Grapefruit League Preview (GM #1): Rays @ Twins
2. BATTLE KENTA
When Cooper Criswell was announced as the starter for the Rays, there was an expectation to maybe see a more minor-league-esuqe lineup for the opener of the spring; however, with Kenta Maeda as the probable starter for Minnesota, the idea of that has shifted.
Maeda comes off a year-long hiatus, having not pitched since "August 2021," according to MLB.com. This not only creates a certain level of intrigue as to what form of Maeda we will see this afternoon in Fort Myers for this lineup, but also how will the lineup respond to Maeda after this hiatus due to injury?
Both the Rays and Twins should benefit from having Maeda out on the mound, and it will give players such as "Parades and Mejia", two of the potential starters for the Rays this season who, according to Marc Topkin, will be traveling, some good in-game action against an arm that has been solid in recent seasons, especially in camp.