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News » Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2008-11-14

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2008-11-14

Tampa Bay Rays Notes, Quotes 2008-11-14
--CF B.J. Upton underwent surgery to repair the torn labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. While his rehab may extend into spring training, the Rays expect Upton to be in the lineup on Opening Day. The injury cut into Upton's power production during the regular season (just nine home runs). But limiting his swings on a daily basis by skipping batting practice during the last two months of the season actually helped strengthen his shoulder, as shown by Upton's seven postseason home runs.

--LHP David Price wowed nearly everyone who saw him pitch in the postseason with his ability to handle late-inning situations. The rookie, called up in mid-September, got the final four outs of Game 7 in the AL Championship Series, and pitched the final 2 1/3 innings in Game 2 of the World Series. But don't expect Price to remain in the bullpen. Rays manager Joe Maddon made it clear during the postseason that Price's future is in the rotation, and that's where he will be in 2009, replacing either Edwin Jackson or Andy Sonnanstine.

--DH Cliff Floyd, taken off the World Series roster because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder, has not ruled out returning to the Rays, who did not pick up his option year. Floyd, 35, said he would have surgery to correct the injury only if a team was "100 percent" interested in him.

--Overlooked due to the play of the rest of the infield was 2B Akinori Iwamura, who switched from third base to second to accommodate rookie Evan Longoria and began his stint as a major league second baseman with 74 straight errorless games. Some in the organization think it's only a matter of time before Iwamura joins 1B Carlos Pena on the Gold Glove team.

--There is a good chance the Rays will re-sign OF/DH Rocco Baldelli. Baldelli feels a loyalty to the organization, which invested a great deal of money and time into finding the root of Baldelli's repeated leg injuries, and the Rays feel Baldelli, when healthy, is a valuable addition to the lineup. Look for Baldelli to sign an incentive-laden contract.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Major postseason awards won by the Rays in their 11-year history after 3B Evan Longoria was voted American League Rookie of the Year and manager Joe Maddon was selected AL Manager of the Year.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "To me it means that we did a pretty good job obviously, that things are definitely moving in the right direction. Getting to the playoffs, getting to the World Series -- my goodness, nobody thought World Series. For me, personally, the award caps it all off." -- Joe Maddon, on being chosen American League Manager of the Year.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: November 14, 2008

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