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The fifth starter? Has to be Davis

Posted Mar 23, 2010 by Roger Mooney

Updated Mar 23, 2010 at 05:56 PM

Rays manager Joe Maddon said he will announce his fifth starter sometime before Wednesday’s game against Blue Jays at Charlotte Sports Park.

While Andy Sonnanstine has looked great this spring, the choice has to be Wade Davis, the rookie right-hander who made six starts for the Rays last September.

This has nothing to do with Sonnanstine losing his spot in the rotation last season. Remember, he did win 13 games plus two more in the AL playoffs in 2008.

This has everything to do with Davis.

The right-hander is not David Price. He did not arrive with a lot of fanfare. Instead, Davis spent six seasons in the minors, logging more than 700 innings—767 1/3 to be exact.

Call him a graduate of the Rays farm system.

Davis is ready.

He has nothing to gain from more time at Durham. Not like Price, who needed more time to work in his location last season.

Davis may not look as good as Sonnanstine has this spring, but then Davis isn’t trying to prove he belongs in the rotation after being bounced back to Triple A last year.

Besides, Sonnanstine would be a better fit in the bullpen as the Rays scramble to replace J.P. Howell, who will miss at least the first month of the season with inflammation in his left shoulder.

Sonnanstine could serve as the long man, which the Rays need since Maddon said Lance Cormier, last year’s long man, will find himself working later in games.

Also, none of the candidates for the bullpen have really stood out this month.

Sonnanstine has earned the chance to open the season with the Rays. The bullpen seems the logical spot.

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