UPDATE, 8:47: Lueke is indeed the selection, and is en route. He was 1-3, 4.73 for the Bulls. Maddon said they needed the bullpen help, but could bring up another position player in a day or two. Reid Brignac and Will Rhymes would be two possibilities.
BREAKING: The Rays did make a roster move on Tuesday, optioning INF Brooks Conrad to Triple-A Durham.
The corresponding move will be annouced before tonight's game. Given that the Rays used all seven members of their bullpen in Monday's 15-inning inning marathon, it most make the most sense to bring up a reliever.
Cesar Ramos started tonight for Durham. The other possibilities include Dane De La Rosa, Brandon Gomes or Josh Lueke. And since De La Rosa pitched 2 1/3 innings and Gomes 2 innings last night, Lueke would seem the choice.
Conrad can't be brought back to the majors for 10 days, unless there is an injury, so another position player could be added soon.
UPDATE, 8:53: Maddon said Longoria was sore but not hurt, and that this isn't really a setback. In fact, he said when Longoria does return he may be on a similar schedule with the Rays, playing only 2 or 3 days in a row. Maddon did acknowledge that under this timetable, Longoria likely wouldn't be ready to rejoin the Rays until after the weekend series in Baltimore at the soonest..
BREAKING: Monday, the Rays were excited about Evan Longoria's progress on his rehab assignment.
But Tuesday, they said Longoria was sore after playing consecutive games at DH and would be off for the next two days, then resume playing for Triple A Durham on Thursday. The Bulls are off Wednesday.
That would make it unlikely he would return to the Rays on Friday. He has been out since partially tearing his left hamstring April 30. He played two games, got a day off for being sore, and played two more.
UPDATE, 9:13: Maddon said they feel lefties can do better against Oakland LHP Milone which is why Fuld and Joyce are both in the lineup, and he wanted to Joyce the chance to get off his feet as the DH with Fuld in RF.
UPDATE, 7:49: Rays lineup has Joyce at DH and Keppinger at 3B: Jennings lf, Upton cf, Zobrist 2b, Keppinger 3b, Pena 1b, S-Rod ss, Joyce dh, Lobaton c, Fuld rf, Shields p
BREAKING: The Rays and A's will be back at it tonight, after playing for five hours and 15 innings on Monday night, with the A's winning 4-3.
The Rays will send James Shields - who obviously was not dealt before the 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver deals - to the mound against Oakland's Tommy Milone.
The Rays pushed back their bus times to the stadium today and canceled batting practice.
Here is the A's lineup:
Weeks 2B, Smith LF, Reddick RF, Cespedes CF, Carter DH, Moss 1B, Kottaras C, Hicks SS, Sogard 3B Milone p
UPDATE, 4:10: Annual reminder inserted here, that trades can still be made after today's deadline but those players need to clear waivers first. The Rays have actually been busier in that window during the Andrew Friedman regime, acquiring RHP Chad Bradford in 2008 and Gregg Zaun in 2009 and making the Scott Kazmir trade in 2009.
UPDATE, 4:01: No deals for the Rays as the deadline passes.
UPDATE, 3:30: Sounds quiet again on Rays front as deadline approaches.
UPDATE, 2:17: The Rays are talking about enough things that there may be a deal yet today. But a trade with the Rangers (ie, involving Shields) remains unlikely.
UPDATE, 2:05: Still relatively quiet, though ESPN/SiriusXM's Jim Bowden reported the Rangers, seeking pitching help, made what sounds like a cursory check back with the Rays - "circling back to kick the tires - on James Shields. But if the Rangers stick with their stated position of not giving up any of their blue-chip prospects, that seems quite unlikely to happen. Besides the fact that the Rays have no pitcher for tonight. …
UPDATE, 8:53: Rays manager Joe Maddon said he exchanged text messages with executive VP Andrew Friedman and things are "extremely quiet" on the trade front. "There's nothing to think about for me right now,'' Maddon said. "It's just play today and not worry about anything because it's probably going to look like this right after trade deadline also.''
Another sign: Maddon said he "not even thought about" a contingency plan for a Tuesday starter if Shields were to be traded "because I don't believe it's going to happen.''
BREAKING: With Tuesday's trade deadline looming, Rays pitcher James Shields doesn't expect to be going anywhere.
"It's looking like more and more I'm going to stay here,'' Shields said today.
Shields has been the Ray mentioned most prominently in rumors and reports. Shields is scheduled to start on Tuesday night, and said he preparing normally. "I plan on pitching tomorrow,'' he said.
Though the situation can change in advance of the 4 p.m. deadline, things seem pretty quiet overall involving the Rays.
CF B.J. Upton, who also gets mentioned as he is expected to leave as a free agent, said he and Shields have a bit of a running joke going.
UPDATE, 7:05: There was a reason Hellickson came out early - he was sick, throwing up once on the mound and several times in the dugout.
BREAKING: The Rays made it two straight shutout wins over the Angels with a 2-0 victory on Sunday, spoiling the debut of Zack Greinke.
RHP Jeremy Hellickson got them off to a strong start, holding the Angels hitless until the fourth and to only two singles through six innings, striking out five and not walking any.
Manager Joe Maddon decided six innings, and 86 pitches, were enough for Hellickson, and the bullpen took over from there with Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney - who allowed two hits then got Albert Pujols to hit into a game-ending double play - doing the rest. Rodney notched his 30th save.
The Rays weren't overly offensive, but they were opportunistic. …
Things can change between now and Tuesday's 4 p.m. deadline for nonwaiver deals, but manager Joe Maddon said he does not expect the Rays to make any deals.
"My feeling normally is this, and I've been right almost all the time, is that we're not going to do anything,'' he said before Sunday's game. "We talk a lot and it always takes two to dance, and at the end of the day it's diffcult to match up all the time. So I would bet that nothing really happens.''
RHP James Shields, the Ray mentioned most prominently in trade rumors, said he will be relieved to get to Tuesday, which is also the day he is scheduled to next start.
UPDATE, 2:49: Maddon said Evan Longoria was feeling good today and would DH again for Durham, continuing his rehab with a potential return later this week. ... The Angels scratched OF Mike Trout from their lineup due to a leg bruise. ... Maddon said the Rays are prepared for Greinke given the quality of their advanced scouting system, and also that it can be a difficult environment for Greinke to come in as "the mercenary.''
New Angels lineup:
Izturis ss Kendrick 2b Pujols 1b TRumbo rf Morales dh Callaspo 3b Wells lf Ianetta c Bourjos cf Greinke p
UPDATE, 2:35: B.J. Upton is not in the lineup today, a move manager Joe Maddon and Upton say is just a matter of giving him a day off, especially against Greinke, against whom he is 4-for-19.
Jennings cf, Fuld lf, Zobrist 2b, Joyce rf, Keppinger dh, Pena 1b, Roberts 3b, Lobaton c, Johnson ss, Hellickson p
BREAKING: The Rays have a chance to win a second straight series this afternoon and spoil the welcoming party for Zack Greinke when the take on the Angels at 3:35. …
Evan Longoria was "a little bit sore" after playing consecutive games at DH for Triple-A Durham and isn't in the lineup tonight, but the Rays don't consider it anything abnormal and expect him to continue his rehab assignment on Sunday, manager Joe Maddon said.
"He just felt a little bit sore but nothing abnormal,'' Maddon said. "He wanted to play. But (Longoria and head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield) talked it over and Ronnie felt, they agreed it was just best to let him just sit tonight.''
Longoria is being used as a DH with the hope that he can return to the Rays as soon as next week. He has been out since partially tearing his left hamstring on April 30.
The Tampa Bay Rays will head into the 2013 season with Evan Longoria, David Price, Fernando Rodney and a few new faces. Can they best the Yankees and Orioles in the highly competitive AL East? Come here to follow Rays news at Tropicana Field and beyond.