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 @ Jays: Zobrist moved to 2nd in the order
Posted Apr 18, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 18, 2012 at 03:40 PM
TORONTO Joe Maddon has juggled his lineup. What a surprise.
Ben Zobrist moves to second in the batting order for the first time since Opening Day while Carlos Peña drops from second to third and Evan Longoria drops from third to fourth.
We’ll know more later, but the early guess is Maddon may want someone with a better chance of getting on base batting in front of Peña.
Leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings is batting just .227 with a .306 on-base percentage. He is 7-for-31 on this road trip, including an 0-for-4 during Tuesday’s loss.
Zobrist is batting .216 overall but much of that is a direct result of his 1-for-15 from the right side of the plate. As a left-handed hitter, Zobrist is batting .318 with a .464 on-base percentage.
Having someone on base ahead of Peña means the opposing team can’t employ the full version of the shift, and Peña won’t have to resort to bunting the ball up the third base line to get on base.
David Price (1-1, 4.82 ERA) makes his third start of the season. He is coming off a three-inning outings Friday in Boston but maintains he is throwing as well as he has during his entire career.
That will be put to the test against a Blue Jays lineup that can hit.
Here is the Rays lineup: