Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Down to two
Posted Mar 22, 2007 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Mar 22, 2007 at 04:46 PM
It had become evident because of the way the pitchers had been used over the last week or two, but Joe Maddon finally acknowledged today that the race for the fifth starter’s job is down to J.P. Howell and Edwin Jackson.
“I think it’s getting more reduced down to those two guys, primarily – Howell and Jackson,” said Maddon. “I’m not saying the other guys are not involved – who knows what’s going to happen – but I would think, everything being equal, it will be between those two people.”
The other guys, Tim Corcoran and Jae Kuk Ryu, have been limited to relief duty lately. Maddon said both remain in the mix to win a bullpen job. I know the Rays have been impressed with Ryu, but I don’t know that he’d have a big enough impact as a long reliever here to outweigh the benefits of having him in the rotation at Durham, ready for a call when another starter is needed.
As for the others, like I said earlier, Howell will get the start tomorrow and Jackson goes Saturday against the Red Sox. You can probably consider those starts their closing arguments, though Maddon emphasized that the decision will be made on what they’ve done overall and not how they perform the next couple of days.