Insider:Rays Set Opening Day Roster;Claim Gaub

The Tampa Bay Rays officially placed Kyle Farnsworth on the 15-day DL with a right elbow strain. Josh Lueke was recalled from Triple-A Durham to take his place on the roster. Acquired from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for John Jaso, the 27-year-old was impressive in his first spring training with the Rays. He is a 6-foot-5 right-hander, who throws a mid-90s fastball along with a splitter and a curveball. He posted a 6.06 ERA in 32.2 innings last year with the Mariners; however, his peripheral statistics say he threw better than his ERA would suggest. Able to generate whiffs with all of his pitches, he struck out 20% of the batters he faced. In addition to the whiffs, he shows an advanced feel for pitch selection and sequencing. With Farnsworth hoping to return sometime in May, Lueke should help keep the bullpen chain in his absence.

Barring an unforeseen change between now and tomorrow’s game, here is the 2012 Opening Day roster:

Pitchers (12):

RH Burke Badenhop

RH Wade Davis

RH Jeremy Hellickson

LH J.P. Howell

RH Josh Lueke

LH Jake McGee

LH Matt Moore

RH Jeff Niemann

RH Joel Peralta

LH David Price

RH Fernando Rodney

RH James Shields

Catchers (2):

Jose Lobaton

Jose Molina

Infielders (7):

Reid Brignac

Elliot Johnson

Jeff Keppinger

Evan Longoria

Carlos Peña

Sean Rodriguez

Luke Scott

Outfielders (4):

Desmond Jennings

Matt Joyce

Stephen Vogt

Ben Zobrist

Though it will not impact the Opening Day roster, the Rays did make an additional move in advance of Friday’s game, claiming left-handed reliver John Gaub from the Chicago Cubs. Armed with a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a slider, and deceptive delivery, the 26-year-old has posted impressive strikeout numbers as a minor leaguer. In 212.2 innings, he struckout 298 batters (12.6 K/9) while allowing just 14 home runs. At the same time, he has shown little  control, walking nearly 15% of the batters he faced. He will provide depth at the Triple-A level, but with some control, he could be an intriguing arm to keep an eye on.

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