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News » Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-17


Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-17


Tampa Bay Rays Roster Report 2009-04-17
One of manager Joe Maddon's primary goals the first week of the season was to get a better feel for new relievers Joe Nelson and Brian Shouse. He needed to figure out how best to use them, and when best to use them. And after seeing them both get key outs in one of the games in Boston, he felt pretty good about them, and the full bullpen. Maddon talks about wanting to have four relievers he can use in "even or ahead" situations, and said that with the way Nelson and Shouse responded, and how well long man Lance Cormier has pitched, he feels all seven relievers fit that description.

PLAYER NEWS:

--3B Evan Longoria is scheduled to rejoin the Rays on Friday after missing two games to return to California following a death in his family. Longoria was leading the majors with five homers at the time he left.

--INF/OF Ben Zobrist has earned the opportunity for more playing time because of the way he is hitting, and manager Joe Maddon is finding ways to give it to him. Zobrist has taken some of Gabe Gross' playing time in right field against right-handed pitchers, and he started Thursday at second base with Akinori Iwamura getting a day off. He will get a start at shortstop this weekend in place of Jason Bartlett as well.

--RHP James Shields makes his first home start of the season Friday, and that's usually a good thing for the Rays. Shields is 20-8, 3.23 in his career at Tropicana Field, compared to 13-17, 4.76 on the road. He pitched poorly on opening day in Boston and very well Sunday in Baltimore.

--LHP J.P. Howell said his recent ineffectiveness -- a blown save and a loss in his last two outings -- can be quickly fixed, but he doesn't know when it will happen. "The ball is up. It's a mechanical thing," Howell said. "It's a rhythm thing, and it's a timing thing. It can come (back) overnight. Sooner or later, it's going to get there."

MEDICAL WATCH:

C Shawn Riggans (right shoulder tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 10. He is expected to miss two to three weeks.

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.

RHP Jason Isringhausen (right elbow surgery in September 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 31. He is expected to make rehab appearances in Class AA and then Class AAA in April.

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.

ROTATION:

RHP James Shields

LHP Scott Kazmir

RHP Matt Garza

RHP Andy Sonnanstine

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

CATCHERS:

Dioner Navarro

Michel Hernandez

INFIELDERS:

1B Carlos Pena

2B Akinori Iwamura

SS Jason Bartlett

3B Evan Longoria

INF Ben Zobrist

INF Willy Aybar

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Carl Crawford

CF B.J. Upton

RF Gabe Gross

DH Pat Burrell

OF Gabe Kapler


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 17, 2009

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