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For starters, Rays vs Royals, minus Burrell, Upton and Navarro



Update 11:12 a.m. Manager Joe Maddon explained his lineup tweaks, saying he wanted to give CF B.J. Upton a day off, and had wanted to get Willy Aybar in the lineup (which is why Pat Burrell is out), and he likes backup C Michel Hernandez against Zack Greinke, who can be tough on lefties (why Navarro is out of lineup).

On the medical front, Maddon said Fernando Perez will go out to Port Charlotte Wednesday to hit in a simulated type game as he starts to get back into game-related things.


The Rays complete their four-game series with the worst-in-the-AL Royals today, and will have a tough task in facing Kansas City ace Zack Greinke.

The lineup has been tweaked quite a bit for this Monday matinee, as it's without three regulars - DH Pat Burrell, CF B.J. Upton and C Dioner Navarro. Gabe Kapler will play center, and Willy Aybar will DH, with Jason Bartlett moving up to the leadoff spot.

Manager Joe Maddon had said he wanted to start Aybar today to get him some more at-bats, as he'll need to stay ready for his regular pinch-hit role. The others could be days off before a two-game Red Sox series coming up.

The lineup

Bartlett, ss
Crawford, lf
Longoria, 3b
Zobrist, 2b
Pena, 1b
Aybar, dh
Gross, rf
Hernandez, c
Kapler, cf
Kazmir, p


[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:49am]


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