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Tampa Bay Rays DH Pat Burrell says he's willing to play rightfield

Not so swell: Wade Davis, the projected No. 5 starter, walks three and gives up two hits to nine Boston batters.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Not so swell: Wade Davis, the projected No. 5 starter, walks three and gives up two hits to nine Boston batters.

PORT CHARLOTTE — Pat Burrell wants to throw his barely used glove into what he considers a potentially open competition for playing time in rightfield.

"Well, there really isn't a rightfielder as far as I know, so I told them if they need me to play, I'd like to play. That's really about it," Burrell said.

"I don't know what they're going to do with (Ben) Zobrist and everything else; obviously if he's going to play rightfield, he deserves to play. But if it doesn't work out like that, and there's a chance for me to play, I would love to."

Burrell, 33, struggled immensely last year in his first attempt at being a full-time DH and may see getting back on the field as a way to get back in a groove offensively.

Manager Joe Maddon said he's willing to give Burrell the opportunity during the spring — he'll start in right today in Clearwater against his former Phillies teammates — but was noncommittal about games that count.

"We talked about it in his meeting, and he really would like to be able to do that," Maddon said. "So I want to get him out there during camp and get him more comfortable with it, and we'll see."

Given the premium the Rays put on defense and, even if Zobrist ends up at second base, with other rightfield options that start with Matt Joyce and Gabe Kapler, it would seem unlikely Burrell would get much time. A regular in left with the Phillies, he made his only career start in right last year at Colorado.

ROUGH START: Coming off a miserable 2009, RHP Andy Sonnanstine couldn't have been more excited to make his first spring appearance. And he couldn't have done much worse.

Sonnanstine walked his first three hitters, then went to three-ball counts on two of the other three he faced, during his 29-pitch inning.

Sonnanstine, trying to unseat Wade Davis for the fifth spot in the rotation or at least get a slot in the bullpen, insisted it wasn't as bad as it looked, that he was overly excited, rushing his delivery and unable to make an adjustment.

"I'm extremely happy about how I'm feeling right now," Sonnanstine said. "It's just a couple minor mechanical things that we can tweak here and there."

Davis didn't do much better, allowing three walks and two hits to the nine batters he faced and failing to finish his second inning. Davis said he felt fine, but his release point was a bit erratic.

Maddon wasn't overly concerned about either: "I haven't started the evaluation clock."

GAME DETAILS: The Rays beat the Red Sox 6-4 for their second walkoff win and third straight overall. Fernando Perez opened the ninth with a triple and Justin Ruggiano followed with a home run. … Zobrist and Kelly Shoppach also homered. … Rays pitchers walked 10.

MISCELLANY: OF Desmond Jennings, out since being hit by a pitch on his left elbow Wednesday, is expected back today. … There's no word yet on how long LHP R.J. Swindle (strain in right side) will be out. … The Rays will be allowed to use a DH today.

Tampa Bay Rays DH Pat Burrell says he's willing to play rightfield 03/06/10 [Last modified: Saturday, March 6, 2010 10:21pm]
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