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Hinske gets final spot; spring finale a loss



Update 4:07 Eric Hinske didn't just get a spot on the team, he'll be in the starting lineup on Monday in Baltimore. Manager Joe Maddon unveiled his lineup Saturday and it will look like this:
Akinori Iwamura, 2b
Carl Crawford, lf
Carlos Pena, 1b
B.J. Upton, cf
Cliff Floyd, dh
Willy Aybar, 3b
Eric Hinske, rf
Dioner Navarro, c
Jason Bartlett, ss
James Shields, rhp

Also, here are the Rays final planned moves to get down to the 25-man roster limit by the 3 p.m. Sunday deadline:

And here’s how they got there:

Designated for


RHP Grant Balfour


INF Joel Guzman, to Triple-A Durham

RHP Juan Salas, to Class A Hudson Valley

Placed on 15-day

disabled list

LHP Kurt Birkins, left elbow neuritis

RHP Chad Orvella, right shoulder tendinitis

Reassigned to

minor-league camp

INF Andy Cannizaro

C Mike Difelice

RHP Scott Munter

INF Chris Richard

OF John Rodriguez

OF Jon Weber


C Josh Paul

Selected from Durham

OF Eric Hinske

Update 3:59 Rays lose 8-4. If the A's lose their game this afternoon, the Rays, at 18-8-2, can clinch the best spring record in the majors.

Update 3:26 With a cast of thousands playing that even the press box crew is having trouble keeping up, the Rays trail 8-4 going to the ninth.

Update 2:56
The Rays, with a chance to clinch the best spring training record in the majors, took a lead into the sixth but Scott Munter gave up a three-run home run to ex-Ray Javier Valentin, and it's now 5-4 Reds.

2:22 The Rays pulled all their starters are three innings and are leading 3-0. Edwin Jackson worked through the fourth, and gave one run back so it's 3-1.

Update, 12:52 It's nearly game time, and it's very hot, in Sarasota. The Rays will play their regulars for a few innings, then turn things over to the reserves and minor-leaguers, with the idea of getting their 25 rostered players ready to go to Baltimore on Sunday. There is expected to be an official announcemet after the game regarding the roster:

Here is the Rays lineup, with DH Cliff Floyd and 3B Willy Aybar playing again in minor-league games:
Iwamura, 2b
Crawford, lf
Pena, 1b
Upton, cf
Hinske, 3b
Gomes, rf
Navarro, c
Bartlett, ss
Jackson, rhp

The Rays picked Eric Hinske over Joel Guzman for their final roster spot Saturday morning, unofficially setting their 25-man roster.
Hinske, who came to camp on a non-roster deal, made the team based on a strong spring, his experience and the versatility to play the four corner spots - first and third base, left and right field.
Guzman was optioned to Triple-A Durham.
The Rays also made it official that INF Elliot Johnson, C Shawn Riggans and RHP Scott Dohmann - who were all in battles for jobs - made the team.
The roster has to be filed by 3 p.m. Sunday. The Rays will get down to the 25-man limit by placing RHP Chad Orvella and LHP Kurt Birkins on the DL and optioning RHP Juan Salas - who is expected to report to camp next week after a six-week visa delay - to the minors.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:34am]


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