UPDATE, 5:53: Players and staff on both sides basically said the games between the teams this weekend and next were important but not necessarily vital given that it’s still May. Rays veteran outfielder Kevin Kiermaier did say this: "It’s just going to be a huge, huge series for us to develop that mindset like, "Hey, we can beat these guys,' and we will. But it will be huge this weekend to prove that early and often.''
UPDATE, 4:28: Cash said Zunino could be out 4-5 weeks, and Perez potentially 2-3 weeks. Cash said the biggest priority for both Ciuffo and Anthony Bemboom, who was called up for what will be his big-league debut, is getting them schooled and comfortable with the pitchers. ... Ciuffo said he is ready for the challenge of being a big-league regular. ... Bemboom had flight delays and the Rays are hoping he gets here by late afternoon. .... Meadows said he feels good and is ready to go. ... Matt Duffy (hamstring) will resume his rehab assignment on Monday with the Stone Crabs. Cash said he will spend about a week with the Crabs and then go up to Triple-A Durham for at leats a few games. ... Hunter Wood (shoulder) threw in an extended spring game and said he felt ready to go but he is scheduled for another appearance Monday with the Stone Crabs as well.
Here is the Yankees lineup:
DEVELOPING: With Mike Zunino joining Michael Perez on the injured list, the Rays turn to rookie Nick Ciuffo as their starting catcher tonight as they open a series with the second-place Yankees.
Ciuffo, 24, has played in 18 games, 16 last year, for the Rays. He was their 2013 first-round pick.
The game features a matchup of two of the winningest pitchers in the AL, with Tyler Glasnow starting for the Rays against Yankees righthander Domingo German.
Here is the Rays lineup:
B. Lowe 2b