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Rays-Twins lineups

Posted Mar 5, 2007 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Mar 5, 2007 at 04:38 PM

Another sunny day here at PEP, thought a bit chilly at the moment. Should be beautiful by game time. With no radio on this game, I’ll do my best to keep you updated as we go along, but I will have to leave periodically to go downstairs and talk to players.

Twins
Jason Tyner CF
Nick Punto 3B
Joe Mauer C
Michael Cuddyer RF
Justin Morneau 1B
Rondell White LF
Jason Kubel DH
Luis Rodriguez 2B
Jason Bartlett SS
Carlos Silva P

Rays
Upton SS
Harris 2B
Dukes CF
Gomes RF
Cantu DH
Choi 1B
Longoria 3B
Mohr LF
Riggans C
Seo P

Early innings
Seo looked very good for the Rays in his two innings, mowing a suprisingly stocked Twins lineup down in order. Very little solid contacts from the Minnesota bats. Of course, Silva has done the same on the other end. The only man to reach base so far is Rodriguez, who drew a walk from Edwin Jackson in the third. Riggans finally breaks Silva’s spell with a double down the right-field line with two out in the third, but he’s stranded there when Upton grounds to short.
Top 4th
Punto greets J.P. Howell with a single up the middle. With Punto running, Mauer yanks one to right. Gomes hauls it in, then tosses it to Harris, who tosses it to Choi, who tosses it to Upton (who for some reason has run over toward first) to complete the routine 9-4-3-6 double play.  Cuddyer follows with a double down the line in left. One might say Howell isn’t fooling anybody today. Nonetheless, another fly to right by MVP Morneau gets him out of it.
Bottom 4th
Harris singles to lead it off against Matt Garza. Dukes follows with a walk and is retired on Gomes’ fielder’s choice as Harris moves to third. Cantu’s long fly to the warning track in left is good enough to score Harris with ease for a 1-0 Rays lead. Choi flies to left to end the inning.
Top 5th
Corcoran now pitching. White pops to second. Kubel grounds softly to first, where Choi flips it to Corcoran. Rodriguez hits one hard toward the hole on the right side, but Harris makes a great play to track it down and throw him out. Easy inning for Corky.
Bottom 5th
Tristan Crawford, now hurling for the Twins, fans Longoria. The kid has looked a bit overmatched in game action so far, I’d say. And look at that…Mohr follows with a long home run to center against his former team, extending the Rays’ edge to 2-0. Riggans flies to right and Upton grounds to short to end the inning.

Wholesale substitutions now for the Rays. I’m probably going to have to suspend the live blogging for a while to go downstairs and talk to some of the guys.

Top 9th
If you’re wondering why it’s taken MLB.com so long to update the top of the ninth…well, you probably have figured it out. Chris Seddon has surrendered three runs, allowing the Twins to roar to a 4-2 lead. One of them came on an error by Reid Brignac, but the run probably would have scored anyway. Jim Hickey just went to the mound—a sight rarely seen mid-inning in the spring. There are two outs in the inning.

Reader Comments

Por (Mike Creyton) on March 05, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Thanks in advance for the updates Marc.

Interesting to see Upton as SS this game. Especially after yesterday’s performance at 3B. But, I guess this is exactly the type of thing Spring Training is for.  I wish I could be out ther today.

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Por (William Backer) on March 05, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Mike - no surprise on the position, BJ has to get used to the utility role this season - - in Montgomery.  That was the last level he dominated, unfortunately. 

Marc, can Upton be sent down without clearing waivers or have the Rays used up all their moves?

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Por (Tyler Marsh) on March 05, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Yes, Upton can be sent down.  He is not out of options yet.

However, Montgomery wasn’t the last level he dominated.  In fact, his OPS was higher in Durham than it was in Montgomery in 04’.

His OPS was .882 the next year in AAA at the age of 20, again, higher than it was in Montgomery the previous year.  He’s dominated at a level higher than AA, twice in fact.  He’s struggled defensively, and he had trouble hitting last year because his mechanics and shoulder were both screwed up. 

That doesn’t mean he’s not talented.  Upton may in fact be the most talented player on the entire team.  He’s got a legit chance to be a super-star if he’s given the opportunity to play everyday, most likely in the OF.

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Por (Charles Treoger) on March 11, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Why do the Rays keep pushing the fact that Upton can play the OF?  Maybe because they are going to be trading for a GREAT PITCHER for one of our outfielders and then we would need another backup OF. Question still is which OF will it be.  I hate to see it happen but it is necessary to compete

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