Postseason rosters lock into place tonight, and rosters expand tomorrow. The Rays will reportedly bring up five players on Saturday: Jeff Niemann, Cesar Ramos, Reid Brignac, Rich Thompson, and Chris Gimenez, per Dave Haller.
Niemann, returning from the 60-day disabled list, will make the start on Saturday. The one thing worth watching here is how the Rays clear a 40-man roster spot for him. Maybe they throw Sean Rodriguez or Alexander Colome on the 60-day disabled list and end their season. Otherwise, there’s not an obvious solution. The Rays are notorious for trying to keep their depth together at this part in the season, so it’s hard to see them designating a player, no matter how deserving, for assignment.
Ramos becomes the third southpaw in the pen. In theory, Ramos’ ability to soak up innings could come in handy. In practice, the Rays rarely need a true long reliever. No matter, it’s September, and weird things are bound to happen.
Brignac’s strengths and weaknesses are well known. He becomes the best shortstop defender on the active roster and gives the Rays a true defensive sub at the position. The key is limiting the damage he does at the plate.
That goes double for Thompson and Gimenez. These are two negatives at the plate around for one reason apiece. In Thompson’s case it’s speed speed. With Gimenez it’s position; although a case can be made about his physicality becoming useful should a brawl occur.
Presumably the Rays will make further additions once Durham’s season ends.