OAKLAND, Calif. - The Rays lineup for tonight’s AL wild-card game contains two surprises, as the Rays are clearly going for offense early in the game, starting rookie Mike Brosseau at second base and Yandy Diaz, who was supposedly limited to hitting, at first base.
Diaz was activated off the injured list for Sunday’s season finale in Toronto after being sidelined more than two months with a fractured left foot. Manager Kevin Cash said several times in the last few days he wasn’t expected to play the field, implying he would be limited to pinch-hit duties. Diaz said he took ground balls at third base at the Trop and during a couple trips to instructional league in Port Charlotte, and he did again during Tuesday’s workout, but said he didn’t get any work at first.
One other slight surprise, though as much a creation of the roster construction, is that the Rays don’t have any true backup outfielders available, as they are carrying only four and have Tommy Pham as the DH. Brosseau and Joey Wendle could be used in the outfield if needed.
Here is the Rays lineup against A’s lefty starter Sean Manaea, and with four lefties in the bullpen:
A’s lineup when available.