The Rays will attempt to wrap up their 10-game road trip in style tonight, at the Rogers Center in Toronto. Coming off a 12-2 shellacking of the Blue Jays last night, Tampa Bay will try to end their first road trip of this young season on a high note, and return home to face the Twinkies with a 6-5 record. Jeremy Hellickson (1-0, 3.29 ERA) will go up against Henderson Alvarez (0-0, 2.77 ERA) as he tries to recover from a less than stellar outing against the Sox.
Tampa Bay will need to disrupt Alvarez early in the same way they disrupted Brandon Morrow last night. His current numbers are below. On average, Alvarez has given up two runs and five hits over the course of two games, and 23 runs on 64 hits in 63.2 innings in 2011. He’s only struck out four this year, and a toal of 40 last season. That is to say, he’s not going to get a lot of K’s tonight, but he will induce weak hits.
Allen, 26, is a lefty hitting first baseman/outfielder, seemingly a more experienced player to fill the role held by rookie Stephen Vogt.
Allen has played parts of four seasons with the Diamondbacks (2009-11) and A’s (11-12), with a .205 average and 11 homers and 38 RBIs (in 374 plate apperances). He has played in 109 big-league games, 52 last season, when he was traded July 31 in a deal for Brad Ziegler.
If Allen takes Vogt’s place, the Rays would be looking at another roster move on Friday to make room for CF B.J. Upton, which most likely would involve either INF Reid Brignac, who could be sent to the minors, or INF/OF Elliot Johnson, who is out of options and would have to first be exposed to waivers.
Allen does have some pop in his bat. Click here to see a video clip of Allen blasting a Bartolo Colon pitch 428 feet in the opposite direction last season.
Rays (6-6) Starting Lineup 4/19/12:
Hellickson RHP (1-0)