The latest Rays news and notes:
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported this morning that Joe Maddon has announced the Rays’ starting rotation for the Opening Day roster. As expected, Jeff Niemann has won the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation, and Wade Davis will be relegated to a long-reliever role in the bullpen. Maddon didn’t officially announce the order of the rotation, but we can expect it will look like this: Shields, Price, Hellickson, Moore, Niemann.
- The Rays’ bats finally came alive in their 10-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins yesterday. Ben Zobrist led the charge going 3 for 3 with a grand slam, while Elliot Johnson and Cody Rodgers also hit homers. The Rays’ 10 runs and 14 hits was a spring training high. Pitching wise, Jeff Niemann pitched five inning and allowed just two runs. Click here for a full boxscore.
- The Rays are in Fort Meyers again today, as they take on the Red Sox at 1:35 ET. Fernando Rodney will get the start against Josh Beckett, as the Rays are decided to pitch all relievers this afternoon. The starting lineups have been announced, click here to view.
- The Rays’ injury update today includes both good and bad news. Starting with the bad news, Sam Fuld’s wrist injury may require surgery, which would mean Fuld could miss the 2012 season. If Fuld decides to do rehab, he still won’t be ready for Opening Day. As for the good news, B.J. Upton said this morning he expects to be ready for the season opener. Desmond Jennings, who’s also banged up from the March 14 collision in the outfield, is back in the lineup today and is also expected to be ready for Opening Day. Reid Brignac said his right foot is feeling better, and is aiming a return to big-league spring training action tomorrow.
- The Rays announced three more events for their summer concert series yesterday. LL Cool J, Earth Wind & Fire, and The Wiggles will all join the Trop’s lineup of post-game concerts this season.