Lineups and Joe Maddon pregame thoughts

Lineups for tonight:
Cabrera SS
Suzuki C
Cust DH
Holliday LF
Giambi 1B
Kennedy 2B
Crosby 3B
Cunningham RF
Davis CF
Anderson P

Upton CF
Crawford LF
Longoria 3B
Pena 1B
Bartlett SS
Aybar DH
Iwamura 2B
Kapler RF
Navarro C
Kazmir P

On the returning Dioner Navarro:
“Navi’s not nearly as possessed today, and he looks a lot better.  He came out for some early hitting, and he was hitting a lot more balls on the line, which is good, and he’s starting to feel good again.”

On Carlos Pena’s practice of early hitting:
“He likes to do it.  It’s something that we instituted a few years ago.  Anytime a hitter is feeling long with their bat, this is a good drill to get back on task.  There’s not a whole lot of instruction, but the balls are smaller, and it’s a nice self-correcting little drill.”

On J.P. Howell:
“I thought last night he looked as well as he can look.  His velocity was consistently 87-88, with a good, hard breaking ball and the changeup working off of that.  He’s going to pitch at a very high level.  He’s very tough when he starts hitting those numbers.  When often talked about how when he gets a little separation between his fastball and his other pitchers, how effective he’d be, and now we’re seeing it.”

On what to watch for tonight with Scott Kazmir:
“Primarily I look at the finish to his delivery.  That he’s not falling toward third base hard, and that he is more in a straight line, almost like reaching out to the catcher.  When he’s able to do that, he’s more online and has better fastball command.  When he has that going on, then other stuff plays pretty good.  When he’s not, that really restricts the command of his fastball, which puts the other pitches in jeopardy.”

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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