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For starters: Rays at Blue Jays



Update 12:15: I will be posting in-game updates and videos from the Rays-Jays game on Twitter @TBTimesRays2.

Update 11:57: Maddon is looking forward to seeing both RHP Jake Odorizzi and LHP Mike Montgomery today, each prospects acquired in the RHP James Shields trade with the Royals.

Odorizzi will start and likely pitch two innings, and Montgomery will come in relief after Chris Archer throws his two.

Montgomery was one of Royals top pitching prospects before struggling the past couple years. Maddon said the key is for him to be a strike thrower while reaching the 95-96 mph range. "HE's really high end," Maddon said. "He's got great stuff. It's just a matter of him mentally understanding what he can do and then going ahead and doing it. But he can be really good."

As for Odorizzi, Maddon says, "He's a pitcher, he has a great idea of what he wants to do at a young age. Nice confidence, quiet confidence about him. He's just not out there throwing. He knows what he's doing."

*Maddon has said Shelley Duncan has a shot to impact the big-league club this year, and he's certainly getting alot of playing time at first base (starting there today). Duncan's role would be a right-handed hitting corner outfield, first base, DH, and Maddon has liked what he's seen so far. Maddon likes his energy, his "veteranship," saying he looks good in a Rays uniform. Whether Duncan is in a Rays uniform on Opening Day, or later in the year, remains to be seen.

*Catcher Chris Gimenez is getting the start at third base, and will get opportunities around different positions this spring (like last camp). Maddon said he actually looks pretty good at third. But Gimenez, who is competing with Jose Lobaton for the backup catcher spot, is looking forward to getting more time behind the plate once C Jose Molina leaves for the WBC.

*The Blue Jays have several regulars in their lineup, including slugger Jose Bautista, J.P. Arencibia, Brett Lawrie, Adam Lind. LHP Mark Buehrle, one of their key acquistions in huge offseason makeover, will start.

Developing: The Rays are in Dunedin today for a 1:05 game against the Blue Jays.

RHP Jake Odorizzi, a top prospect acquired with OF Wil Myers from Kansas City in the James Shields trade, will make the start, and RHP Chris Archer will pitch in relief.

Here is the Rays lineup:

Jennings cf
Rodriguez 2b
Joyce lf
Duncan 1b
Cust dh
Molina c
Gimenez 3b
Guyer rf
Beckham ss
Odorizzi p


[Last modified: Friday, March 1, 2013 12:15pm]


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