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For starters, Rays-Phillies, without Longoria



Update 5:25 p.m. Maddon said they made the decision to rest Evan Longoria today for precautionary reasons. He said Longoria is available to pinch-hit and he expects the All-Star third baseman will be back in the lineup Friday.

*Maddon said there's been no decision on the rotation - fitting LHP Scott Kazmir in - but it's possible there could be some news after the game.

When asked if the performance by tonight's starter RHP Andy Sonnanstine would be factor, Maddon said, "everything is linked."

"Obviously you got the different guys if you look at the roster, you almost imagine who is involved in this scenario," Maddon said. "Percentage-wise, I don’t even know the percentage wise. There's different ways to go, different ways to put it all together. Whether we want to bring more pitchers or same number of pitchers. So many different ways to look at it. We haven’t decided. "

*It also appears RHP Chad Bradford may be ahead of schedule in his rehab, as Maddon said there's a chance he could be here earlier than the initial estimate of Monday; that means he wouldn't necessarily have to make his scheduled Saturday appearance in Durham, and the veteran reliever's situation could be complicating the rotation decision.

*RHP Jason Isringhausen also showed up in the Rays clubhouse, and said his Tommy John surgery Tuesday went well. He said it's about a year recovery time, and he'll see how his rehab goes before deciding whether to play again.

He said he was disappointed obviously, especially with him pitching well at the time. But now he does get time to be with his family, as he and his wife are expecting the birth of a child in the next month.


Update 4:15 p.m. Evan Longoria said he was "surprised" he wasn't in the lineup today, saying his left hamstring is feeling better than expected.

Longoria said manager Joe Maddon just wants to pick his spots when he gets his days off, but fully expects to be in the lineup Friday against the Marlins.

"I guess they made up their mind already last night that I wasn't going to play," he said. "I feel good, I feel like I could play today. I guess he's going to pick his spots when he's going to give me a day off here and there. With a lefty on the mound I don't know why today. In any case, he's the manager and that's what we're doing today."


3B Evan Longoria is not in the Rays lineup tonight.

Longoria left Wedensday's game after feeling "a twinge" in his left hamstring, where he had problems earlier this month that forced him to miss six starts. Though the Rays said after the game it was not serious, they are apparently at least being cautious tonight.

Willy Aybar is playing third and Pat Burrell is batting third.

The other storyline tonight is the performance of RHP Andy Sonnanstine, as he is among the candidates to be bumped from the rotation to make room for the expected return of LHP Scott Kazmir on Saturday or Sunday.

The lineup:

Upton, cf
Crawford, lf
Burrell, dh
Pena, 1b
Zobrist, 2b
Bartlett, ss
Aybar, 3b
Kapler, rf
Navarro, c
Sonnanstine, p

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:48am]


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