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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Of starters and B.J.
Posted Mar 15, 2009 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Mar 15, 2009 at 01:03 PM
PORT CHARLOTTE—Couple of quick notes before we get going today…
The Rays have provided a list of the upcoming starters:
Wednesday vs. Reds: Hammel (w/ Hernandez)
Thursday vs. Cardinals: Kazmir
Friday at Blue Jays: Garza
Saturday at Orioles: Sonnanstine (w/ Price)
Sunday vs. Yankees: Shields
What should we glean from that setup, given that the Rays have said they’re close to narrowing the field of rotation candidates? Well, considering Jeff Niemann isn’t specifically listed, perhaps that’s an indication he may be more in line for a bullpen job, with Hammel set up for the rotation. That would be an interesting move, as I’d say Niemann has been the best of those competing for the fifth spot to this point. But perhaps I’m reading too much into it. Guess we’ll see.
Also, B.J. Upton stood in against some live pitching on the minor-league side this morning, more to get used to tracking full-speed pitches than anything else. He said he only took a few swings and didn’t get a ball out of the infield. There’s still no definitive word on when he’ll see his first game action, though he guessed it might be the last week or two of spring training.