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For starters, Rays vs. Marlins



Update 11:26 a.m. Manager Joe Maddon said while he still remains optimistic, it's getting close to the point where CF B.J. Upton may not get enough playing time to be ready for Opening Day. Upton, who has had just three minor league at-bats since an on-field collision with LF Desmond Jennings Mar. 14, is still day-to-day with soreness in his back.


Maddon said there'd be concerns about him getting enough at-bats, how he felt after games, as well as how his arm will respond after so much time off.

*Maddon said if Upton and OF Sam Fuld (right wrist) aren't ready for Opening Day, they could move Desmond Jennings to center. Jennings is feeling better, Maddon said, after being bothered by his shoulder. Jennings is playing in a minor league game at DH today.

Update 10:28 a.m. CF B.J. Upton said he's still day-to-day, that soreness in his back is keeping him from playing the way he wants, though he believes he'll be ready for Opening Day. He thinks it's better to get it taken care of now than linger during the season, and says that if he can get 5-6 more games in before the opener, he'll be good to go.

*SS Reid Brignac (right foot) planned to play in a minor league game this morning, an encouraging step in his recovery, with hopes of getting into a regular game soon.

UPDATE, 9:55: Rays lineup:
Zobrist rf
Joyce lf
Longoria 3b
Pena 1b
Keppinger 2b
Scott dh
Molina c
Johnson cf
S-Rod ss
Davis p


BREAKING: The Rays return home to face the new-look Miami Marlins today at Charlotte Sports Park, but have a different morning schedule.

Players don't have to arrive until 10 a.m, with no batting practice, likely something where manager Joe Maddon wants to switch it up after two later games (7:05 Friday and 3:05 Saturday).

RHP Wade Davis will start on the mound, it'll likely be his final audition before the Rays make their decision on the fifth spot in the rotation. The other candidate, RHP Jeff Niemann, starts Monday, with Maddon saying they'll "probably" decide the spot after that. Davis is coming off his best outing of the spring - also against the Marlins - when he rebounded after getting hit in the foot with a line drive.

The Marlins will send their ace, RHP Josh Johnson.

A few questions this morning include whether CF B.J. Upton is ready to return to the lineup. He's had just three minor league at-bats since his on-field collision with LF Desmond Jennings Mar. 14.

No lineups yet, but we'll post when there are.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 12:40am]


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