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Tomorrow’s lineup and other notes

Posted Feb 24, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Feb 24, 2009 at 02:27 PM

PORT CHARLOTTE—Ladies and gentlemen, your Rays starting lineup for tomorrow’s exhibition opener against the Reds:

Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Pat Burrell DH
Willy Aybar 1B
Dioner Navarro C
Ben Zobrist 2B
Gabe Gross RF
Fernando Perez CF
Carlos Hernandez P

The Rays are holding out Carlos Pena for a bit as he continues to recover from last month’s abdominal surgery, and Matt Joyce is a few days away as well.

The plan is for Carlos Hernandez and Jason Hammel to pitch two innings each and the rest of the relievers to go one inning.

As for the rest of the week, the big news is Pat Burrell will start against the Phillies in Clearwater on Saturday. The DH will be used in that game, and Joe Maddon asked Burrell if he’d like to play right away against his former team. Burrell said he has no problem with it and he’s happy to do anything he’s asked. Mitch Talbot, by the way, is slated to start that game.

Also for later in the week, the Rays’ travel squad for the trip to Tampa for the Yankees game Thursday includes Crawford, Adam Kennedy, Gabe Kapler and Morgan Ensberg. Ensberg, who was with the Yankees to open last season, will start at third base. He’ll be backed up by Elliot Johnson, who of course ended up at the flashpoint of the Rays-Yankees mess that erupted last spring when he bowled over New York catcher Francisco Cervelli at the plate, breaking the catcher’s wrist. Maddon said he didn’t even think about that moment from last spring until he was asked about it today.

Updating: Here’s the Reds’ lineup for tomorrow, courtesy of my man John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Willy Taveras CF
Jerry Hairston Jr. SS
Joey Votto 1B
Brandon Phillips 2B
Jay Bruce RF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Chris Dickerson LF
Ramon Hernandez C
Jacque Jones DH
Edinson Volquez P

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