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Busy Day In Tampa Bay; Decisions on Hammel, Niemann, Isringhausen, Joyce and More

As of now there is nothing new to report, but we expect the news to be heavy today. Here are some of the things that could be announced.

  • The winner of the fifth starter spot. With no trades imminent as of now, the Rays will name Jason Hammel or Jeff Niemann as the fifth starter with the other going to the bullpen. Of course a last minute trade would make the decision much easier.
  • Jason Isringhausen's situation should be resolved rather quickly this morning. As I said yesterday the only real situation I can see him sticking with the organization is him going on the DL and then taking a rehab assigment of some sort.  This buys the Rays about a month or so of extra time.
  • If the Rays are not able to trade Niemann or Hammel, it looks like Lance Cormier is the odd man out in the bullpen race. I'm still holding out hope that he can wiggle his way onto the roster.
  • The battle for the B.J. Upton roster spot looks to be leaning toward Matt Joyce. Joyce has been getting a lot of playing time in centerfield and will make the start today with all of the other Rays regular starters. If he does made the roster, it seems Adam Kennedy would be left without a spot unless the Rays choose Kennedy over Ben Zobrist. Kennedy, however, is not on the 40 man roster.
  • Also the Rays could announce several players going on the DL like: Fernando Perez, Chad Bradford, Jake McGee and B.J. Upton. Upton is expected to start out his season with the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs. The other three names are 60 Day DL candidates which would free up space on the 40 man roster.
  • We are also closely monitoring R.J. If another Tampa native claims he wants to play for the Rays or another talk radio host says Sheffield should play rightfield, he may explode.

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