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For starters, Rays at Twins

24

March

Update 1:29 p.m. Manager Joe Maddon said CF B.J. Upton is still day-to-day, and is unsure when he'll return to the lineup, though expects he'll be ready to go for Opening Day.

*Maddon said they will decide on the fifth starter spot after RHP Jeff Niemann makes his start Monday. It'll be made so that either him or RHP Wade Davis can acclimate to their new role in the bullpen. Maddon said there's also another bullpen spot in play. Though he didn't mention any names, part of it is likely whether RHP Brandon Gomes is back to full strength after offseason back surgery. He's felt healthy, but his velocity is not back to where it was last year.

*Maddon said C Chris Gimenez will play all nine innings today behind the plate. Maddon has liked what Gimenez has shown, and has been particularly impressed with how he's played defensively at several different spots, especially third base. Gimenez has also played first base and leftfield, but has caught more than 30 less innings at catcher than his competition for the second catcher spot, Jose Lobaton (55).

*Maddon said if OF Sam Fuld (right wrist) is not ready for Opening Day, there are several candidates that would be vying for that extra outfielder spot. Maddon didn't mention any names, but it could include Will Rhymes, who they've wanted to see more in the outfield recently, or someone who already got sent down (Brandon Guyer), or an unknown candidate (Jesus Feliciano).

Developing: The Rays will travel to Fort Myers to play the Twins - again - with RHP Jeremy Hellickson set to take the mound.

LHP Matt Moore will pitch in a minor league game in Port Charlotte at 1 p.m.

There's some regulars on the road trip, with DH Desmond Jennings, 3B Evan Longoria and RF Matt Joyce. Chris Gimenez will get the start behind the plate, as the second catcher competition goes down to the wire.

Rays lineup
Jennings dh
Johnson 2b
Longoria 3b
Joyce rf
Rodriguez ss
Mangini 1b
Gimenez c
Rhymmes lf
Feliciano cf
Hellickson rhp

[Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2012 12:40am]

    

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