The Rays have set their roster for their upcoming World Series showdown with the National League Champion Dodgers. They’ll carry mostly the same group of players that toppled the Astros in a riveting seven-game American League Championship Series, with a few notable changes. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that outfielder Brett Phillips and left-handed reliever Ryan Sherriff have both been added to the roster, taking the spots of right-hander Aaron Slegers and lefty Jose Alvarado.
Here’s how the roster breaks down:
- Randy Arozarena
- Kevin Kiermaier
- Manuel Margot
- Austin Meadows
- Brett Phillips
- Hunter Renfroe
- Yoshi Tsutsugo
Unlike the Division Series and League Championship Series, the World Series has a pair of off-days built into the schedule, which likely contributed heavily to Tampa Bay’s decision to carry an extra position player in the final round of play. In Phillips, they’ll add a rocket-armed and fleet-footed reserve outfielder who can provide some speed off the bench and a defensive upgrade late in games. Phillips tallied just 59 plate appearances in 2020 between the Royals and Rays, hitting .196/.305/.392. He was six-for-seven in stolen bases, however, and has developed a penchant for making highlight-reel throws from the outfield with an arm that regularly drew 70 grades and even a few 80 grades on scouting reports.
The 30-year-old Sherriff returned from a lengthy absence due to Tommy John surgery to give the Rays 9 2/3 shutout frames during the regular season. He has a limited Major League track record, having pitched a bit for the Cardinals previously. Sherriff only struck out two hitters in those 9 2/3 innings, but he also recorded a hefty 56.7 percent ground-ball rate. In all, he has a 2.73 ERA with a 20-to-8 K/BB ratio and a 60.4 percent grounder rate in 29 2/3 Major League innings.
Alvarado was added to the ALCS roster after sitting out the Wild Card and ALDS rounds. He’d been sidelined by a shoulder issue since mid-August prior to that point, and he’ll now be swapped out for Sherriff, it seems. Alvarado tossed 1 2/3 scoreless frames against the Astros but did walk three of the five batters he faced in his second appearance. Slegers has allowed just one run in five innings to this point in the postseason after giving the Rays 26 frames of 3.46 ERA/3.04 FIP ball during the regular season.