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Rays News & Notes

  • The Tampa Tribune reports that the hairline fracture in IF Ben Zobrist's left thumb still has not healed; it is an ailment that could keep him out until mid-April. Zobrist will be checked out again on Monday.
  • According to the same article, OF Jonny Gomes is scheduled to make his first start of the season tonight in Baltimore. He will be the third right fielder the Rays have used in as many games. Gomes' only plate appearance this season came last night as a pinch hitter for Cliff Floyd in the ninth; he popped out into shallow center to end the game. Gomes also saw the appellate hearing for his two-game suspension postponed until Monday in New York, making him eligible for play through the weekend.
  • Shawn Riggans and Elliot Johnson will make their first starts of the season on Saturday in New York. They will be the Catcher and Designated Hitter, respectively, and will face Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte.
  • Meanwhile, Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times says that RHP Grant Balfour has cleared waivers and will be given an outright assignment to the bullpen in AAA Durham. Whether he accepts that outright assignment is not yet known, though the Times reports that he stands to collect a $175,000 salary should he do so.
  • Lastly, Marc Lancaster of the Tribune writes that chances are less than good that tonight's game against the Orioles will be played, thanks to a 90% chance of rain. Lancaster further speculates that the make-up opportunities for a rain-out today could be slim, with August 21st being the only logical one in his mind as it is a mutual off day.