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First base now to be shared by Keppinger, Scott, Pena



UPDATE, 6:51: Pena said he still sees himself as the every day first baseman, but understands what Maddon is going and will handle it well.

"Like 've always said, I trust Joe and I trust all his judgments and if there is one guy that believes in me with all of his heart it’s Joe Maddon,
'' Pena said. "I want what's best for the team. ''

BREAKING: First base is now a shared job for the Rays.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Friday he for now will split playing time at first between Luke Scott (who is there tonight and likely Friday), Jeff Keppinger (who has become somewhat of a regular against lefties) and Carlos Pena (who had been the every day starter).

Though Maddon made a point of saying this did not mean Pena would not play, it clearly meant Pena would play less. 

Basically Maddon said he will make his decision daily based on who is pitching for the opposing team and who is pitching for the Rays - preferring to use Scott on days when they are starting their fly ball pitchers, Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson.

"I'm going to utilize other people there and just try to spot him at the right time,'' Maddon said. "There's so many different combinations we have going on right now and I'm just going to try to match up the right guys at the right times. ...  "I have a greater commitment to the organization and the other guys so at the end of the day when you have other guys that are performing pretty well and they can do the same things you've got to make some tough decisions.''

Thus, at least for now, a job share:  "More than likely, at least in the near future,'' Maddon said. "But something may change right back to him. Jjust trying to find the right spots to pop him and see how it all works out.''


[Last modified: Saturday, September 29, 2012 12:40am]


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