For starters, Rays at Twins
UPDATE, 6:43: Manager Joe Maddon said he went with Jeremy Hellickson for the day game on Thursday based on Jeff Niemann's past struggles in day games, preferring then to pitch Niemann at night. Maddon also said that he won't shy away from using long man Andy Sonnanstine tonight or in the doubleheader, even though Sonnanstine likely would start Sunday's game. If the Rays end up using him here, then they would call up a starter for Sunday. ... Evan Longoria worked out in Minnesota today and headed to Montgomery, where he will start his rehab assignment Thursday night. ... Ex-Ray Delmon Young was scratched from the Twins lineup after he wasn't able to get loose; he had missed the previous five games with sore ribs and a virus.
Here is the new Twins lineup:
Target Field looks a bit better today than during Tuesday's all-day rain. Photo by Marc Topkin.
UPDATE, 4:38: Elliot Johnson must still be sick, because he's not in the lineup. Here is what the Rays have planned:
D. Johnson 1b
DEVELOPING: As of this afternoon, it looks like there will be baseball tonight, as the tarp is off at Target Field and it appears the teams will be taking batting practice. For both teams, it will be their first game since Sunday, as they were off Monday and rained on on Tuesday.
The temperatures are still rather uncomfortable - 42, with a feels like of 37 at 3:25 local time - but the forecast for rain has been improving, with it now down to the 30-40 percent range tonight.
The Rays will have RHP Wade Davis on the mound coming off a pair of solid seven-inning outings, against Twins lefty Francisco Liriano. One concern for Rays manager Joe Maddon is the health of INF Elliot Johnson, who is expected to start at shortstop but was ill on Tuesday,