The baseball season is quickly approaching, and both the Tampa Bay Rays and Durham Bulls rosters are beginning to take shape. With just over two weeks until the Rays open their season against the Houston Astros and just over three weeks until the Bulls travel to Charlotte to face the Knights for their opener, we are getting a better picture of what their rosters will look like. The Rays recently optioned or reassigned multiple players to the minors who could end up playing at Durham Bulls Athletic Park this season.
Christian Arroyo: Arroyo, 23, could return to Durham for his second season in the Rays system, after coming over in the Evan Longoria trade to San Francisco. Arroyo hit .235 with two home runs and 20 RBI’s in 46 games in Durham last season.
Nick Ciuffo: Ciuffo, 24, spent most of last season with Durham, hitting .262 with five home runs and 28 RBI’s in 62 games. Ciuffo was able to earn a call up to Tampa Bay, but could begin 2019 back in Durham.
Jake Faria: Faria, 25, made his first appearance at the DBAP in 2016 and could return to Durham for his fourth season. Faria split 2018 between Tampa Bay and Durham, but went 2–1 with a 4.60 ERA (29.1 IP) in seven games with the Bulls.
Ian Gibaut: Gibaut, 25, was the saves leader for the Bulls bullpen in 2018 and could return for another season in Durham after being optioned by Tampa Bay. Gibaut went 4–3 with a 2.09 ERA (56.0 IP) and 14 saves in 48 games with Durham last season.
Brent Honeywell: Honeywell, 23, will continue his rehab from Tommy John Surgery which sidelined him for the 2018 season, but could make his return to Durham midseason. Honeywell went 12–8 with a 3.64 ERA (123.2 IP) in 24 games with Durham in 2017.
Joe McCarthy: McCarthy, 25, could make his return to Durham for the second straight season after being optioned by Tampa Bay. McCarthy hit .269 with eight home runs and 25 RBI’s in 47 games for Durham last season.
Andrew Moore: Moore, 24, enters his first full season in the Rays system after being acquired in a trade that sent Alex Colome to Seattle. Last season, Moore went 6–7 with a 4.34 ERA (83.0 IP) in 17 games with Durham after the trade.
Andrew Velazquez: Velazquez, 24, made his debut with the Bulls last season and appears poised to return to the DBAP after being optioned by Tampa Bay. Velazquez hit .258 with 12 home runs and 41 RBI’s, while stealing 29 bases in 117 games for Durham last season.
More moves are anticipated in the coming days as Tampa Bay prepares for its opener, but the Bulls roster will likely feature a mixture of familiar faces and rising stars for the 2019 season.