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Texas Rangers Opening Day roster: Ruggiano, Rua, Alberto, Faulkner make the team

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Jeff Banister has announced that Justin Ruggiano, Ryan Rua, Hanser Alberto and Andrew Faulkner will all be on the Opening Day roster

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers Opening Day roster: Manager Jeff Banister says Justin Ruggiano, Ryan Rua, Hanser Alberto and Andrew Faulkner have all made the team, according to the beat guys on Twitter.  Meanwhile, per Evan Grant, Chris Gimenez has an ankle infection which has put his availability in doubt, and has the backup catcher situation in flux.

At this point, the Rangers are clearly committed to starting the season with a four man bench and an eight man bullpen, with the only spots up in the air being the eighth reliever job and the backup catching situation.  Bobby Wilson and Mike McKenry are still in the mix for a backup catcher role, if Gimenez can't go, or the Rangers could make a deal for a backup or grab someone off the waiver wire.

The eighth bullpen spot is apparently down to Sam Freeman, Phil Klein and Cesar Ramos.  Freeman is out of options and can become a free agent if he clears waivers, so the Rangers have to keep him or lose him.  Ramos would have to have a 40 man roster spot cleared for him to be on the team, but then, if he makes the team, Freeman won't, so Ramos could take Freeman's spot.  Klein has options, and so he would be the easiest person to keep as the eighth reliever if you're just going to drop that guy to make room for your fifth starter five days into the season anyway.

A.J. Griffin hasn't been officially named the fifth starter, but that's what it certainly looks like at this point.  The way the roster appears to shake out is thusly:

C -- Robinson Chirinos

1B -- Mitch Moreland

2B -- Rougned Odor

SS -- Elvis Andrus

3B -- Adrian Beltre

LF -- Ian Desmond/Delino DeShields

CF -- Delino DeShields/Ian Desmond

RF -- Shin-Soo Choo

DH -- Prince Fielder

Bench -- Ryan Rua, Justin Ruggiano, Hanser Alberto, Backup C

Rotation -- Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland (with A.J. Griffin likely added for Game 5)

Bullpen -- Shawn Tolleson, Sam Dyson, Jake Diekman, Keone Kela, Tony Barnette, Andrew Faulkner, Tom Wilhelmsen, 8th reliever

Either the 8th reliever or one of the bench guys would be sent down once Griffin is activated.