Rays expand spring roster to 64, adding veteran lefty Dan Runzler among others

Runzler has big-league time with Giants and Pirates
Kevin Cash is set to open his fourth spring as Rays manager. [Times files (2017)]
Kevin Cash is set to open his fourth spring as Rays manager. [Times files (2017)]
Published Feb. 5, 2018

A week before the start of camp, the Rays released a 64-man spring roster that includes the addition of veteran LHP Dan Runzler , plus minor-leaguers LHP Kyle Bird, RHP Edwin Fierro, C Brett Sullivan, INF Jake Cronenworth  and INF Grant Kay.

That total could change, of course, as the Rays either make further additions or some long-awaited trades as they head into Kevin Cash's fourth season as manager.

Runzler, 32, has big-league time with the Giants and, after four-plus years at Triple-A in four different organizations, with the Pirates last year.

Bird appeared in 52 games last season for Double-A Montgomery, going 4-2, 3.03.  Fierro also pitched for the Biscuits, going 6-4, 3.11 in 30 games, including seven starts. Sullivan split his season between advanced Class A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery, hitting .294 with 8 homers, 74 RBIs and a .757 OPS. Cronenworth, who made news cobbling a 25-game hitting streak, also split time between the Stone Crabs and Biscuits, hitting .274 with 3 homers, 49 RBIs and a .722 OPS. Kay hit .261 for the Biscuits, with 7 homers, 54 RBIs and a .759 OPS and also had a short stint at Triple-A.

The roster also contains number assignments:

Among newcomers, Denard Span will wear No. 2, Christian Arroyo 21, Micah Johnson 7, Ryan Schimpf 14, Joey Wendle 18.

Among top prospects, Willy Adames 27, Jake Bauers 70 and Brent Honeywell 59.

Among new coaches, Matt Quatraro 33, Kyle Snyder 44, Ozzie Timmons 30.

And there were two changes, as INF Daniel Robertson went from 29 to 28, and RHP Ryne Stanek from 59 to 55.