For starters: Rays at A's, with Jamey Wright - yes, Jamey Wright - starting
UPDATE, 3:15: Maddon said they feel the "bullpen" day was the better option that starting Hernandez, and they feel confident it can work. With Oakland using a number of lefties in the lineup, Maddon's take was they must feel they can get ahead early, knowing Maddon could use three lefties in long relief. Also of note, Maddon said if they get behind early he would use Hernadez to mop up, so essentially it would be a normal day "in reverse.'' ... Delmon Young said he was excited to be here and the have the chance to be in a race and help the Rays, his original organization. ... The Rays rotation is starting to fall into place, with Matt Moore set to start Tuesday against the Angels and David Price on Thursday, which means the Rays will have to fill in on Wednesday. Jake Odorizzi or Jeremy Hellickson would be possibilities Maddon said, along with Hernandez.
UPDATE, 3:04: Rays lineups does not include Delmon, but does include struggling Myers and Jennings:
With the A's going heavily left-handed in their lineup, Maddon said he got the sense they feel they can get ahead early, since he has the option of using three lefties after that.
DEVELOPING: The slumping Rays are making what looks to be an odd move for what they believe to be sound reasons today in starting veteran reliever Jamey Wright in a key game against the A's.
In short, the Rays feel better about using Wright AND several other relievers, likely including lefties Alex Torres. Cesar Ramos and Wesley Wright, than starting veteran RHP Roberto Hernandez against what would be a potent and lefty-laden A's lineup.
Given the depth of the Rays rotation, and the fact that it is September 1st and rosters can be expanded, it still is somewhat of an unusual move. But with Jeremy Hellickson and Jake Odorizzi not eligible to be recalled from the minors yet (and Alex Colome injured, and J.D. Martin not on the 40-man roster), the Rays didn't have any other options but Hernandez or one of the relievers.
So why start Wright over the other relievers? It may be as simple as manager Joe Maddon hoping the A's start most of their lefty hitters, then he can switch after an inning or two from Wright to the lefty brigade of relievers.
Meanwhile, the Rays bigger problem has been lack of offense as they have scored only 16 runs in losing six of their last seven. Today, they have to face Oakland's A.J. Griffin.
Three key right-handed hitters have been a big part of the Rays probelm, as Evan Longoria, Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings have all been struggling mightily.
The Rays will have the benefit of adding three hitters with the expanded rosters, with DH Delmon Young expected to see considerable action, plus DH Luke Scott coming off the DL and C Chris Gimenez added as a third catcher.
Lineups when available.