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Jackson in, Hinske out

9

October

UPDATE, 2:36: Hinske confirmed that he had been left off the roster, and Percival confirmed that he was not added.

"They want to carry an extra pitcher and I'm the odd man out,'' Hinske said. "That's how it is. It's something that I can't control. I'll be ready if somebody gets hurt. It's not about me, it's about the team winning ballgames. No reaction.''

Percival threw 25 pitches during Thursday's workout and said he felt "awesome" and that it "probably today was as good as I've thrown in years.''

Percival said he would be ready if the Rays wanted to activate him for the World Series.  "I know that I'm healthy and ready to go if they need me,'' he said. "I am physically ready now, they know I'm physically ready now, but the way they've got their bullpen set up they needed somebody that can throw some more innings.''

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RHP Edwin Jackson has been added to the Rays roster for the ALCS, and it appears OF Eric Hinske has been dropped.

The team will not make an official announcement until Friday morning, when rosters are due. Manager Joe Maddon did say today he was "leaning toward 11 pitchers.''

Jackson won 14 games this season, tying the franchise record, but was left off the roster for the division series when the Rays opted for 10 pitchers and 15 position players. He was chosen to be added over RHP Troy Percival.

With OF Carl Crawford showing he was healthy, the Rays opted to cut back on the bench the seven-game ALCS. And with speedy rookie OF Fernando Perez more versatile, Hinske -- who filled in well when Crawford was hurt -- was apparently the one to go. Hinske did not play in the division series; he hit .247 with 20 homers and 60 RBIs in 133 games during the season.

Speaking generally about the decisions, Maddon said: "They're all hard. When you have guys that have played all year with the group and you have to pick and choose at this time of the year to say somebody is on and somebody's off, it's not fun because everybody is responsible for us being at his particular juncture. ... So when you do this it's difficult. But you still have to choose what you believe is the right thing to do based on what's going on right now, the length of the series, your strengths, your weaknesses, what you may have to do during the course of a game regarding pinch-hitting or pinch-running, etc. and just try to make your best guess.''

The selection of Jackson means Percival, who has battled knee and back injuries much of the second half, again will not be on the roster.

Jackson
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Edwin Jackson practices with the Rays on October 9, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. [Edmund Fountain, Times]

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[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:41am]

    

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