Rays Spring Game 20 Preview: Cesar Ramos And Jake Odorizzi Battle Under The Lights

By Joe Saunders

The Rays take on the Minnesota Twins tonight in what marks the first night game in Port Charlotte thus far in Spring Training. The lights will be shinning bright on Cesar Ramos and Jake Odorizzi. It will be their final appearances before the decision on who will be the Rays’ fifth starter is made. A lineup of regulars will start the game behind them as the Rays look to improve upon the Majors’ best spring record, which currently sits at 13-4-2.

  1. Desmond Jennings, CF
  2. James Loney, 1B
  3. Ben Zobrist, 2B
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Logan Forsythe, LF
  6. Yunel Escobar, SS
  7. Sean Rodriguez, RF
  8. Ryan Hanigan, C
  9. Brandon Guyer, DH

Starting Pitcher: Cesar Ramos

The battle between Cesar Ramos and Jake Odorizzi will be the thing to watch in tonight’s game since Erik Bedard will start tomorrow’s game. The three man battle has been very interesting so far this spring as really nobody has completely broken away from the pack and seized the 5th starter spot that is vacant while Jeremy Helickson remains on the disabled list. Ramos will get the start tonight but is the least likely of the three to win the job. He is most likely destined for a return to the bullpen in his previous role as the long man. Odorizzi has been the most impressive of the three so far as he has shown a greatly improved changeup. If Odorizzi has another good outing tonight he will probably have the have the final edge in the battle for the 5th starter.

The Rays will use a lineup filled completely with players who will likely make the opening day roster. The entire starting infield will be in the lineup today as well as Desmond Jennings starting in center field. Sean Rodriguez hasn’t played much right field in the past, which could be something to keep an eye on. Logan Forsythe will start in left field again which could be a position he’ll find more playing time this season as the Rays continue to look for ways to get his bat into the lineup. Forsythe made a great diving catch in left field on Sunday to rob Mike Napoli of extra bases. Brandon Guyer is out of options and is likely to make the Rays final opening day roster as he’s hit .345 so far this spring.

Grant Balfour will also make an appearance on the mound tonight after throwing 12 pitches in a minor-league game on Wednesday. He has been dealing with a dead arm this spring and his fastball velocity was around 90-91 MPH in yesterday’s outing.

The game is at 7:05 PM and can be heard on WDAE 620 AM/ 95.3 FM. Check back at Rays Colored Glasses later for the game recap.