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For starters, Shields and ...



The Rays have tentatively set their rotation, and it looks like this: James Shields, Matt Garza, Jeff Niemann, David Price and Wade Davis.

That's how they'll start the exhibition season Wednesday, though both Shields and Garza will pitch in the opener against the Orioles in Sarasota before Shields moves up a day for his next start (on March 7 in Clearwater). Also, Andy Sonnanstine is technically competing with Davis for the fifth spot in the rotation and they will pitch on the same day for now.

So the schedule looks like this:
Wednesday vs. Orioles at Sarasota: James Shields, Matt Garza
Thursday vs. Orioles at Port Charlotte: Jeff Niemann
Friday vs. Yankees at Tampa: David Price
Saturday, March 6 vs. Red Sox in Port Charlotte: Wade Davis, Andy Sonnanstine
Sunday, March 7 vs. Phillies in Clearwater: James Shields

Manager Joe Maddon announced the order for the exhibition games, then said: "You may glean from that information what you may.''

The schedule has Shields lined up to make his record third straight opening day start on April 6, though Maddon said he wouldn't make that announcement yet since he hadn't talked to the pitchers.

Since Price is the only lefty, there may be some talk during the spring about swapping him and Niemann to break things up differently.

[Last modified: Sunday, March 28, 2010 12:15am]


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