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News » Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-08


Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-08


Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-08
The Rays went into spring training figuring most of their team was set and there would only be a few decisions to be made, and that turned out to be the case. The camp was relatively uneventful, with OF Fernando Perez, who was ticketed for Class AAA Durham, the only spring casualty. Otherwise, the Rays went into the season pretty much as they expected. Their lineup is better, and their rotation, bullpen and defense are at least as good as they were last year.

PLAYER NEWS:

--LHP Scott Kazmir starts his season Wednesday night saying there are two big differences from last season -- he has his slider back, and his confidence. Kazmir began last season on the disabled list, and he felt he was limited to two pitches -- fastball and changeup -- for much of the season.

--SS Jason Bartlett will move to the top of the batting order, and 2B Akinori Iwamura to the bottom, on Wednesday as the Rays try to address their deficiency against left-handed starters. Also, switch hitter Ben Zobrist will play right field and right-handed hitter Gabe Kapler will play center.

--LHP Scott Kazmir said pitching Wednesday to longtime teammate Rocco Baldelli, who signed with the Red Sox after the Rays left him become a free agent, won't be normal. "I think it's going to be a little bit weird," he said. "Just by me being with the Rays since '04, seeing him with the uniform on, always a Ray, and the support and how popular he was in Tampa. It's going to be a little different with him on the other side and me facing him."

--1B Carlos Pena struck out four times Tuesday, the seventh time in his career he has worn the Golden Sombrero. Pena had two four-whiff games in 2008.

MEDICAL WATCH:

RHP Troy Percival (back surgery in December 2008) has made a spectacular recovery and is showing more athleticism and sharpness in his pitches than he did at any point last season.

CF B.J. Upton (left shoulder surgery in November 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He will miss the first week of the season.

RHP Chad Bradford (right elbow surgery in February 2009) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He is making a good recovery and hopes to be back in late May or June.

OF Fernando Perez (dislocated left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He is projected to miss four or five months because further exams showed ligament damage as part of the injury he suffered March 10. The Rays hope he will return in time to play regular-season games.

RHP Jason Isringhausen (right elbow surgery in September 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 31. He might be able to return in May.

ROTATION:

1. RHP James Shields

2. LHP Scott Kazmir

3. RHP Matt Garza

4. RHP Andy Sonnanstine

5. RHP Jeff Niemann

BULLPEN:

RHP Troy Percival (closer)

RHP Dan Wheeler

RHP Grant Balfour

LHP J.P. Howell

LHP Brian Shouse

RHP Joe Nelson

RHP Lance Cormier

LINEUP:

1. 2B Akinori Iwamura

2. LF Carl Crawford

3. 3B Evan Longoria

4. 1B Carlos Pena

5. DH Pat Burrell

6. CF Matt Joyce

7. C Dioner Navarro

8. RF Gabe Gross/Gabe Kapler

9. SS Jason Bartlett

RESERVES:

C Shawn Riggans

INF Ben Zobrist

INF Willy Aybar

OF Gabe Kapler/Gabe Gross


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 8, 2009

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