Rays Notes: Fernando Rodney’s Hitless Streak Ends, Roster Moves

By David Hill

Fernando Rodney continued his impressive showing in the World Baseball Classic today as the Dominican Republic defeated Puerto Rico 2-0. The Dominican Republic continued it’s undefeated march through the WBC, and Rodney continued his excellent performance, as he notched his fifth save. Despite giving up his first hit of the Classic, he kept his perfect 0.00 ERA intact as he continues to build upon his impressive 2012 season.

In a move that was expected, Wil Myers was among six players sent down to AAA Durham yesterday, as the Rays continued to whittle down players in camp. Along with Myers, Juan Sandoval, Will Inman, J.D. Martin, Brandon Guyer and Josh Lueke were also assigned to Durham. These moves leave the Rays with 39 players in the major league camp, as the battle for the last few spots on the Opening Day roster continues.

Following his own run through the WBC, Ben Zobrist is expected to be in camp on Sunday. The Rays are looking forward to having him back in camp, and are planning to get him regular at bats immediately.

"“We need to get him back and get him playing,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He was so ready when he went, his whole game was so good — especially on offense. With infrequent at-bats since then, I would think he’s going to want to get some more regular at-bats. So we’ll get him going when he gets back.”"

With Zobrist being such a vital part of the Rays lineup, having him back with plenty of time before the start of the regular season will certainly help to get him ready. His return also means that only two players on the Rays are still active in the WBC – Rodney and Jose Molina.

The Rays face the Boston Red Sox again today, with Alex Cobb getting the start against Boston’s Jon Lester. Here is the projected starting lineup for today’s matchup:

Yunel Escobar ss
Kelly Johnson 1b
Evan Longoria 3b
Sean Rodriguez cf
James Loney dh
Jose Lobaton c
Mike Fontenot 2b
Jason Bourgeois rf
Rich Thompson lf
Alex Cobb p