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3/18/09 GDT: Reds @ Rays: Hammel Starts, Upton to Play Defense

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Game Time: 1:05

TV/Radio: None

Lineup:

Probable Pitchers: RH Jason Hammel, RH Troy Percival, RH Lance Cormier, RH Grant Balfour, RH Joe Nelson, RH Dan Wheeler

Things to watch: Of course, Jason Hammel. Most have Hammel as the clubhouse leader for the fifth starter spot. A good performance today would move Hammel closer to sealing the deal regardless of Jeff Niemann's shinny spring numbers.

Troy Percival makes his third appearance. Up until now, Percy has been pefect. Dan Wheeler, Joe Nelson and Grant Balfour are all scheduled to appear. None of the three has had an impressive spring, but at least in the cases of Balfour and Nelson we know they are working on specific pitches. It is not known if Wheeler is doing the same.

Marc Lancaster tell us Evan Longoria was a late scratch, but it's because he doesn't feel well, not because he got the call up to Team USA. All is quiet on that front.

He also gives us this wonderful information on B.J. Upton

Center fielder B.J. Upton, working to get back into shape after off-season shoulder surgery, took team batting practice and will play defense in the Class A minor league game (the AA and AAA teams are on the road). --Rays Report

The report goes on to mention that Matt Joyce will join Upton in the outfield.