel Cabrera, 2B Jonathan Schoop, C Wilson Ramos, 1B Renato Nunez, RF Nomar Mazara, CF JaCoby Jones
Bench: C Grayson Greiner, IF Niko Goodrum, OF Akil Baddoo, OF Victor Reyes
Rotation: LHP Matthew Boyd, RHP Jose Urena, LHP Tarik Skubal, RHP Julio Teheran, RHP Michael Fulmer
Bullpen: LHP Tyler Alexander, LHP Derek Holland, RHP Jose Cisnero, LHP Daniel Norris, RHP Buck Farmer, Joe Jimenez, RHP Bryan Garcia, LHP Gregory Soto
IL: RHP Spencer Turnbull
- With Spencer Turnbull absent from camp because of COVID-19 protocols, it looks like Matthew Boyd will get the Opening Day start. The Tigers could go with a six-man rotation once Turnbull returns, and it's only a matter of time before Casey Mize is back in the mix.
- Detroit has a trio of quality left-handers capable of working multiple innings out of the bullpen in Tyler Alexander, Derek Holland and Daniel Norris. If it decides to keep only two on the Opening Day roster, Alexander will be the odd man out with two options remaining.
- If Renato Nunez does not make the team as a non-roster invitee, Jeimer Candelario could slide to first base. That would open up the third base job for Isaac Paredes, who has not yet been optioned back to the minors.
Starting Lineup: 2B Jose Altuve, LF Michael Brantley, 3B Alex Bregman, SS Carlos Correa, DH Yordan Alvarez, 1B Yuli Gurriel, RF Kyle Tucker, C Jason Castro, CF Myles Straw
Bench: C Martin Maldonado, IF Abraham Toro, IF/OF Aledmys Diaz, OF Jose Siri
Rotation: RHP Zack Greinke, RHP Lance McCullers Jr., RHP Jose Urquidy, RHP Cristian Javier, RHP Brandon Bielak
Bullpen: RHP Luis Garcia, RHP Ryne Stanek, RHP Steve Cishek, LHP Brooks Raley, RHP Joe Smith, LHP Blake Taylor, RHP Enoli Paredes, RHP Ryan Pressly
IL: RHP Justin Verlander, LHP Framber Valdez, RHP Josh James, RHP Andre Scrubb, RHP Pedro Baez, RHP Austin Pruitt
- Jake Odorizzi is not expected to make his first start until the second week of the season after signing late, and he will not break camp with the team. That opens up a spot for Brandon Bielak, who has been stretched out to start this spring.
- A positive COVID-19 test will keep Pedro Baez away from the team to start the season. That should clinch non-roster invitee Steve Cishek being added to the roster.
- Former Cincinnati Reds prospect Jose Siri is 6-for-23 with a home run this spring. With Chas McCormick struggling at the plate and Steven Souza Jr. released, he has a leg up for the fourth outfielder job.
Kansas City Royals
Starting Lineup: RF Whit Merrifield, SS Adalberto Mondesi, 1B Carlos Santana, C Salvador Perez, DH Jorge Soler, LF Andrew Benintendi, 3B Hunter Dozier, 2B Nicky Lopez, CF Michael Taylor
Bench: C Cam Gallagher, 1B Ryan O'Hearn, IF Hanser Alberto, OF Jarrod Dyson
Rotation: RHP Brad Keller, LHP Mike Minor, RHP Brady Singer, LHP Danny Duffy
Bullpen: RHP Ervin Santana, RHP Jakob Junis, RHP Jake Newberry, LHP Richard Lovelady, RHP Wade Davis, RHP Jesse Hahn, RHP Scott Barlow, RHP Josh Staumont, RHP Greg Holland
- The incumbent middle infield tandem of Nicky Lopez and Adalberto Mondesi will be looking over their shoulders after top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. nearly played his way onto the roster with a stellar spring. He's only 20 years old, but Witt could debut before 2021 is over.
- The Royals won't need a fifth starter until April 16, which could be part of the reason Kris Bubic was optioned to the minors. Non-roster invitee Ervin Santana is a prime candidate to chew through some innings to protect the young arms, and Jakob Junis is also a starting option, but we'll pencil in four starters for now.
- Jake Newberry, Kyle Zimmer and Richard Lovelady appear to be fighting for the final two spots in the bullpen, assuming Santana is added to the roster.
Los Angeles Angels
Starting Lineup: 2B David Fletcher, DH Shohei Ohtani, CF Mike Trout, 3B Anthony Rendon, LF Justin Upton, 1B Jared Walsh, SS Jose Iglesias, C Max Stassi, RF Dexter Fowler
Bench: C Kurt Suzuki, 1B Albert Pujols, IF Jose Rojas, OF Jon Jay
Rotation: RHP Dylan Bundy, LHP Andrew Heaney, RHP Alex Cobb, RHP Griffin Canning, LHP Jose Quintana, RHP Shohei Ohtani
Bullpen: RHP Jake Faria, LHP Dillon Peters, RHP Aaron Slegers, RHP Junior Guerra, LHP Alex Claudio, RHP Ty Buttrey, RHP Mike Mayers, RHP Raisel Iglesias
IL: IF Franklin Barreto, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Luke Bard
- Albert Pujols will DH on days before and after Shohei Ohtani starts, though there's a chance Ohtani could hit for himself when he's pitching. Pujols could also see time at first base against left-handed pitching if they want to keep Jared Walsh from being overexposed.
- An elbow injury took Franklin Barreto out of the running for the utility infield spot, and after Luis Rengifo and Jack Mayfield were optioned to the minors on Wednesday, it looks like Jose Rojas will make the club after a strong spring.
- Junior Guerra, Alex Claudio, Ty Buttrey, Mike Mayers and Raisel Iglesias are the only locks in the bullpen. Jake Faria and Dillon Peters have both pitched well as non-roster invitees, and Jesse Chavez could join them as a third roster addition if Aaron Slegers continues to deal with back spasms.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Starting Lineup: RF Mookie Betts, SS Corey Seager, 3B Justin Turner, 1B Max Muncy, C Will Smith, CF Cody Bellinger, LF AJ Pollock, 2B Gavin Lux
Bench: C Austin Barnes, IF Zach McKinstry, IF Edwin Rios, IF/OF Matt Beaty, IF/OF Chris Taylor
Rotation: LHP Clayton Kershaw, RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Walker Buehler, RHP Tony Gonsolin, LHP Julio Urias
Bullpen: LHP David Price, RHP Dustin May, RHP Jimmy Nelson, LHP Scott Alexander, RHP Corey Knebel, LHP Victor Gonzalez, RHP Blake Treinen, RHP Kenley Jansen
IL: RHP Brusdar Graterol, RHP Tommy Kahnle, RHP Joe Kelly, LHP Caleb Ferguson
- David Price has indicated his willingness to accept a bullpen role if that's where the Dodgers decide he fits best. That would open up a rotation job for Tony Gonsolin or Dustin May, though all three guys are likely to be on the roster in some capacity.
- Assuming Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly both begin the year on the injured list, the final two spots in the bullpen come down to Scott Alexander, Dennis Santana and non-roster invitee Jimmy Nelson. Moving Tommy Kahnle to the 60-day injured list would open up a spot for Nelson on the 40-man roster.
- They could also carry all three and go with a four-man bench, in which case Zach McKinstry is probably the odd man out headed back to the minors.
Starting Lineup: LF Corey Dickerson, CF Starling Marte, 1B Jesus Aguilar, 3B Brian Anderson, RF Adam Duvall, SS Miguel Rojas, 2B Jazz Chisholm, C Jorge Alfaro
Bench: C Chad Wallach, 1B/OF Garrett Cooper, IF Jon Berti, OF Magneuris Sierra
Rotation: RHP Sandy Alcantara, RHP Pablo Lopez, RHP Elieser Hernandez, LHP Trevor Rogers, RHP Sixto Sanchez
Bullpen: LHP Ross Detwiler, RHP cc, RHP Adam Cimber, RHP James Hoyt, RHP John Curtiss, LHP Richard Bleier, RHP Dylan Floro, RHP Yimi Garcia, RHP Anthony Bass
IL: OF Jesus Sanchez, RHP Jorge Guzman
- Jazz Chisholm is making a strong late push for the starting second base job, and that could mean Isan Diaz is on the outside looking in for a roster spot. Speedster Jon Berti is also an option at second base, but he fits best in a utility role.
- If the Marlins decide to carry both Chisholm and Diaz or to include someone like Lewis Brinson as a fifth outfielder, Adam Cimber and James Hoyt both have minor league options remaining. They could also cut loose Rule 5 pick Zach Pop.
- Sixto Sanchez got a late start to the spring, or else he would likely be penciled into the No. 3 spot in the rotation, just like he was last postseason.
Starting Lineup: 2B Kolten Wong, CF Lorenzo Cain, LF Christian Yelich, 1B Keston Hiura, 3B Travis Shaw, RF Jackie Bradley Jr., SS Luis Urias, C Omar Narvaez
Bench: C Manny Pina, 1B/OF Billy McKinney, IF Orlando Arcia, IF/OF Daniel Robertson, OF Avisail Garcia
Rotation: RHP Brandon Woodruff, RHP Corbin Burnes, LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Adrian Houser, RHP Josh Lindblom
Bullpen: RHP Freddy Peralta, RHP Drew Rasmussen, RHP Justin Topa, RHP J.P. Feyereisen, RHP Eric Yardley, LHP Brent Suter, RHP Devin Williams, LHP Josh Hader
IL: C Jacob Nottingham, OF Derek Fisher, RHP Ray Black
- Will a strong spring be enough for Billy McKinney to steal the final bench spot away from slugger Daniel Vogelbach? Both players are out of minor league options.
- For now, it looks like Luis Urias and Orlando Arcia will platoon at shortstop, though the hope will be that someone pulls away and becomes the clear everyday option.
- Don't rule out Freddy Peralta making an impact in the starting rotation at some point this year, especially if the Brewers decide to use a six-man rotation. With a deep and talented bullpen, it will be a lot of mixing and matching behind Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes in the rotation.
Starting Lineup: LF Luis Arraez, RF Max Kepler, 3B Josh Donaldson, DH Nelson Cruz, 2B Jorge Polanco, 1B Miguel Sano, CF Byron Buxton, SS Andrelton Simmons, C Ryan Jeffers
Bench: C Mitch Garver, C/IF Willians Astudillo, OF Jake Cave, OF Kyle Garlick
Rotation: RHP Kenta Maeda, RHP Jose Berrios, RHP Michael Pineda, LHP J.A. Happ, RHP Matt Shoemaker
Bullpen: LHP Lewis Thorpe, RHP Cody Stashak, LHP Caleb Thielbar, RHP Jorge Alcala, RHP Hansel Robles, RHP Tyler Duffey, LHP Taylor Rogers, RHP Alex Colome
- The decision to option Alex Kirilloff to the minors opens up an unexpected spot on the roster for an outfielder. Kyle Garlick is 9-for-27 with four home runs and 11 RBI this spring, giving him a leg up over young slugger Brent Rooker and non-roster invitee Keon Broxton.
- Ryan Jeffers and Mitch Garver are expected to split catching duties evenly, though the door is open for Garver to grab a bigger piece of the pie if he can return to his 2019 form offensively.
- Lewis Thorpe and Randy Dobnak are fighting it out for the final spot in the bullpen. Both have minor league options remaining, but the team might prefer to keep Dobnak stretched out as a starter to serve as the next man up in the rotation.
New York Mets
Starting Lineup: CF Brandon Nimmo, SS Francisco Lindor, RF Michael Conforto, 1B Pete Alonso, LF Dominic Smith, 2B Jeff McNeil, 3B J.D. Davis, C James McCann
Bench: C Tomas Nido, IF Luis Guillorme, IF/OF Jonathan Villar, OF Albert Almora Jr., OF Kevin Pillar
Rotation: RHP Jacob deGrom, RHP Marcus Stroman, RHP Taijuan Walker, LHP David Peterson, LHP Joey Lucchesi
Bullpen: LHP Mike Montgomery, RHP Jacob Barnes, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Dellin Betances, LHP Aaron Loup, RHP Miguel Castro, RHP Trevor May, RHP Edwin Diaz
IL: RHP Carlos Carrasco, RHP Noah Syndergaard, RHP Seth Lugo, 1B/OF Jose Martinez
- It would make sense for the Mets to carry one of Mike Montgomery, Jordan Yamamoto or Robert Gsellman as a bulk reliever early in the season. Yamamoto and Gsellman both have minor league options remaining, so expect them to be sent to the alternate site.
- The under-the-radar move to trade for Joey Lucchesi as a third team in the Joe Musgrove-to-San Diego trade has paid immediate dividends. Carlos Carrasco will miss the start of the year with a torn hamstring, and that depth immediately gets put to use.
- The Mets have set up their bullpen well so they don't have to count on Jeurys Familia or Dellin Betances to handle high-leverage situations, but they are that much better if they can.
New York Yankees
Starting Lineup: 2B DJ LeMahieu, RF Aaron Judge, CF Aaron Hicks, DH Giancarlo Stanton, 1B Luke Voit, SS Gleyber Torres, LF Clint Frazier, 3B Gio Urshela, C Gary Sanchez
Bench: C Kyle Higashioka, IF Tyler Wade, OF Brett Gardner, OF Mike Tauchman
Rotation: RHP Gerrit Cole, RHP Corey Kluber, RHP Jameson Taillon, LHP Jordan Montgomery, RHP Domingo German
Bullpen: RHP Luis Cessa, RHP Nick Nelson, LHP Lucas Luetge, RHP Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP Darren O'Day, LHP Justin Wilson, RHP Chad Green, LHP Aroldis Chapman
IL: LHP Zack Britton, RHP Luis Severino
- Has Mike Tauchman done enough this spring to hold off Jay Bruce, who looks fully healthy for the first time in years? If Tauchman had a minor league option remaining, Bruce might get a shot, but it's hard to see him sneaking through waivers.
- Lefty reliever Lucas Luetge last appeared in the majors in 2015, and he's not on the 40-man roster. He has a 1.93 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 9.1 innings this spring and could help ease the absence of Zack Britton as another swing-and-miss southpaw.
- Domingo German is a lock for the No. 5 starter job over Deivi Garcia and Michael King thanks to his stellar spring performance.
Starting Lineup: LF Mark Canha, CF Ramon Laureano, 3B Matt Chapman, 1B Matt Olson, C Sean Murphy, DH Mitch Moreland, RF Stephen Piscotty, SS Elvis Andrus, 2B Jed Lowrie
Bench: C Aramis Garcia, IF/OF Tony Kemp, IF/OF Chad Pinder, OF Ka'ai Tom
Rotation: RHP Chris Bassitt, LHP Jesus Luzardo, RHP Frankie Montas, LHP Sean Manaea, LHP A.J. Puk
Bullpen: RHP Burch Smith, RHP Lou Trivino, RHP J.B. Wendelken, RHP Adam Kolarek, RHP Yusmeiro Petit, RHP Sergio Romo, LHP Jake Diekman, RHP Trevor Rosenthal
IL: RHP Mike Fiers
- Back in Oakland for a third go-around on a minor league deal, Jed Lowrie has likely played his way onto the roster by showing he's healthy. He'll split time early on with Tony Kemp at second base in an effort to keep him fresh, but don't be surprised if he's hitting second in the lineup at some point.
- With Mike Fiers sidelined by a hip injury, oft-injured A.J. Puk is the front-runner to round out the starting rotation. Daulton Jefferies and Cole Irvin are the other in-house candidates if they decide to ease Puk back into action in a relief role.
- Rule 5 pick Ka'ai Tom has shown enough potential to be the front-runner for the fourth outfielder spot ahead of slugger Seth Brown.
Starting Lineup: LF Andrew McCutchen, 1B Rhys Hoskins, RF Bryce Harper, C J.T. Realmuto, 3B Alec Bohm, SS Didi Gregorius, 2B Jean Segura, CF Odubel Herrera
Bench: C Andrew Knapp, IF Ronald Torreyes, IF/OF Scott Kingery, OF Matt Joyce, OF Roman Quinn
Rotation: RHP Aaron Nola, RHP Zack Wheeler, RHP Zach Eflin, LHP Matt Moore, RHP Chase Anderson
Bullpen: RHP David Hale, LHP Tony Watson, RHP RHP Brandon Kintzler, LHP JoJo Romero, RHP Connor Brogdon, LHP Jose Alvarado, RHP Archie Bradley, RHP Hector Neris
IL: OF Adam Haseley, IF Brad Miller, RHP Vince Velasquez
- Removed from the 40-man roster during his domestic violence suspension but still under contract through 2021 with a pair of club options, Odubel Herrera appears to have played his way back into the starting lineup this spring.
- Non-roster invitees Brandon Kintzler and Tony Watson both had opt-out clauses in their contract for Wednesday. The fact they are still around would seem to indicate they are confident they have locked down spots in the bullpen.
- With Brad Miller nursing an oblique strain and Scott Kingery still slated to see some starts in center field, utility infielder Ronald Torreyes would fill a void on the bench. He would need to be added to the 40-man roster.
Starting Lineup: 2B Adam Frazier, SS Kevin Newman, 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes, 1B Colin Moran, LF Bryan Reynolds, RF Gregory Polanco, CF Anthony Alford, C Jacob Stallings
Bench: C Tony Wolters, 1B/3B Todd Frazier, IF Erik Gonzalez, OF Dustin Fowler
Rotation: RHP Chad Kuhl, LHP Tyler Anderson, RHP Mitch Keller, RHP JT Brubaker, RHP Trevor Cahill
Bullpen: RHP Cody Ponce, RHP Duane Underwood Jr., RHP Clay Holmes, LHP Chasen Shreve, RHP David Bednar, RHP Michael Feliz, RHP Chris Stratton, RHP Kyle Crick, RHP Ricard Rodriguez
IL: LHP Steven Brault, RHP Blake Cederlind
- Projected Opening Day starter Steven Brault is headed for the injured list with a lat strain. Chad Kuhl is one of the longest-tenured players on the roster, having debuted back in 2016, so that honor could now go to him.
- Shortstop Kevin Newman is as hot as any hitter on the planet right now, going 16-for-22 this spring after returning from an early bout with hamstring tightness. He'll be a candidate to hit higher in the order than expected, at least while he's hot.
- Non-roster invitee Tony Wolters is battling Michael Perez for the backup catcher spot.
San Diego Padres
Starting Lineup: CF Trent Grisham, SS Fernando Tatis Jr., 3B Manny Machado, 1B Eric Hosmer, LF Tommy Pham, RF Wil Myers, 2B Jake Cronenworth, C Victor Caratini
Bench: C Luis Campusano, IF Ha-Seong Kim, IF/OF Jorge Mateo, IF/OF Jurickson Profar
Rotation: RHP Yu Darvish, LHP Blake Snell, RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Chris Paddack, LHP Adrian Morejon
Bullpen: LHP Ryan Weathers, RHP Dan Altavilla, LHP Tim Hill, RHP Craig Stammen, RHP Keone Kela, RHP Pierce Johnson, RHP Mark Melancon, RHP Emilio Pagan, LHP Drew Pomeranz
IL: RHP Dinelson Lamet, RHP Mike Clevinger, C Austin Nola, RHP Austin Adams, LHP Matt Strahm, RHP Javy Guerra
- Catcher Austin Nola (fractured finger) and right-hander Dinelson Lamet (elbow discomfort) are both ticketed for the injured list. The Padres have the depth to navigate their absences, but they are undoubtedly a better team with those guys on the roster.
- Young left-hander Ryan Weathers still profiles as a starter long-term, but with Matt Strahm sidelined and Adrian Morejon moving into the rotation, he could fill a critical void as a multi-inning reliever in the MLB bullpen to begin the year.
- Former top prospect Jorge Mateo is the front-runner for the final bench spot. Outfielder Brian O'Grady, who was signed to a major league deal in December, is also in the mix.
San Francisco Giants
Starting Lineup: 1B Tommy La Stella, 2B Donovan Solano, RF Mike Yastrzemski, C Buster Posey, LF Alex Dickerson, 3B Evan Longoria, SS Brandon Crawford, CF Mauricio Dubon
Bench: C Curt Casali, 1B/OF Darin Ruf, IF Wilmer Flores, OF Austin Slater
Rotation: RHP Kevin Gausman, RHP Johnny Cueto, RHP Anthony DeSclafani, RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Logan Webb
Bullpen: RHP Nick Tropeano, RHP Shun Yamaguchi, RHP Dominic Leone, LHP Jarlin Garcia, RHP Matt Wisler, RHP Tyler Rogers, LHP Jose Alvarez, RHP Reyes Moronta, LHP Jake McGee
IL: 1B Brandon Belt, LHP Alex Wood, RHP John Brebbia
- With Brandon Belt recovering from heel surgery, some combination of Tommy La Stella, Darin Ruf and Wilmer Flores will hold down the fort at first base until he returns. Expect La Stella to play all over the infield in an everyday, super-utility role this year.
- Alex Wood could still make his way back from an ablation procedure on his back before his spot in the rotation comes up. But for now, young right-hander Logan Webb is penciled into the fifth slot in the rotation.
- Non-roster invitees Nick Tropeano and Dominic Leone have pitched well enough to be added to the roster, but the bullpen battle remains crowded.
Starting Lineup: RF Mitch Haniger, 2B Dylan Moore, CF Kyle Lewis, 3B Kyle Seager, DH Ty France, C Tom Murphy, LF Taylor Trammell, 1B Evan White, SS J.P. Crawford
Bench: C Luis Torrens, 1B/OF Jose Marmolejos, IF/OF Sam Haggerty, OF Braden Bishop
Rotation: LHP Marco Gonzales, LHP James Paxton, LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Chris Flexen, LHP Yusei Kikuchi, RHP Justin Dunn
Bullpen: RHP Erik Swanson, LHP Nick Margevicius, RHP Casey Sadler, LHP Anthony Misiewicz, RHP Keynan Middleton, RHP Kendall Graveman, RHP Rafael Montero
IL: 2B Shed Long Jr., RHP Ken Giles, RHP Andres Munoz
- An injury to Jarred Kelenic and a slow spring from Jake Fraley has opened the door for Taylor Trammell to seize the starting left field job. The top prospect has been traded twice before making his MLB debut, and there are some swing-and-miss concerns, but the five-tool upside remains.
- The Mariners have committed to using a six-man rotation this year, and while there's still a chance left-hander Nick Margevicius could push his way into the rotation, Justin Dunn looks like the leading candidate to round out a heavily lefty staff.
- How long before Cal Raleigh is pushing for the starting catcher job? That will depend on whether Tom Murphy can return to his 2019 form.
St. Louis Cardinals
Starting Lineup: 2B Tommy Edman, 1B Paul Goldschmidt, 3B Nolan Arenado, SS Paul DeJong, C Yadier Molina, CF Dylan Carlson, LF Tyler O'Neill, RF Justin Williams
Bench: C Andrew Knizner, 1B/OF John Nogowski, IF Matt Carpenter, IF Edmundo Sosa, OF Lane Thomas
Rotation: RHP Jack Flaherty, RHP Adam Wainwright, RHP Carlos Martinez, RHP John Gant, RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon
Bullpen: LHP Kwang Hyun Kim, RHP Kodi Whitley, LHP Tyler Webb, RHP Ryan Helsley, LHP Andrew Miller, RHP Alex Reyes, RHP Giovanny Gallegos, RHP Jordan Hicks
IL: CF Harrison Bader, RHP Dakota Hudson, RHP Miles Mikolas
- News broke Wednesday that Harrison Bader will miss "four weeks at minimum" with a right forearm injury, creating a void in the St. Louis outfield. Dylan Carlson will now slide over to center, and the team will likely play the hot hand between Justin Williams and Lane Thomas in right field.
- Left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim is dealing with back tightness, and while he is not expected to start the year on the injured list, he might be used sparingly out of the bullpen in an effort to avoid a bigger issue. That opens the door for Daniel Ponce de Leon and John Gant to both fill rotation spots.
- John Nogowski is 11-for-26 with two home runs and 11 RBI this spring. The 27-year-old is on the 40-man roster, and he's battling with outfielder Austin Dean and infielder Jose Rondon to round out the bench.
Tampa Bay Rays
Starting Lineup: 1B Yoshi Tsutsugo, LF Randy Arozarena, DH Austin Meadows, 2B Brandon Lowe, RF Manny Margot, 3B Joey Wendle, SS Willy Adames, CF Kevin Kiermaier, C Mike Zunino
Bench: C Francisco Mejia, 1B/3B Yandy Diaz, IF/OF Mike Brosseau
Rotation: RHP Tyler Glasnow, LHP Ryan Yarbrough, RHP Chris Archer, LHP Rich Hill, RHP Michael Wacha
Bullpen: LHP Josh Fleming, RHP Collin McHugh, LHP Ryan Sherriff, RHP Chaz Roe, LHP Cody Reed, RHP Ryan Thompson, RHP Pete Fairbanks, RHP Diego Castillo, RHP Nick Anderson
IL: 1B Ji-Man Choi, OF Brett Phillips, LHP Jalen Beeks, RHP Oliver Drake
- Ji-Man Choi will start the season on the injured list with knee discomfort. In his absence, look for Yoshi Tsutsugo to start against right-handed pitching and Mike Brosseau to get the nod against lefties. Yandy Diaz is also an option at first base.
- With Tsutsugo and Brosseau both capable of playing in the outfield, as well as designated hitter Austin Meadows, the Rays can get away with a three-man bench.
- Josh Fleming and Trevor Richards are both candidates for a bullpen spot, but it also makes sense to keep at least one of them stretched out as a starter at the alternate site. Luis Patino, Shane McClanahan, Chris Mazza and Brent Honeywell Jr. could all be a factor in some capacity before the season is over.
Starting Lineup: SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa, LF David Dahl, RF Joey Gallo, 2B Nick Solak, 3B Rougned Odor, DH Nate Lowe, 1B Ronald Guzman, C Jose Trevino, CF Leody Taveras
Bench: C Jonah Heim, IF/OF Brock Holt, IF/OF Eli White
Rotation: RHP Kyle Gibson, RHP Kohei Arihara, RHP Mike Foltynewicz, RHP Dane Dunning, RHP Kyle Cody
Bullpen: RHP Jordan Lyles, RHP Wes Benjamin, RHP Brett de Geus, RHP Josh Sborz, LHP Hyeon-Jong Yang, RHP Hunter Wood, LHP Taylor Hearn, RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP Matt Bush
IL: DH Willie Calhoun, DH Khris Davis, RHP Jose Leclerc, RHP Jonathan Hernandez, LHP Joely Rodriguez, LHP Brett Martin
- The Nos. 4-7 spots in the batting order are far from decided, and anyone from that group could end up tasked with protecting Joey Gallo in the cleanup role.
- The final two spots in the Texas rotation are expected to be "tandem" roles in which two pitchers fill a starter's workload. Dane Dunning and Kyle Cody are prime candidates to pitch in that capacity, while Jordan Lyles and Wes Benjamin are also bulk options.
- With four key relievers headed for the injured list, including Jose Leclerc and Jonathan Hernandez at the back end, the Rangers are in scramble mode to piece together a relief corps. Hunter Wood, Hyeon-Jong Yang, Ian Kennedy and Matt Bush are all non-roster invitees, so some roster shuffling will be needed to get them on the 40-man.
Toronto Blue Jays
Starting Lineup: CF George Springer, 2B Marcus Semien, SS Bo Bichette, RF Teoscar Hernandez, 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., LF Lourdes Gurriel, 3B Cavan Biggio, DH Rowdy Tellez, C Danny Jansen
Bench: C Reese McGuire, IF Joe Panik, OF Randall Grichuk
Rotation: LHP Hyun Jin Ryu, LHP Robbie Ray, RHP Tanner Roark, LHP Steven Matz, RHP Ross Stripling
Bullpen: RHP Trent Thornton, LHP Anthony Kay, RHP Julian Merryweather, LHP Francisco Liriano, RHP Tyler Chatwood, LHP Ryan Borucki, RHP David Phelps, RHP Jordan Romano, RHP Rafael Dolis
IL: RHP Kirby Yates, RHP Nate Pearson, RHP Thomas Hatch
- Injuries to Nate Pearson and Thomas Hatch have brought some clarity to the starting rotation. This team is loaded with capable starting pitching depth, and it will be interesting to see what the staff looks like by midseason.
- Will Alejandro Kirk win a roster spot? He can flat-out hit, but Reese McGuire is out of options, and the team might decide Kirk is better served seeing everyday playing time at Triple-A.
- Losing closer Kirby Yates for the season to Tommy John surgery is a big blow. That said, Rafael Dolis and Jordan Romano are both capable of thriving in that role.
Starting Lineup: CF Victor Robles, RF Juan Soto, SS Trea Turner, 1B Josh Bell, LF Kyle Schwarber, 2B Starlin Castro, C Yan Gomes, 3B Carter Kieboom
Bench: C Alex Avila, 1B Ryan Zimmerman, IF Luis Garcia, IF Josh Harrison, OF Andrew Stevenson
Rotation: RHP Max Scherzer, LHP Patrick Corbin, RHP Stephen Strasburg, LHP Jon Lester, RHP Joe Ross
Bullpen: RHP Erick Fedde, RHP Austin Voth, RHP Kyle Finnegan, LHP Luis Avilan, RHP Wander Suero, RHP Daniel Hudson, RHP Tanner Rainey, LHP Brad Hand
IL: RHP Will Harris
- A healthy Starlin Castro could be a major in-house addition for the Nationals. He'll start the season at second base but could move to the hot corner if Carter Kieboom gets off to a slow start or Luis Garcia is making a case for more playing time.
- Trea Turner posted a career-high .588 slugging percentage with 12 home runs in 259 plate appearances last year. He's more than capable of being a run producer in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, but that will hinge on Victor Robles' ability to handle leadoff duties.
- Erick Fedde and Austin Voth provide great length in the bullpen. Fedde still has a minor league option remaining, so he could be sent to the alternate site to stay stretched out. But without Will Harris, there is another spot to fill in the bullpen.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.