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 want to see Rodriguez at shortstop, too
Posted Mar 1, 2010 by Roger Mooney
Updated Mar 1, 2010 at 03:06 PM
Manager Joe Maddon and his staff will get their first look at Sean Rodriguez during the Rays home opener Thursday, but it won’t be as a second baseman.
Rodriguez, acquired from the Angels in the Scott Kazmir trade, will play shortstop against the Orioles that afternoon.
“We have to see more about him at shortstop,” Maddon said. “He’s done really well in the drills. I anticipate it’s going to look good. We just want to see it.”
Rodriguez is competing with Reid Brignac for one half of the second base platoon. That he can play the outfield makes Rodriguez attractive to Maddon, because Maddon loves versatile players. But Rodriguez needs to prove he can play shortstop, because that will allow him to act as Jason Bartlett’s backup.
Rodriguez played shortstop in four of the 71 games he played for the Angels during the past two seasons. He played 56 games at second.
Brignac has made his way through the Rays organization as a shortstop. He was named the International League’s best defensive shortstop by league managers for the past two seasons. Baseball American rated Brignac as the best defensive infielder in the Rays minor league system.
Maddon said he play Rodriguez and Brignac together, flip-flopping the two between second base and shortstop.