Rays skipper, Joe Maddon, mentioned that though he is optimistic about the quick recovery of BJ Upton, who still remains sore after a March 14th collision with LF Desmond Jennings, he (Upton) may not get enough playing time to be ready for opening day. Upton remains day to day with lingering back soreness.
Desmond Jennings, too, has a sore shoulder, though he did appear in a minor league game yesterday. With Fuld still injured and somewhat in the same boat as Upton, we could see Jennings filling the CF spot to start the season. Would Jesus Feliciano, who’s had a fairly decent spring, get a spot on the opening day roster in LF? Would Elliot Johnson get the spot since he’s spent time in the outfield this spring? In an encouraging step in his recovery, Reid Brignac, saw some action in a minor league game yesterday.
The Rays will take on the Twins today for the seventh time this spring. Tampa Bay hasn’t fared too well against the Twinkies so far, having lost five out of their first six meetings. Then again at 6-14-3, they haven’t fared too well against anyone in the Grapefruit league this year!
Jeff Niemann will get his final start before Maddon sets the starting rotation. The Rays are expected to release their 2012 starting rotation in the next day or so. Niemann, who’s had a better spring than Wade Davis, at least when you compare their ERA (4.32 Vs. 4.91), appears likely to get the final spot.
4/26/12 Starting Lineup: