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Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Rays players on Baseball America's Best Tools list

Rays vs. Mariners

When/where: 7:10 tonight; Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg

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

Starting pitchers

Rays: RH Wade Davis (8-7, 4.60) Mariners: RH Felix Hernandez (11-10, 3.38)

Tickets: $12-$255 at box office, Ticketmaster, raysbaseball.com, team store in Tampa; $3 surcharge within five hours of game.

Promotion: David Price T-shirt for first 10,000 fans

Watch for ...

Wading in: Davis, who last pitched Aug. 10, has had trouble getting started, with a 7.29 ERA in first innings, and 4.08 after that. He is 0-1, 4.82 in four starts vs. Seattle, including a no-decision June 5.

King and his court: Hernandez, the 2010 Cy Young winner ahead of David Price, is having a solid season with little help. He is 3-1 with a 2.29 ERA in eight starts vs. Rays, but got roughed up in his only Trop start (72/3 innings, seven earned runs in 2006).

Key matchups

Rays vs. Hernandez

Johnny Damon 10-for-18, HR

Evan Longoria 5-for-14, HR

B.J. Upton 1-for-21, 8 Ks

Mariners vs. Davis

Franklin Gutierrez 1-for-5, HR

Miguel Olivo 0-for-3

Ichiro Suzuki 4-for-10

On deck

Saturday: vs. Mariners, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeremy Hellickson (10-8, 3.22); Mariners — Charlie Furbush (2-1, 4.76)

Sunday: vs. Mariners, 1:40, Sun Sports. Rays — James Shields (11-10, 2.83) or Jeff Niemann (8-4, 3.29); Mariners — Michael Pineda (9-7, 3.77)

Monday: vs. Tigers, 7:10, Sun Sports. Rays — Jeff Niemann (8-4, 3.29) or James Shields (11-10, 2.83); Tigers — Justin Verlander (18-5, 2.31)

Tool time

Rays listed in Baseball America's annual Best Tools poll of American League managers:

James Shields, best changeup, second-best pickoff move (behind Mark Buehrle)

Kyle Farnsworth, second-best reliever (behind Mariano Rivera)

Evan Longoria, second-best defensive third baseman (behind Adrian Beltre)

Casey Kotchman, third-best defensive first baseman (behind Mark Teixeira and Adrian Gonzalez)

Joe Maddon, third-best manager (behind Mike Scioscia and Ron Gardenhire)

And in the minors

OF Desmond Jennings, most exciting player Triple-A International League

LHP Matt Moore, best pitching prospect Double-A Southern League

SS Hak-Ju Lee, most exciting player advanced Class A Florida State League

Tampa Bay Rays news and notes: Rays players on Baseball America's Best Tools list 08/18/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 10:45pm]
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