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Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Wade Davis not taking major-league job for granted

PORT CHARLOTTE — So much is different from last spring to this one for right-hander Wade Davis.

He's married for one, having wed Katelyn in November and honeymooning in Jamaica. He has been to the big leagues, called up in September for a half-dozen starts. And he has learned he has what it takes to be successful, flashing back to his Sept. 17 complete-game shutout of the Orioles.

And even though Davis, 24, comes into spring training penciled into the fifth spot in the Rays rotation, he insists one thing that won't change is his determination to prove himself again.

"Everything's up in the air in my mind," Davis said at the Charlotte Sports Park. "You know how things go; you never know how it's going to be. Especially since the last couple years I've never really been in a situation where I was guaranteed anything.

"I still don't feel like anything is guaranteed. But hopefully I can make the decision easy."

His work last September makes a strong case, as he went 2-2, 3.72 in his six games and, if you take out his mess of a night in rainy Boston Sept. 12, even more impressive at 2-1, 1.87.

PORT SWEET PORT: It hit equipment/home clubhouse manager Chris Westmoreland one day last week how much easier this spring would be than last year's first foray to Port Charlotte: They needed only one 26-foot truck to make the 75-mile move south rather than two.

"Being familiar with the area and with the facility now, we kind of know where everything goes. So it's a lot easier," Westmoreland said. "We spent so much time last year figuring out where things went."

Though there's no longer that new-facility smell, the Charlotte Sports Park clubhouse and workout areas look to be in fine shape, despite hosting two minor-league teams throughout the summer, as the Rays prepare for Friday's first spring workout.

"The county and the minor-league (staffs) did an awesome job maintaining the facility," Westmoreland said. "It still looks brand new. It's like there was no minor-league team here."

Head groundskeeper Dan Moeller has been working on the fields for the past month and said the grass is coming back after the rough cold winter. "They're in good shape considering the freeze," he said.

There haven't been many changes, with palm trees and other landscaping added and some player/staff parking areas paved (though not the large one for fans behind the stadium).

MISCELLANY: Outfielder Justin Ruggiano and first baseman Dan Johnson, who had already been hitting at Tropicana Field, reported Tuesday.

Around the league

BRAVES: Right-hander Jair Jurrjens is scheduled for an MRI exam today to determine the cause of soreness in his right shoulder. Jurrjens, 24, was third in the NL with a 2.60 ERA last season and ninth with 215 innings.

MARLINS: Outfielder Cody Ross won his arbitration case and will make $4.45 million rather than the team's offer of $4.2 million.

NATIONALS: Former Yankees right-hander Chien-Ming Wang reached agreement on a $2 million, one-year contract, according to reports. Wang, 29, has battled injuries the past two seasons and was 1-6, 9.64 in 2009.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Wade Davis not taking major-league job for granted 02/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 10:10pm]
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