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Jacob Larsen (@jakelarsen) asks this question about the 2013 Tampa Bay Rays, "Do the Rays sign a DH, allowing Brandon Guyer and Matt Joyce to fill an OF spot until Myers is ready?"

Thanks for the question, Jacob. Let's break this down into the pre-Myers era of 2013 and the post-Myers era and then decide if the Rays really need to acquire another bat … 

There is a very strong likelihood that power-hitting prospect Wil Myers will start the season in Triple-A. Without getting too much into specifics on service time and how it relates to arbitration and free agency, let's just say that the Rays will get an extra year of team control if Myers stays in the minors until around late April, and he'll only get three years of arbitration, starting in 2016, instead of four, starting in 2015, if he's in the minors until at least late May. Big savings for a small market team. The safe assumption would be that the 22 year-old Myers joins the Rays in June. This is my current projection for the April and May lineup …

1 CF Desmond Jennings
2 SS Yunel Escobar
3 2B Ben Zobrist
4 3B Evan Longoria
5 RF Matt Joyce
DH Ryan Roberts
1B James Loney
8 LF Sam Fuld / Brandon Guyer
9 C Jose Molina

Not that impressive, right? They could also have Zobrist play right field, move Joyce to left field, and go with some combination of Ryan RobertsReid Brignac, and Sean Rodriguez at second base. Still not impressed? You shouldn't be. Roberts (.656 OPS), Brignac (2-for-21 in MLB), and Rodriguez (.607 OPS) didn't exactly set the world on fire last season. Any way you slice it, there are two spots in the lineup that could use an upgrade. Well, they could actually use an upgrade at first base and catcher, too, but expect James Loney and Jose Molina to be in the lineup on Opening Day.

So the easy answer to your question would be 'yes, they should sign a DH' and it wouldn't even necessarily be until Myers is ready. There appears to be an open spot for the entire season. If I had to guess, I'd say that they either re-sign Luke Scott, or possibly pursue other free agent options like Travis Hafner or Delmon Young while a combination of everyone else would serve as a stopgap for Myers. The versatility of Zobrist gives manager Joe Maddon the option to try and find the hot hand between several different players, including Roberts, Brignac, Rodriguez, Fuld, Guyer, or whoever else might be on the roster. Here's what that lineup could look like ..

1 CF Desmond Jennings
2 SS Yunel Escobar
3 2B Ben Zobrist
4 3B Evan Longoria
5 RF Matt Joyce
DH Luke Scott / Travis Hafner / Delmon Young
1B James Loney
8 LF Sam Fuld / Ryan Roberts / Brandon Guyer
9 C Jose Molina

Now on to that post-Myers lineup with a regular designated hitter …

1 CF Desmond Jennings
2 SS Yunel Escobar
3 2B Ben Zobrist
4 3B Evan Longoria
5 LF Matt Joyce
6 DH Luke Scott /Travis Hafner / Delmon Young
7 RF Wil Myers
8 1B James Loney
9 C Jose Molina

Now here's the question for you. Is two months of the pre-Myers lineup and four months of the post-Myers lineup good enough for the Rays to earn a playoff spot? Sure, if that rotation is dominant again. What, they traded James Shields? I'm not liking the chances. 

John VanderVeen (‏@JVanderVeen13) asks on Twitter, "How will the Brewers be able to get the amount of innings needed out of their young rotation?"  

I'll be honest with you, John. I have no idea. Ideally, a team hoping to contend for a playoff spot has at least three starters that can be penciled in for at least 28-33 starts and 180-200 innings. The Brewers? Well, they have Yovani Gallardo and that's about it. The 26 year-old has averaged 32 starts and 196 innings over the past four seasons. Chris Narveson averaged 165 innings per season from 2010-11 but missed most of last season with a torn rotator cuff. In addition to Narveson, there are nothing but question marks throughout the list of rotation candidates. Veteran lefty Tom Gorzelanny is also an option, although he's expected to fill a hole in an equally thin bullpen.

Although they have to be encouraged by what Marco Estrada did in his first season as a big league starter (3.64 ERA, 138.1 IP, 129 H, 29 BB, 143 K), he'll have some doubters as he's penciled into a rotation spot for the first time in his career. The 29 year-old, who has a career 3.0 BB/9 and 7.7 K/9 in 524 minor league innings, managed a 1.9 BB/9 and 9.3 K/9 in the majors. How does that happen? Once again, I have no idea. Ask one of those really smart Baseball Prospectus writers. There are plenty of them. I'll keep it simple and just point out that there's a chance he could revert to the guy he was before when he profiled as a swingman/middle reliever.

Ditto for Michael Fiers, who made his first big league start of 2012 on May 29th and finished with a 3.74 ERA in 127.2 innings pitched with 36 walks and 135 strikeouts. The good news is that his 2.7 BB/9 and 9.5 K/9 is in line with what he did over 346.2 minor league innings. The bad news is that the 27 year-old averages 88 MPH with his fastball, leaving him little margin for error. And he struggled at the end of the season, meaning he either wore down — he pitched a career high 182.2 innings between Triple-A and the majors after never having thrown more than 126 as a professional — or hitters finally started to figure him out. Regardless, a rotation spot should be his to lose.

Former top prospect Mark Rogers, who had solid numbers (3.92 ERA, 39 IP, 36 H, 14 BB, 41 K) in seven big league starts in 2012 but unimpressive numbers in Triple-A (4.72 ERA, 95.1 IP, 92 H, 49 BB, 74 K), will also be in the mix for a rotation spot. His 134.1 overall innings was a career high. The 26 year-old still has a great arm but it's anybody's guess what kind of pitcher he'll be in 2013.

The team's top two prospects, Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg, also have a chance to break camp with the big league club and could be ex-factors in the team's success. The 23 year-old Peralta had 175.2 innings pitched between Triple-A and the majors while Thornburg, 24, finished with 134.2 between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors. If either, or both, has an Estrada or Fiers-type season as a rookie — not too much of a reach given their stuff and the league's lack of familiarity with them — the Brewers could exceed expectations. The problem is that expectations aren't very high given the question marks on the current roster, which is now without starting first baseman Corey Hart for at least the first month or two of the season after knee surgery. 

With all that said, I don't think they have nearly enough right now. Unless they can sign Kyle Lohse, Joe Saunders, or Shaun Marcum, I can see them scuffling by mid-season and looking for someone to give them some quality starts. 

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seabass77
1/21
Other Brewer rotations options will be Hiram Burgos, Jimmy Nelson, John Hellweg and Taylor Jungman. They have never had this kind of depth in the history of the franchise.
mlbdepthcharts
1/21
Don't think any of those guys are ready. I like the quality and quantity of young arms with upside in the system. But if they're shuffling all those guys back and forth in 2013, it could get real ugly. If Estrada and Fiers can repeat what they did in 2012 -- big IF -- and give them 30 starts, if Narveson returns to full strength, and if 1-2 of the young guys step up, I think they'll be OK. Lots of question marks, though, and too many inexperienced guys to rely on.
hankfiddich
1/21
Hey Jason, third version (post Myers) of the lineup has no 2B (should be Zobrist I'm guessing)
mlbdepthcharts
1/21
Fixed. Thanks!
delatopia
1/21
Jason, how do you see the very subpar Indians rotation shaking out? I guess there's a glimmer of hope that Ubaldo Jimenez can regain his form, but Brett Myers is no savior -- at best he'll eat 200 innings -- and Justin Masterson still has the crazy-high splits that make him vulnerable to stacked lineups. And each of those guys is pitching about two rotation spots above his ideal level (i.e. Jimenez is a #3 being used as a #1). Outside of Trevor Bauer, beyond these guys is a cast of suspects, retreads and other non-prospects. Is there anything here to get excited about?
mlbdepthcharts
1/22
I like the Myers signing if only because they pretty much know what to expect out of him. And I can't even say that with all that much confidence because he didn't start at all last season. There is a lot of unknown throughout the rest of the rotation. From Ubaldo and Masterson, who weren't very good in 2012, to Bauer and all the mixed reports on him, to Carlos Carrasco returning from TJ surgery, there are way too many question marks for me. And not much else to get excited about behind those guys. They can actually be pretty good but a lot would have to go right. You never know.
jlarsen
1/22
Really? The loss of Shields will hurt the Rays THAT MUCH? I doubt it, myself. He was a good pitcher, but he's not "Big Game" Shields without a good fielding team or Tropicana. Look at his career stats at the AL Central parks. While small sample size, still quite cringe-worthy.
mlbdepthcharts
1/22
I don't think it's going to hurt them a ton. They have some good young pitchers on the way. But just enough where I believe their rotation won't be at the elite level they'd need to overcome a subpar lineup, if they are as weak as I think they'll be. A guy you can count on for 200+ innings and 20+ quality starts is quite valuable. The bullpen doesn't get overworked, his team always has a chance to win, you pretty much know what you're getting every fifth day. And there's less pressure on young guys like Hellickson and Moore. I don't see any one pitcher in the organization filling that void by himself in 2013. Lots of guys need to step up.
jlarsen
1/22
I realize that, however I think having from learning from Friedman's moves in the past that there's always rhyme to his reason. I believe he has seen enough of Cobb or Archer to believe that they can put in those big innings. Also, lots of people forget how badly Shields pitched in pre-deadline 2012. I am sure that he, along with others, overworked the bullpen in that 1st half. However, they've still got immense depth in starting pitchers after trading 2 of them.
mlbdepthcharts
1/22
Oh no, I wouldn't bet against him. I think I wrote that in my recent ESPN 'WIndow of Contention' piece. The roster looks thin but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the moves greatly exceed expectation, with Loney, Roberto Hernandez, and Escobar a few examples.