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4/15: New York (7-7) at RAYS (6-7)

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New York at RAYS

7:10; RAYS TV/ION
RAYS RADIO/1250 AM

Site News:

I have some site-related news to impart, though most everything will stay the same, so it is relatively minor. Yesterday, R.J. Anderson and I became the new "Editors-in-Chief" of the site, replacing Jacob Larsen in that role. Jacob is preoccupied quite a bit lately with work, and couldn't keep up with things as much as he used to. He has agreed to stay aboard as our site's "Associate Editor", from which he will continue to post and do interviews at a schedule convenient to him. We're pleased that continuity will be ensured through his presence on site, and we're further eager to see him add to his stellar track record at DRaysBay.

Another staff change that we're equally pleased to announce is the addition of Jim Wisinski to our staple of writers. Jim will be joining us as an 'Occasional Contributor', from which he too will make posts at his leisure. Some of you may know Jim from his work at the now-defunct Z-Rays blog. He also wrote for several years at RaysBaseball.com, now RaysBB.com, and was also a writer for this site for several months during the 2005 season. We are happy to announce his return after a 30 month hiatus from the site, and we're hopeful that you will enjoy his work just as much as we do.

News & Links:

  • Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune reports that Rays LHP Scott Kazmir will make his first minor league start on Friday as he attempts to get back into the rotation following a left elbow strain this spring. Manager Joe Maddon had previously indicated that Kazmir would start today in an Extended Spring Training game, but that start was instead made Monday at the Englebert Complex in Dunedin against the Blue Jays' extended spring team. Kazmir pitched two innings and threw 25 pitches, mixing in fastballs with sliders and change-ups. He touched 93mph with his fastball. Kazmir will make three more minor league starts before his scheduled return, with the next one on Friday coming for Vero Beach against the St. Lucie Mets. He will pitch again for the Devil Rays on April 23rd against the Palm Beach Cardinals, and he will make one final start for the Durham Bulls on April 28th against the Richmond Braves. As of now, he is slated to return on May 3rd in Boston against the Red Sox.
  • More good news on the injury front: C Dioner Navarro got the stitches out of his ring and middle fingers on Monday and practiced for the first time that day. Navarro will practice again today and play five innings in an Extended ST game on Wednesday. The progress in getting Navarro back onto the field may be an indication that he will return from the DL very quickly, perhaps as soon as Sunday, when he is eligible to come off.
  • Some bad news on the injury front: IF Ben Zobrist will not have the pins removed from his injured thumb until the 28th of this month, and that means that preparation for his return will need to be delayed until that date. Figuring a couple weeks for recovery time, and it is possible that Zobrist won't be fully ready until mid-May, at the earliest.
  • RHP Juan Salas may finally arrive in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, or at least the team expects him to. Where the Rays intend to go with him from there is unknown.
  • LHP Kurt Birkins threw an apparently successful two inning stint in a minor league game on Monday to further his recovery from a left elbow strain. Also, RHP Matt Garza threw a bullpen session on Monday to commence his return from the radial nerve injury sustained in last week's home opener.
    Bill Chastain of RaysBaseball.com has an article up today about how Rays pitchers are already taking batting practice in preparation for road interleague play one month from now.
    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal says this about the Rays' outfield situation:

The Rays tried to acquire outfielder Luke Scott from the Astros before Scott went to the Orioles in the Miguel Tejada trade. In fact, the Rays were so intrigued by the left-handed hitting Scott, they envisioned playing him against both lefties and righties.

The Rays continue to look for a right fielder after claiming Nathan Haynes on waivers from the Angels. They are among the teams interested in Matt Murton, who is off to a strong start for at Class AAA with the Cubs. The price for Murton, however, remains high.

  • Outs Per Swing is moving. Tommy and the guys are consolidating their writing at MVN, where Rays Anatomy is now becoming OPS. All of the great stuff they do can now be found at their new site.

Pitching Matchup:

IP ERA + K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 OPS WHIP G/F P/IP
NYY LH A. Pettitte 215.1 4.05 110 5.89 2.88 2.04 0.67 .753 1.43 1.45 15.77
RAYS RH E. Jackson 161.0 5.76 78 7.16 4.92 1.45 1.06 .837 1.76 1.27 18.43
All Statistics from 2007 Season

Starting Lineups:

New York
LF Johnny Damon
SS Derek Jeter
RF Bobby Abreu
3B Álex Rodrìguez
DH Hideki Matsui
1B Jason Giambi
2B Robinson Canò
CF Melky Cabrera
C Chad Moeller
RAYS
SS Jason Bartlett
LF Carl Crawford
1B Carlos Peña
CF B.J. Upton
3B Evan Longoria
DH Jonny Gomes
C Mike DiFelice
RF Justin Ruggiano
2B Elliot Johnson

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!