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Oh Danny Boy!

Marc Topkin chimes in on this beautiful Thursday morning with some great news.

There were indications that veteran reliever Dan Miceli may be released - at a cost of $850,000 - to create a 40-man roster spot, and that the final job among the position players could come down to a choice between former frontliners Jorge Cantu and Jonny Gomes.

Redemption is a wonderful thing, blasting the organization and not pitching well basically did the job for the Rays here. As far as that second note I just can't believe that Gomes would have to prove anymore to stay over Cantu, who is more of a defensive liability and clearly hasn't fully regained his stroke.

By releasing Miceli, a 36-year-old right-hander who hasn't thrown well this spring 9.53 ERA, the Rays appear to be creating 40-man roster space to add long reliever Gary Glover, who has drawn Maddon's praise throughout the spring.

The key here is that just adding G-Lover (as Maddon calls him) to the 40 man doesn't mean he'll be on the opening day roster, still allowing Jae-Kuk Ryu an opportunity in the long relief role.
With Shawn Camp, Ruddy Lugo, Brian Stokes, Reyes and possibly Glover set, the final two bullpen spots would be filled from the group of Seth McClung, Chad Orvella, Jae Kuk Ryu and Juan Salas.

Look Glover has been great this spring, but unless Orvella and Salas are those last two, he really has no business making the team.
Utility infielder Brendan Harris, who is out of options and could be lost on waivers if the Rays tried to send him to the minors, has played his way into serious consideration, and could be a good fit. Under one scenario being discussed, Harris would be the primary backup at shortstop and third base, allowing the Rays to keep B.J. Upton at second and in the outfield, where he has looked increasingly comfortable. It would also keep Upton away from shortstop and third, where he has had problems.

If Cantu is sent down, Upton likely would be the primary starter at second, with Ty Wigginton (who will play often at first base) and Harris also getting time. If Gomes is sent down, Cantu and Upton likely would share time at second.

Interestingly enough I'd love to see Upton become the starter at second, though this would be the headshot as far as Cantu's value.

Update [2007-3-29 15:54:17 by Patrick L. Kennedy]: It's official. Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times is reporting on his blog that the Rays have sent Dan Miceli packing. Miceli, who had one year left on a two year deal with the Rays, will not see the end of it. Cited in the post as a possibility for the release: Miceli's character issues, that, and........he simply isn't a good baseball player. Topkin reported that the move was made with freeing up a bullpen spot for Gary Glover in mind.