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Rays set starting rotation

Posted Mar 22, 2008 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Mar 22, 2008 at 03:20 PM

The Rays’ rotation is officially set, with the expected five guys in there—if in a slightly different order. James Shields, Matt Garza, Andy Sonnanstine, Edwin Jackson and Jason Hammel will open the year in the rotation, with J.P. Howell still “competing” for a bullpen slot. Yes, he has options and Balfour and Dohmann don’t, but he’s the only choice as a long reliever right now and it’s a pretty good idea to have one of those around to open the season.

Maddon said the Rays probably will start all five pitchers in order right off the top, meaning they won’t adjust for the off day. So it should like up like this:

March 31 @ Baltimore - Shields
April 2 @ Baltimore - Garza
April 3 @ Baltimore - Sonnanstine
April 4 @ New York - Jackson or Hammel
April 5 @ New York - Jackson or Hammel
April 6 @ New York - Shields
April 7 @ New York - Garza
April 8 vs. Seattle - Sonnanstine

And so on, at least until Kazmir returns. And no, we don’t know when that will occur.

One other postgame note: Hector Gimenez has been reassigned to minor-league camp.

The Rays’ brain trust is taking advantage of the rainout to have its latest staff meeting as we speak, so some of the big decisions that remain (Longoria, etc.) may be nearing a resolution.

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