The Rays head to Lakeland take on the Detroit Tigers today following back-to-back losses to the Red Sox and an off-day. Super utility player Ben Zobrist is back in the thick of things thanks to the elimination of Team USA from the WBC. Luke Scott will get another chance to show off his outfield wares, getting a start at RF with Jack Cust handling the DH duties.
The Rays are still missing two players – closer Fernando Rodney, and catcher Jose Molina – both of whom are facing one another in the WBC championship. Rays skipper Joe Maddon is wary over the frequency by which teams Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic have used Molina and Rodney. In the case of Molina, he hasn’t been used a lot, seeing only three at-bats for Team Puerto Rico. On the other hand, Rodney has six saves under his belt following a 1-2-3 ninth inning outing Monday. Maddon’s concern over Rodney has more to do with energy not effort, saying,
“You’re pitching at such a high level, the way the Dominicans are dealing with this it’s almost like a playoff situation, so there’s a lot of amperage going on there,” Maddon said. “We’ll see how this all plays out. … There’s going to be some kind of ‘woof’ after this whole thing’s over.”
Rays 3/19/2013 Starting Lineup:
With T-Minus 14 days and counting until opening day, the Rays still have a few roster moves to make. In fact according to Joe Maddon, the roster is all but certain,
“You could almost say 90 percent looks as you would think, as you would expect,” manager Joe Maddon said Sunday.”
Nevertheless, the Rays still need to figure out who the fifth starter may be and what the rotation will look like, what the pen will look like, and who the extra outfielders and catchers will be. Rays beat writer Marc Topkin tackles that subject in his latest piece.