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Game Preview: Monday (3/13) at Cleveland (Winter Haven)

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RAYS (6-5) at Cleveland (9-4)
1:05; Chain O' Lakes Park, Winter Haven
NO TV/RADIO

Pitching Matchup

LH Scott Kazmir, LH Chris Seddon, RH Travis Harper, RH Shawn Camp, LH Wayne Franklin, RH Tim Corcoran

RH Fausto Carmona

The Bottom Line

The Rays and Tribe go at it today, and among the things to look for is Rocco Baldelli, who should return to the lineup today, as well as our ace Kazmir and the bullpen hopefuls. It will also be interesting to see whether Carl Crawford shows up in his correct jersey. The Rays play two more on the road including this game, as well as in Dunedin tomorrow, then two straight in St. Pete, so go out and "Catch some Rays" if you can.

Upcoming Games

Tuesday-at Toronto in Dunedin (McClung)

Wednesday-vs. Detroit in St. Pete (Jackson)

Thursday-vs. Boston in St. Pete (Waechter)

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!

RAYS (6-5) at Cleveland (9-4)
1:05; Chain O' Lakes Park, Winter Haven
NO TV/RADIO

*Rays Reads

-The Rays pulled above .500 for the spring yesterday by beating the Pirates 7-4 in Bradenton. For once, a big inning helped the Rays, as they rode a five run fifth inning to a win despite some shaky pitching from Jason Hammel. Julio Lugo went 2 for 3 and scored twice, as well as swiping two bases. Aubrey Huff and Jonny Gomes each went 1 for 2 with an RBI and run scored, and both also doubled. Ty Wigginton contributed to the good offensive day as well, as he went 1 for 4 with a run scored and two RBI. Josh Paul actually made himself useful, going 1 for 3 with a two run homer into the right-centerfield power alley.

On the mound, Casey Fossum picthed a great three innings, giving up three hits and one walk while striking out five. However #4 prospect Jason Hammel went two unimpressive innings, giving up four runs on four hits, including a Jason Bay home run. Chad Orvella, Jesus Colome, Dan Miceli, in his first game back from the World Baseball Classic, and Jason Childers mopped up the final four shutout innings to conclude the game. The ballpark looked like a sellout, as I could barely move from my seat at McKechnie Field. The announced attendance was 5,919 on a beautiful day that mixed the right amount of breeze and clouds with sun.

-Double A Montgomery C Charion Isenia and RHP Juan Salas were both reassigned to minor league camp. Isenia returned from the World Baseball Classic, where he went 1 for 3 in one game. The Netherlands went 1-2 at the Classic and was eliminated in the first round. Salas' reassignment comes at an odd time, as he was impressive in an perfect inning of work yesterday in which he struck out two. On the spring, Salas pitched two perfect innings giving up no hits. In the last two days, the Rays have trimmed their roster from the original 63 players to the current 53.

Short Hops-Carl Crawford could not find his No. 13 jersey and had to wear No. 99 for the game, I took pictures, so never fear...Another snapshot I took was of the scoreboard when "Gookie Dawkins", some scrub, came to the plate...Michael Kait has been hired to be the "Chief Development Officer" and will oversee "all business development activities, including organizational planning, strategic partnerships, revenue enhancement and development of new business lines".

Pitching Matchup

LH Scott Kazmir, LH Chris Seddon, RH Travis Harper, RH Shawn Camp, LH Wayne Franklin, RH Tim Corcoran

RH Fausto Carmona

Breakdown

Well, the pitchers I put down for yesterday's game preview were today's probables, so I double-checked what I typed today. Scott Kazmir makes his third start of the spring for the Rays today, and will likely go four innings as the Rays ease him into the season. He has nothing to prove in this start, but it will be interesting to see how he faces a strong-hitting team like the Tribe. Also interesting to check out if you want to head over to Winter Haven is No. 14 prospect Chris Seddon, and bullpen hopefuls Shawn Camp and Travis Harper. Camp is trying to build off of his good inning of work in his last appearence, and lower his astronomical ERA. Also pitching is non-roster invitee Wayne Franklin, and once-bullpen hopeful but now just a pitcher trying to leave camp with dignity, Tim Corcoran. Going to the mound for the Indians is Fausto Carmona.

The Bottom Line

The Rays and Tribe go at it today, and among the things to look for is Rocco Baldelli, who should return to the lineup today, as well as our ace Kazmir and the bullpen hopefuls. It will also be interesting to see whether Carl Crawford shows up in his correct jersey. The Rays play two more on the road including this game, as well as in Dunedin tomorrow, then two straight in St. Pete, so go out and "Catch some Rays" if you can.

Question of the Day

The main questions, aside from Carl Crawford's jersey number, range around the bullpen and Rocco Baldelli. Will Baldelli be back, and if so, will the Rays try to get him some time in the field? Otherwise, can Shawn Camp rebound from a poor start to get him back in the bullpen race, and how will the awful Tim Corcoran fare today? All questions that I will look for in the box score.

Upcoming Games

Tuesday-at Toronto in Dunedin (McClung)

Wednesday-vs. Detroit in St. Pete (Jackson)

Thursday-vs. Boston in St. Pete (Waechter)

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!

-Information from ESPN.com and DevilRays.com was used in this report.