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Rays rail: Zobrist describes facing Rodney in WBC

Remaining exhibition games

All games 1:05 unless noted

March

23: vs. Twins

24: at Yankees

25: vs. Pirates, 7:05

26: at Phillies

27: vs. Jays

28: at Orioles, 7:05

29: at Tigers

30: vs. Tigers at Trop, 1:10



Quote of the day

"It hasn't been a very good day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

LHP David Price, after his rain-shortened, messy, dangerous minor-league outing.

Familiar faces

Two of the Tigers' scheduled relievers used to be with the Rays: LHP Darin Downs was in their minor-league system from 2008-10 and got to Triple A before leaving as a free agent; LHP Kyle Lobstein was a 2008 second-round pick who had gotten to Double A and was taken in the December Rule 5 draft by the Mets then sent to the Tigers.

Shifty moves

The Rays' Joe Maddon was one of the leaders in using defensive shifts, so when he bemoans how prevalent they have become you could make the case that it's his fault. "It was fun while it lasted," Maddon said. "You're going to see more and more and more of it, which is no fun to watch. So we have to continue to try to stay a step ahead of all this."

Who is this Ray?

He played Little League in Houston with ex-Ray Carl Crawford and Michael Bourn. Made his big-league debut with White Sox. Was last player to get his first big-league hit at old Yankee Stadium. Played in majors for four teams.

The dish

Rays at Tigers

When/where: 1:05 today, Joker Marchant Stadium, 2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland

Tickets: $15-35, available through tigers.com, 1-866-668-4437 (1-866-66-TIGER).

Pitchers: Rays — Jeremy Hellickson, Kyle Farnsworth, Dane De La Rosa, Will Inman, J.D. Martin; Tigers — Doug Fister, Kyle Lobstein, Luke Putkonen, Darin Downs, Phil Coke

Heads-up

Ben Zobrist (in his first post-WBC action), Matt Joyce and Desmond Jennings are among front-line players in the lineup.

On deck

Wednesday: at Twins (Fort Myers), 7:05. Rays — Matt Moore; Twins — Mike Pelfrey

Thursday: Blue Jays, 1:05. Rays — Roberto Hernandez; Jays — TBA

Friday: Orioles, 1:05. Rays — TBA; Orioles — TBA. At Pirates, 1:05. Rays — TBA; Pirates — TBA

Who is this Ray: OF Jason Bourgeois

Follow our coverage all spring on The Heater blog (tampabay.com/blogs/rays) and on Twitter @TBTimes_Rays.

WBC memories

Among Ben Zobrist's WBC memories was facing, and striking out against, Rays teammate Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning of the Dominican Republic-U.S. game: "I was thinking of taking him yard 2-0 but I thought it's not going to help anything, (the score) is 3-1 right now, one run isn't going to do anything so I figured I would take one, and I regretted that later in the at-bat," Zobrist said. "He got pretty nasty later on. I thought the 3-2 pitch, first of all I couldn't have touched it where he put it, it was a great spot, but I thought it was a ball, but it was strike three and I walked back to the dugout. "Next thing I know the arrow is being shot in the air and another patented Fernando Rodney/Rays moment there."

Rays rail: Zobrist describes facing Rodney in WBC 03/18/13 [Last modified: Monday, March 18, 2013 10:19pm]
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