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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Twins-Rays: B.J. Upton returns
Posted Apr 20, 2012 by Joey Johnston
Updated Apr 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM
ST. PETERSBURG—Center fielder B.J. Upton, returning from the disabled list and a back injury, returns for the Rays tonight against the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field. Upton will bat seventh. Manager Joe Maddon said Upton may be completely 100 percent at the plate. He might even need a day off on the home stand. Upton’s defense should be fine.
“It’s great having him back,’’ Maddon said. “I just like writing his name in the lineup.’‘
The Rays returned from their 10-game road trip with an overall 7-6 record, something that encouraged Maddon considering the quality of the opponents (Tigers, Red Sox, Blue Jays) and Upton’s absence. In bringing Upton to the 25-man roster, the Rays sent down Stephen Vogt to Triple-A Durham.
Maddon said he anticipates announcing another roster move after tonight’s game. 1B/OF Brandon Allen, claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics, will be added and someone else will be sent down. Also, C Robinson Chirinos was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
LHP Matt Moore will make his first home start for the Rays, although he has made relief appearances at the Trop. Also, Ben Zobrist will play his first game at second base this season.