The view from the press box at Progressive Field. Photo by Marc Topkin.
UPATE, 6:26: Well, Maddon says the Upton decision isn't finalized, but that he will play tonight and Wednesday. That may just be some stalling tactics by Maddon, or a way for the Rays to make sure they don't have any other issues pop up before then. It doesn't sound like Upton plans to go through with the appeal, so it's just a matter of the timing. ... Maddon also said the Sean Rodriguez start at SS isn't a sign of things to come, that he actually thinks Brignac is coming around and this was just a matter of finding playing time for S-Rod since the Rays are facing so many RHPs. Maddon also said he is pretty well set on his lineup vs. RHPs once he gets everyone back in there, with Fuld, Zobrist, Damon and Longoria at the top.
UPDATE, 4:52: Damon said today is a scheduled day off and he knew about it several days ago. .... Upton said he is now set to serve his suspension on Thursday (in Cleveland) and Friday (at home).
UPDATE, 3:40: Upton is in the lineup, so he is delayed his suspension at least another day, and Johnny Damon is not, which appears to be a Joe Maddon special of resting a player following (or before) an off-day. Also, Sean Rodriguez gets another look at shortstop.
Here is the lineup:
D. Johnson dh
DEVELOPING: The Rays are back in action tonight on what looks like it will be a pleasant night at Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland.
RHP Andy Sonnanstine will be on the mound, making his first start of the season in place of RHP Jeff Niemann who is on the 15-day DL with a lower back strain.
Tonight's game features the battle of two impressive streaks: The Rays have won eight straight on the road, the Indians have won 13 in a row at home.
The Indians are expected to activate Carlos Carrasco off the DL to start Wednesday's game, against Rays ace lefty David Price.
Also to be clarified today is the status of CF B.J. Upton, who is to decide whether to drop his appeal and serve his two-game suspension.