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Analyzing the Rays Opening Day Roster and Shane McClanahan as the Starting Pitcher

Spring training, MLB, Josh Lowe, Minor League Baseball, Opening Day, Relief pitcher, Yonny Chirinos, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Rays, Opening Day
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Analyzing the Rays Opening Day Roster and Shane McClanahan as the Starting Pitcher

Analyzing the Rays Opening Day Roster and Shane McClanahan as the Starting Pitcher

The Tampa Bay Rays are gearing up for the 2023 MLB season, and with Opening Day fast approaching, fans and analysts alike are speculating about who will make the team's 26-man roster. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the Rays' roster projections and discuss Shane McClanahan's potential as the team's Opening Day starter.

Rays' Opening Day Roster Projections

The Rays' 26-man roster for Opening Day is still up in the air, but there are a few locks to make the team. The pitching staff looks to be the team's strength, with a deep rotation and a strong bullpen. Tyler Glasnow, Drew Rasmussen, and Shane McClanahan are all expected to make the starting rotation, with Chris Archer and Shane Baz competing for the fourth spot.

In the bullpen, Diego Castillo, Pete Fairbanks, and Andrew Kittredge are all expected to play key roles. The Rays also have a number of young pitchers who could make the team, including Brent Honeywell Jr., Luis Patiño, and Joe Ryan.

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On the offensive side, the Rays will likely carry three catchers, including Mike Zunino, Francisco Mejia, and Rene Pinto. In the infield, Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, Yandy Diaz, and Ji-Man Choi are all locks to make the team. The final spots will likely be filled by a combination of Kevin Padlo, Vidal Brujan, and Taylor Walls.

In the outfield, Randy Arozarena, Manuel Margot, and Brett Phillips are expected to make the team, with Jordan Luplow and Josh Lowe competing for the final spot.

Shane McClanahan as Opening Day Starter

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Rays' Opening Day roster is who will start on the mound. While Tyler Glasnow is the team's ace, he's unlikely to be ready for Opening Day after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. That leaves the door open for Shane McClanahan to get the nod as the team's Opening Day starter.

McClanahan had a strong rookie season in 2022, going 9-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 26 starts. He struck out 176 batters in 151.2 innings pitched and was a key contributor to the team's playoff run. He also showed impressive velocity, with his fastball regularly reaching the upper 90s.

If McClanahan does get the nod as the team's Opening Day starter, it would be a major vote of confidence from manager Kevin Cash. The 24-year-old lefty has the potential to be a dominant pitcher for years to come, and starting on Opening Day could be the first step in a long and successful career.

The Rays are one of the most talented teams in baseball, and their deep pitching staff and strong defense make them a formidable opponent. While the team's Opening Day roster is still up in the air, there are a number of locks to make the team, including Shane McClanahan. If he gets the nod as the team's Opening Day starter, it could be the beginning of a long and successful career for the talented lefty.

Keywords: Tampa Bay Rays, Opening Day, roster, Shane McClanahan, starting pitcher, Tyler Glasnow, bullpen, Wander Franco, Mike Zunino, Randy Arozarena, Manuel Margot, Brett Phillips, Tommy John surgery, Kevin Cash, lefty, MLB.

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