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Tampa Bay Rays spring training preview

Spring roster

* Nonroster invite

PITCHERS (30)

35Archer, Chris (R)

71Baker, Brian (R) *

75Bayliss, Jonah (R) *

44Bush, Matt (R)

59Cabral, Cesar (L)

53Cobb, Alex (R)

37Cruz, Juan (R) *

40Davis, Wade (R)

69Delaney, Rob (R)

49De La Rosa, Dane (R)

72De Los Santos, Richard (R) *

54Ekstrom, Mike (R)

43Farnsworth, Kyle (R)

47Gomes, Brandon (R)

73Hayhurst, Dirk (R) *

58Hellickson, Jeremy (R)

39Howell, J.P. (L)

57McGee, Jake (L)

34Niemann, Jeff (R)

76Orta, Ricky (R) *

62Peralta, Joel (R)

14Price, David (L)

55Ramos, Cesar (L)

36Russell, Adam (R)

33Shields, James (R)

21Sonnanstine, Andy (R)

50Suarez, Albert (R)

68Swindle, R.J. (L) *

56Torres, Alex (L)

74Wade, Cory (R) *

CATCHERS (7)

65Albernaz, Craig *

41Ashley, Nevin

38Chirinos, Robinson

28Jaso, John

31Lobaton, Jose

10Shoppach, Kelly

60Vogt, Stephen *

INFIELDERS (13)

51Anderson, Leslie

64Beckham, Tim *

15Brignac, Reid

61Canzler, Russell *

26Furmaniak, J.J. *

29Johnson, Dan

9Johnson, Elliot

23Kotchman, Casey *

3Longoria, Evan

45Lopez, Felipe *

67Mayora, Daniel *

16Olmedo, Ray *

1Rodriguez, Sean

OUTFIELDERS (10)

66Carter, Chris *

22Damon, Johnny

27Fuld, Sam

30Guyer, Brandon

8Jennings, Desmond

20Joyce, Matt

24Ramirez, Manny

11Ruggiano, Justin *

2Upton, B.J.

18Zobrist, Ben

Manager

70Maddon, Joe

Coaches

46Boroski, Stan (Assistant pitching)

6Foley, Tom (3B)

25Hendrick, George (1B)

48Hickey, Jim (Pitching)

4Martinez, Dave (Bench)

7Ramos, Bobby (Bullpen)

17Shelton, Derek (Hitting)

63Zimmer, Don (Senior adviser)

Exhibition schedule

Where: Charlotte Sports Park

How to get there: 1-75 South to Toledo Blade Road, go west 6½ miles to El Jobean Road (SR 776), go right 2 miles, stadium on left. Driving time from Tampa Bay area 1½-2 hours.

When: All games 1:05 unless noted

Tickets: Reserved $19-$27; berm-boardwalk $8 weekdays, $10 weekends and vs. Red Sox, Yankees. At raysbaseball.com, via Ticketmaster, at Tropicana Field, Tampa store, Charlotte Sports Park.

FEBRUARY

26: Pirates

27: at Pirates (Bradenton)

28: Pirates

MARCH

1: at Orioles (Sarasota)

2: at Blue Jays (Dunedin)

3: Yankees

4: at Twins (Fort Myers)

5: Twins

6: at Phillies (Clearwater)

7: at Pirates (Bradenton)

8: Blue Jays

9: Blue Jays,

vs. Netherlands (St. Petersburg)

10: Red Sox

11: Pirates

12: at Phillies (Clearwater)

13: at Blue Jays (Dunedin)

14: OFF

15: Marlins

16: at Marlins (Jupiter)

17: at Yankees (Tampa), 7:05

18: Red Sox, 7:05

19: at Twins (Fort Myers)

20: Orioles

21: Yankees, 7:05

22: at Red Sox (Fort Myers), 7:05

23: Phillies

24: at Astros (Kissimmee)

25: Pirates

26: Orioles

27: at Pirates (Bradenton)

28: at Yankees (Tampa), 7:05

29: at Red Sox (Fort Myers)

30: Blue Jays at Trop, 4:10

1. Manny being Manny

All eyes will be on Manny Ramirez, who comes to the Rays with an impressive resume and an interesting reputation, everything from a clubhouse concern to a leader. How he acts, what he says, when he shows up, whom he hangs out with will all be duly noted.

2. Can they get some relief

With seven of last year's top eight relievers gone via free agency, bullpen coach Bobby Ramos will be handing out name tags. Four spots are considered claimed by, from left, Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta, Adam Russell and lone returnee Andy Sonnanstine. There are a dozen candidates in camp for the other three, and one or two more likely to join the fray. Then they have to sort out roles.

3. Lining up

Manager Joe Maddon, left, has given this lots of thought and thus far has no definitive answers. Figure Johnny Damon will hit first or second, with Evan Longoria likely No. 3 and Manny Ramirez behind him (though that could flip-flop), then Matt Joyce probably next. Everything else is, and might for a while be, under discussion.

4. Who's on first

Dan Johnson, right, opens camp as the projected starter, with Ben Zobrist expected to get time vs. lefties. But Casey Kotchman, left, the ex-Seminole High star who signed a minor-league deal, will get a chance to show if he belongs. Johnny Damon could make a few appearances.

5. Reserve duty

With the starting positions pretty much set (except maybe first base) and Jeremy Hellickson, left, in line to replace Matt Garza in the rotation, the primary battles will be for playing time. But there could be some good ol' competition, such as Elliot Johnson vs. veteran Felipe Lopez for the utility infield spot.

Who's new

• RHP Juan Cruz (minor-league free agent, from Royals)

• LF Johnny Damon (free agent from Tigers)

• RHP Kyle Farnsworth (free agent from Braves)

• 1B Casey Kotchman (minor-league free agent, from Mariners)

• INF Felipe Lopez (minor-league free agent, from Red Sox)

• RHP Joel Peralta (free agent from Nationals)

• DH Manny Ramirez (free agent from White Sox)

• RHP Adam Russell (trade with Padres)

Also: RHP Chris Archer (trade with Cubs), LHP Cesar Cabral (Rule 5 draft from Red Sox), C Robinson Chirinos (trade from Cubs), RHP Rob Delaney (waivers from Twins), OF Sam Fuld (trade with Cubs), LHP Cesar Ramos (trade with Padres), RHP Cory Wade (minor-league free agent from Dodgers)

Promising prospects in camp: RHP Matt Bush, SS Tim Beckham, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, OF Desmond Jennings, LHP Jake McGee, LHP Alex Torres

Who's gone

• OF Rocco Baldelli (retired)

• RHP Grant Balfour (signed with A's)

• SS Jason Bartlett (traded to Padres)

• RHP Joaquin Benoit (signed with Tigers)

• LHP Randy Choate (signed with Marlins)

• LF Carl Crawford (signed with Red Sox)

• RHP Matt Garza (traded to Cubs)

• 1B/OF Brad Hawpe (signed with Padres)

• OF Gabe Kapler (signed minor-league deal with Dodgers)

• C Dioner Navarro (signed with Dodgers)

• 1B Carlos Peña (signed with Cubs)

• RHP Chad Qualls (signed with Padres)

• RHP Rafael Soriano (signed with Yankees)

• RHP Dan Wheeler (signed with Red Sox)

Unsigned free agents: INF Willy Aybar, RHP Lance Cormier

Medical matters

Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield starts with a relatively clean slate, as the only players expected to be limited are surgically repaired pitchers LH J.P. Howell (top, shoulder) and RH Ricky Orta (bottom, elbow). RH Juan Cruz is coming off shoulder surgery but is already throwing off a mound and might be on regular schedule.

Tampa Bay Rays spring training preview 02/12/11 [Last modified: Sunday, February 13, 2011 12:51pm]
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