UPDATED 10:30: Rays manager Kevin CAsh aaddressed the mdia before today's season opener. Here are a few topics he touched one ...
On Corey Dickerson as the new leadoff hitter:
"I had a pretty good idea coming into spring training that Corey might fit that mold. I get we don't have an ideal leadoff guy, but for what he did this spring training, he did a tremendous job of shortening up his swing with two strikes and working counts and we saw him hit a lot of balls the other way and he got on base at a very high clip. If we can vault that into opening day and the rest of the season we're going to have a very good leadoff guy up there. That can change Game 2."
Cash said Steven Souza Jr., will also get look at batting at the top of the order.
On Beckham as the shortsop while Matt Duffy rehabs his heal:
"All we're looking for from any of our infielders is consistency, catch the ball, and Beck did that for the most part during spring training. Beck is a high-energy player. He likes to be out there. I'm sure he's thrilled to be out there opening day and we're going to lean on him for quite some time to help clean our defense up and be part of a very solid defense."
On how Miller looked this spring as the everyday second baseman:
"You couldn't draw it up any better."
Cash said he checked with Archer after Archer pitched to Norris last Tuesday against the Twins at Fort Myers to see how well the two worked together. Archer gave the thumbs up, and that's why Norris is starting today.
The Rays open their 20th season today at Tropicana Field against the Yankees at 1:10, with TV coverage by Fox Sports Sun and ESPN, as well as Japan's NHK network.
RHP Chris Archer, determined to put his 19-loss season behind him, will be on the mound, making his third straight Opening Day start. RHP Masahiro Tanaka starts for the Yankees.
We have extensive preview coverage today all over our website and in a 10-page special section.
The Rays lineup will look like this:
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And here is the Yankees lineup: