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Saturday in the park ....

The Rays appear to be settling on a late-inning bullpen combination that is a most unlikely pairing. Though manager Joe Maddon has stopped short of making it official, it seems obvious that Tyler Walker is now the Rays closer and rookie Ruddy Lugo is the top choice as the eighth-inning setup man. Considering Lugo made the team out of spring training despite never pitching above Double-A and that Walker was essentially let go by the Giants, it's a pretty good example of how the Rays are trying to patch things together.

Maddon gave infielder Ty Wigginston Saturday night off in hopes of shaking him from a 4-for-23 slump that has dropped his average to .250 despite an impressive nine homers and 30 RBIs.

As expected, Doug Waechter will be used in the bullpen most of the coming week then return to the rotation to start May 20 against the Marlins.

Also, Maddon said the Rays trainers are confident they can improve reliever Dan Miceli's ""fragmented'' shoulder without surgery.

With Mother's Day coming on Sunday, be sure to check out the Times for a look at Joe Maddon's mom, Beanie, and his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:30am]


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