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Rays set rotation

8

October

The Rays will keep their rotation the same with James Shields in Game 1 followed by Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine set up to start Game 4.

Manager Joe Maddon said that with the way Sonnanstine pitched down the stretch, they wanted to keep him in line for the fourth game. But Maddon also said that it could change and that, depending on how the series is going, they could bring Shields back for that fourth game.

"I like it," Maddon said of why he kept the same rotation. "I just like it that way. It's no different than the first round, in a sense. Shieldsy in the first game because he normally gets us a little deeper in the game. Kaz in the second game. If he goes through a little bit of pitch count problem, you've got the bullpen fresher ...

"You could talk about a three-man rotation, but we have really not set up guys on less than normal rest. We're not opposed to doing it if it needs to, but for right now, theoretically perfect, we're gonna go that way."

With an extra off day in the series, Maddon said it's "not automatic" the Rays will stay in order, rotation-wise, for Games 6 and 7.

Maddon said the club will have meetings after today's workout to go over the ALCS postseason roster, deciding whether to take 11 or 10 pitchers, and if RHP Troy Percival is one of them. Percival threw another bullpen session today and said he feels ready to go if they call on him, with some instructional league outings improving his mechanics.

Maddon said C Shawn Riggans, on the disabled list after knee surgery, is still unlikely to be back for the ALCS, but he's "getting better."

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[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:40am]

    

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