Rays and Jays at the Trop
UPDATE. 9:33 There was something wrong with Navarro - according to the Rays, he left the game with "cramping in both hamstrings.''
UPDATE, 9:15: There may have been more to Shawn Riggans pinch-hitting for Dioner Navarro than just strategy. Navarro didn't look right running to first in his previous at-bat, and may have tweaked something.
UPDATE, 7: The lights problem appears resolved and the game is starting on time. Also, the Rays confirm that Beckham was promoted to Hudson Valley as Princeton's season ends Tuesday.
UPDATE, 6:20: The lights are coming back on, the Jays are still hitting.
UPDATE, 6:17: This is interesting - the lights just went out during the Jays' batting practice.
Also, there is a report on the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Journal website that top draft pick SS Tim Beckham has been promoted from rookie-level Princeton (W. Va.) to short-season Class A Hudson Valley and will join the Renegades on Wednesday. Beckham hit .243 in 46 games with two homers and 14 RBIs.
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Lots of pre-game chatter today, most significantly reaction to the announcement by MLB that instant replay would be implemented leagues-wide this week, with Friday the start date at the Trop.
Essentially it will be limited to deciding whether balls are home runs - if they went over the wall, were fair or foul and if they hit a catwalk. Manager Joe Maddon and several of the players said they were for it in this limited use, but didn't want to see it expanded.
Just got a look at the room where the umpires will huddle (left), which is in the grounds crew's space behind the visitors's dugout. There is a locked box that contains a dedicated phone line and a 19-inch flat screen monitor (Sharp Aquos, the official MLB brand of course), which is what the umps will use.
Injurywise, the Rays and 3B Evan Longoria are encouraged by his progress in recovery from a fractured right wrist, but Longoria said he won't start swinging a bat until there is no pain. He hopes to return for the Sept. 2-4 Yankees serries.
And RHP Troy Percival threw 20 or so pitches off the bullpen mound and looked good in doing so, with no problems from the cartilage issue in his right knee, which could mean he'll be back when eligible on Saturday, or shortly thereafter.
[James, Borchuck, Times photo]
As for tonight's lineups: