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News » Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-11


Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-11


Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-11
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:

--CF B.J. Upton went 1-for-3 with a walk as the DH for Class A Charlotte in his second of three scheduled rehab games. Assuming he gets through Saturday's game with no problem, manager Joe Maddon said, Upton remains on track to join the Rays for Monday's home opener. Though Upton had offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, Maddon said at this point team officials are more concerned that his legs are in shape.

--3B Evan Longoria is extremely locked in right now, with four homers in his last 10 trips to the plate, including two on Friday. Longoria said he's just in one of those grooves, but manager Joe Maddon said what he is most encouraged by is that Longoria hit his first homer to right-center. "I love when he's hitting the ball to the opposite gap," Maddon said. "When he's staying middle of the field like that with power, he's got a pretty good swing working."

--RHP Jeff Niemann expects to be more relaxed when he makes his first start of the season Saturday, having some familiarity with the Camden Yards mound and some comfort of knowing he is in the rotation. He made two starts last season filling-in for injured Matt Garza, and then three relief appearances in a late season call-up.

--LHP David Price's highly anticipated season debut for Triple-A Durham was rained out, so he will now start Saturday, with another potential matchup with top position prospect Matt Wieters.

MEDICAL WATCH:

CF B.J. Upton (left shoulder surgery in November 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Charlotte (Port Charlotte, Fla.) on April 9, and he could rejoin the Rays on April 13.

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 11, 2009

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