Gimenez to play, Cobb in bullpen
A couple of pre-game notes:
* C Chris Gimenez went right into the lineup today and will get to play, as manager Joe Maddon said they will stick with a plan of having Jose Molina play about half the time. Gimenez is recovered from a scary incident in which he was struck by a Cesar Ramos fastball that bounced and hit his cup, hard enough to send him to the emergency room, with the initial possibility of surgery to remove the bruised testicle, but he recovered. "It was kind of unfortunate, wrong place at the wrong time kind of thing,'' Gimenez said. "It just hit me perfect in the right spot. It was extremely unpleasant.""
* RHP Alex Cobb will be used out of the bullpen as the designated long man, a role that had been filled the last two days by Josh Lueke and Dane De La Rosa. If the Rays have to use Cobb today there is a chance they will make another move on Monday as the bullpen has been working a lot of innings. Cobb hasn't pitched in relief except for spring training but said it shouldn't be a big transition. "Once you get out there, pitching is pitching,'' he said.
* Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged that the lack of strike-throwing by the starting pitchers could have something to do with the adjustment to Molina being behind the plate. "I think it might,'' Maddon said. "It's a different catcher back there and J-Mo sets up a little bit differently. We've been on the edges a lot and we have to be a little bit more aggressive getting to better counts - too many full counts, too many walks. It's not who we are. We normally pound the strike zone, we get ahead, we dictate the game more in a pitching sense and we haven't been doign that. We're giving the other side way too much credit. ... Out attacking of the zone has not been as good.''
* The Rays have been outscored 18-0 in the eighth inning this year.
* Through eight games, the Rays as a team have one stolen base - the same total as Red Sox C Kelly Shoppach.