Sunny Sunday ...
RHP Jeff Niemann gets his chance to make a good first impression of the spring in Sunday's game against the Pirates in Bradenton, and the Rays have a chance to at least match history - they are 2-0 and their best spring start is 3-0 in 2000.
The Rays are leaving a number of the first-teamers behind today, though hot 3B prospect Evan Longoria and CF B.J. Upton are on the travel squad. Ben Zobrist, making a bid for the utility infield job, gets a start at second base.
Other pitchers on the card to work after Niemann include Kurt Birkins, James Houser, Jake McGee, Wade Davis, Jae Kuk Ryu, Scott Munter, Calvin Medlock and Chris Mason.
Tuesday will be another homecoming for Gibbs High product Boof Bonser, who will start for the Twins against the Rays. Should know Monday if ex-Rays Delmon Young and/or Brendan Harris are coming on the trip.