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Rotation competition down to four

Posted Mar 14, 2007 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Mar 14, 2007 at 07:46 PM

Joe Maddon said before the game that RHP Brian Stokes will begin working exclusively out of the bullpen and is no longer in contention for the final rotation spot. With that decision and Hammel’s elimination, it’s now a four-man race: Edwin Jackson, J.P. Howell, Jae Kuk Ryu and Tim Corcoran. Maddon said all but Howell also will be considered for a bullpen spot if they don’t end up starting.

He also indicated Stokes might end up in the closer’s role eventually.

“I think Stokes has the makeup to pitch at the end of the game,” said Maddon. “I think he has the physical ability and the makeup and the accountability and all of the characteristics that are necessary for a guy to pitch at the end of the game. He’s been very impressive. I have a lot of confidence in him.”

Reader Comments

Por (Mike Cook) on March 14, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Joe Maddon keeps making statements that sound like a bunch of bull. He has no closer just like he has only two decent starters in Kaz and Shields. The team was 26 and 55 the second half of last season and has been a joke in spring training. It’‘s going to be a very very long season.

Mike in Tarpon Springs

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Por (Jake Larsen) on March 14, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Mike, are you even a Rays fan?

Moving a decent starter to the bullpen has worked for other teams before, Joel Zumaya sound familiar to you?

The only load of bull is hearing fans complain ABOUT SPRING TRAINING STATS and RECORDS! You ever realize that Spring Training only matters to the few people that are actually fighting for a roster spot. Basically, that’s 1 spot in the rotation and 2-3 spots of our bullpen.

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Por (Mike Creyton) on March 15, 2007 (Suggest removal)

I don’t see Stokes as a closer, but that’s just me.  I see him more as a long guy in the pen and a spot starter at the ML level.

And Jake is right. Spring Training means nothing.  Look at the White Sox and Twins records. They are 2 of the best teams in baseball.  The Red Sox went 9-20 last year.  It means nothing. Its just like pre-season football.

Actually this spring the pitching has been terrific.  Last I checked the Rays had the 5th best team ERA in all of MLB this spring and the worst team batting average.  You can expect those #‘s to almost reverse when the lights come on for real.

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Por (chris jett) on March 15, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Dear Jake,

“Moving a decent starter to the bullpen has worked for other teams before, Joel Zumaya sound familiar to you?” No. But the name Seth McClung does. And i don’t buy the idea that it losing 13 games in a row in spring training means nothing. if you can’t win more than one game in March what makes you think you can win in April.
By the way. i am a Rays fan. i have my opening game ticket and seat cushion to prove it. What have you got?

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Por (Jake Larsen) on March 19, 2007 (Suggest removal)

A well-known blog

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