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Rays Report

Tampa Bay Rays: Get to know Desmond Jennings; quiet Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson challenged to "word-off"

Rays vs. Royals

When/where: 2:10 today; Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

TV/radio: Sun Sports; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

Starting pitchers:

RAYS

RH Alex Cobb (2-0, 3.09)

ROYALS

RH Felipe Paulino (1-3, 3.60)

Watch for ...

Alex the Great: Cobb's strong showing in six major-league starts thus far is the main reason he's still here and the Rays are using a six-man rotation. He is coming off a strong, though ultimately unsuccessful, outing vs. the Yankees on Monday.

Felipe's flip: Paulino has emerged as something of a success story since being acquired in late May from the Rockies, who had been using him in relief without much success (0-4, 7.36). He has swing-and-miss stuff and can pile up the strikeouts, averaging 10.29 per 9 innings.

Key matchups

Rays vs. Paulino

Casey Kotchman 1-for-2

Royals vs. Cobb

None have faced.

On deck

Monday: at A's, 10:07, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (9-7, 3.17); A's — Guillermo Moscoso (3-5, 2.96)

Desmond Jennings primer

Age, 24. … Hometown, Birmingham, Ala. … Starred in baseball/football/basketball at Pinson Valley High. … Was runnerup as Mr. Football, then a juco All-American receiver at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College. … Big Alabama fan. … Was 10th-round pick in 2006 draft. … Played in 17 games last season for Rays.

Men of few words

Consider it the potential Great Rays Debate, between two of the quietest players around, RHP Jeremy Hellickson and OF Desmond Jennings. "That would be interesting," manager Joe Maddon said, "putting them in a room and having a word-off."

Quote of the day

"I really wish I'd been devious enough to do that intentionally."

Manager Joe Maddon, insisting he was unaware that taking CF B.J. Upton out of Friday's game caused a frenzy of trade rumors.

Tampa Bay Rays: Get to know Desmond Jennings; quiet Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson challenged to "word-off" 07/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 23, 2011 11:02pm]
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