Opening day rosters don’t really matter.
Even for veteran players on minor league deals trying to re-ignite their careers or find that one last chance to make a team, if they’ve made it to the last week of camp, they’re going to keep playing and seeking the chance to play the game that’s given them their livelihood, whether it’s in El Paso or with some other organization’s AAA team. There’s even a chance this year that a player who doesn’t make this year’s Padres roster will still be in a major league uniform on opening day, even if he just got off the plane.
Two years ago, with Chase Headley hurt to start the year, the Padres started the year with 37 year old infielder Cody Ransom on the opening day roster. Ransom had just come off a career year in 2012, mostly notable in that it was the first time in his career, at 36, that he’d earned more than 100 at-bats in a big league season. He’d actually been valuable in 2012, posting 1.1 fWAR, and 2013 turned out to be his 2nd best season, but not with the Padres. He went 0-11 with 5 strikeouts in his short stint with the Padres, who then traded him to the Cubs for nothing.
Ransom didn’t see the bigs in 2014, spending the year in Japan. You’d think at 39 and with just 859 career plate appearances since his major league debut in 2001 he’d call it a career, but he signed a minor league deal without a big league camp invitation with the Diamondbacks in late February. If he was a catcher, they’d write an 80’s movie about him. If he were a catcher, it might actually make sense, as those guys seem to play forever.
Opening day rosters can be full of Cody Ransom’s, guys destined for the scrap heap or the DL, players who will have little to no impact on their team that season. For fans, though, opening day rosters are crack, and I’m an addict. Read More…