There are no games today, but it is a very important day around the Bay Area. With less than three hours left before today's 3 pm opening day roster deadline, we still don't know who the Rays fifth starter is or what league Jason Hammel will pitch in. What we do know is both pitchers threw in intrasquad minor league games this morning and came out healthy. Here is Joe Smith's update.
The two candidates for the Rays fifth starter job each pitched in a minor league intrasquad game Sunday morning, and said they left the field still not knowing their fates.
Niemann's line was six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. Hammel threw six innings, giving up four runs on five hits.
Smith also reports that a Rockies scout was in attendance. Reports out of Denver still say the Rays and Rockies have agreed on the parameters of a deal, but nothing is official. Hammel admited this whole situation has been "rough" while Niemann described the experience as "crazy." Either way we'll have our answer soon.
Also on the back fields today, B.J. Upton went 4-12 today with a home run, two doubles and four RBI. The home run came off of Andy Sonnanstine, who was getting some work in. Upton participated as the DH in a few games as he was looking to rack up as many at-bats as he could. He will play in the season opener for the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs on Thursday and still has his eye on April 13th for his major league return.
In other news around the majors, Jonny Gomes was cut by the Reds in what he called a "surprise" move. Just last week it seemed as if Jonny had made the club. He is undecided on if he will accept a Triple-A assignment with the Reds. Looking at our Durham roster with names like Chris Richard and Jon Weber, I think we could make some room for Gomes especially if he can play some first base. Basiclly, anything to get Jonny back in the organization would work for me.