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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Rays ALDS roster without Niemann, Dan Johnson, Ramos
Posted Sep 30, 2011 by Roger Mooney
Updated Sep 30, 2011 at 12:10 PM
ARLINGTON, Texas The Rays playoff roster is interesting in that it includes three catchers and a struggling J.P. Howell and doesn’t include Jeff Niemann and Wednesday’s hero, Dan Johnson.
With Matt Moore starting this afternoon’s ALDS opener against the Rangers, Wade Davis has been moved to the bullpen.
The Rays only need four starters for the best-of-five series, and the addition of Moore made Niemann the odd man out.
The decision on whether to keep catchers Jose Lobabton or John Jaso answered itself when the Rays kept both. This gives Joe Maddon even more flexibility to pinch-hit in later innings.
But Dan Johnson, whose two-out, two-run homer Wednesday against the Yankees is a huge reason why the Rays are playing today, is not on the bench. The Rays kept Elliot Johnson, who gives them late-inning defensive options as well as a late-inning pinch-runner.
Howell has not been sharp in his last few appearances, but the Rays kept his left-arm over that of Cesar Ramos.
Here is the roster: