2/4/2014 1:23 P.M. ET
Inbox: Do the Rays have a role for Rodriguez?
Beat reporter Bill Chastain responds to fans' questions
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
With all the acquisitions that the Rays have made this offseason, it seems that maybe Sean Rodriguez's days are numbered. If he leaves, could Wil Myers fill the emergency catcher role?
-- Will L., Tampa, Fla.
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First, I don't think Rodriguez's days are numbered. Looking at the way the roster is being built, he appears to fit in nicely as one of the team's utility men, along with Logan Forsythe and perhaps Jayson Nix and Wilson Betemit.
There always is a possibility that something is going on behind the scenes where the Rays' master plan is concerned, but the way I read it, Nix and Betemit were signed for additional depth, giving the team insurance in the event of injury.
Meanwhile, I don't believe Myers will be used as an emergency catcher. He is too valuable to risk putting him behind the plate.
As a Reds fan, I was so sad to see Ryan Hanigan go -- just bought a No. 29 shirt last year at a game. I see that number is taken on the Rays. What is his number going to be?
-- Julie F., Convoy, Ohio
Tim Beckham had No. 29 when he was up last season, but he is currently out with a knee injury. While I'm not sure if Beckham has any attachment to the number -- meaning Hanigan could wear it if he didn't -- the Rays' PR staff says that Hanigan will wear No. 24.
Is there a possibility that the Rays would trade David Price for Giancarlo Stanton?
-- Frank S., Largo, Fla.
Power for power, huh? The Marlins' Stanton has 117 home runs in 489 Major League games. That would look good in any Major League lineup. Meanwhile, Price is one of the top pitchers in baseball. Miami's rotation would be enviable with Price and Jose Fernandez.
Alas, while intriguing, I don't think that trade will come to fruition. But we have a few more weeks of the Hot Stove League to put together such deals.
Do you see any Rays in the Minor Leagues making a big impact this season?
-- John D., Clearwater, Fla.
I think right-handers Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome, along with outfielders Brandon Guyer and Kevin Kiermaier, are the best candidates. Left-handers C.J. Riefenhauser and Enny Romero and shortstop Hak-Ju Lee are not far behind.
Is there any chance of the Rays signing a true designated hitter, or do they feel they have the answer in the clubhouse?
-- Shakir M., St. Petersburg
Since 2008, the Rays have experienced some frustration while attempting to fill the DH role. The team did not get much from Pat Burrell (2009-10) or Luke Scott ('12-13) and most of the DH-types in between, though Johnny Damon did have some success ('11).
Right now, I think Matt Joyce will be the Opening Day DH, but I don't believe Tampa Bay is going to stick with just one guy. Instead, I think the team will use the spot as a way to rest its regulars. That's a long way around of telling you I don't think the Rays will sign a true DH this season.
What is the story with George Hendrick? He's been the Rays' first-base coach forever, but there's never anything written about him. Why not?
-- Bob F., St. Petersburg
Hendrick played in the Major Leagues for 18 seasons, and if you check the back side of his baseball card, he had a pretty nice career. While he is one of the best guys you'll ever be around -- funny, thoughtful and interesting -- he chooses not to do interviews, a practice dating back to his playing days. That much is understood by any media members covering the team.
That policy does not prevent Hendrick from spinning a yarn about any number of subjects. He's seen a lot and knows a lot of people -- a true treasure.