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Maddon: Decision on Rays fifth rotation spot could come sooner rather than later

21

March

Rays manager Joe Maddon had anticipated the "wide-open" battle for the fifth rotation spot between RHPs Andy Sonnanstine and Wade Davis to last until the end of camp.

But, turns out, it could be decided sooner rather than later.

Maddon said because LHP reliever J.P. Howell (shoulder weakness) is expected to miss the first month of the season, the resulting shuffling in the bullpen may lead to a quicker decision between Davis and Sonnanstine, who could end up getting used as a long reliever. Maddon wants the relievers to be able to have time to mentally prepare for their roles.

“I’d like to settle that a little bit if we can, if everybody is in agreement, just so guys can slot themselves mentally, too, regarding their work and how to get ready for the  season,’ Maddon said.

Sonnanstine has been making an impressive bid to win the fifth rotation spot, with Maddon saying he's looking a lot like he did in 2008, when he won 13 games and came up big in September and in the postseason. But Sonnanstine may end up in the bullpen anyways, as he has experience there, and some success against left-handed hitters.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 12:15am]

    

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