For starters, Rays vs Twins, night edition
Update 4:48 p.m. Rays manager Joe Maddon said the remaining three candidates for the fifth starter spot can all still help their case in their final outings today and Friday. Maddon said experience will play a big role in decision, which will come Saturday.
*Maddon said RHP Juan Carlos-Oviedo faced hitters again on the back fields and looked good in a 35-pitch session. Oviedo, delayed in the Dominican Republic for several weeks due to visa issues, has yet to pitch in an exhibition game. Since it's been a couple years since he's pitched in a game due to Tommy John surgery, Maddon said they're not going to rush him back, and he's in jeopardy of missing the start of the season.
*Maddon said OF Matt Joyce, sidelined with a stiff neck, will hopefully return to game action by Saturday.
*Maddon said he didn't even want to watch the scary highlight of Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman getting struck in the face by a line drive. "It was awful," Maddon said. Maddon actually recalled getting hit in the forehead while throwing batting practice years ago, a line drive off an aluminum bat from 45 feet. "I thought I was going to die," he said.
Update 4:00 p.m. OF Matt Joyce, who left Wednesday's game with a stiff neck, said he still felt stiff and sore, but is getting more treatment and hopes to play Friday. Joyce also said he got a theraputic pillow after getting advised by the trainers.
*The Twins lineup will include some big names, like Joe Mauer. Former Rays SS Jason Bartlett is not in the lineup, but is on the travel squad.
#Twins lineup vs #Rays:
Developing: The Rays will play a rare home night game tonight against the Twins at Charlotte Sports Park.
There will be many regulars in the lineup, including Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, James Loney and Yunel Escobar.
The main focus will be on the mound, however, as two of the remaining candidates for the fifth starter spot, LHP Cesar Ramos and RHP Jake Odorizzi, will pitch. The Rays are expected to make a decision Saturday on the rotation, after LHP Erik Bedard starts on Friday.
Not in the lineup is OF Matt Joyce, who left after the first inning Wednesday due to neck stiffness.
There will be some special guests pre-game, as 10 members of the Wounded Warriors will be participating in the team's warm-ups and batting practice.