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Saturday in the park ...



(UPDATE, 12:37 P.M.) LHP Scott Kazmir is making progress is getting the inflammation out of his left elbow, but still in "phase one" of his recovery, manager Joe Maddon said, and not ready to resume throwing.
Among other things from Maddon: SS Reid Brignac, sidelined with a broken pinky toe on his right foot, is close to returning to the field. C Dioner Navarro will get a few DH at-bats on Sunday and is scheduled to make his first spring start on Monday. RHP Troy Percival will make his spring debut sometime next week but only pitch in eight or nine games, most in the last week or so.
Most of the big names aren't scheduled to make the trip to Bradenton on Sunday, but among those going are 3B Evan Longoria, OF/DH Cliff Floyd, CF B.J. Upton, RF Jonny Gomes and Navarro. RHP Jeff Niemann, among the competitors for the two open rotation spots, is scheduled to start.


The Rays on Saturday play the first game of their last season at Progress Energy Park, the waterfront park which, known more commonly as Al Lang Field and/or Stadium, has been the site of St. Petersburg's spring training games since it opened in 1947.
The most interesting thing in the lineups posted is that Cliff Floyd will be in rightfield. How often (and how well) the newly acquired veteran can play out there will be a part of manager Joe Maddon's plans to sort out the "rightfield triangle" with Rocco Baldelli and Jonny Gomes. Baldelli will be the DH in his first game action since his season-ending hamstring injury in May, though he has said he will take it easy. Also, the Rays will get a look at Willy Aybar at third. And B.J. Upton has today off.
Manager Joe Maddon and the players should have good quotes today - the clubhouse closed at 8:30 for a media training session.
The complete lineup:
Iwamura, 2b
Crawford, lf
Pena, 1b
Floyd, rf
Baldelli, dh
Aybar, 3b
Gimenez, c
Bartlett, ss
Perez, cf
Shields, rhp
Also on the card as available to pitch: lefties Trever Miller, J.P. Howell and Kirt Birkins; righties Al Reyes, Dan Wheeler, Gary Glover, Scott Dohmann, Mitch Talbot and Scott Munter.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:34am]


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