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Hill Set To Make Rays Debut Friday Against Boston

The Tampa Bay Rays play in Fort Myers for a second consecutive day today, heading across town to JetBlue Park for another matchup against the Boston Red Sox.  Rich Hill will make his spring debut, taking on Eduardo Rodriguez.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.

Rays Starting Lineup

Wendle SS

Mejia DH

B. Lowe 2B

Brosseau 3B

Phillips CF

Odom C

Gomez LF

Whitley RF

Gray 1B


Red Sox Starting Lineup

Hernandez SS

Verdugo CF

Martinez DH

Devers 3B

Renfroe RF

Gonzalez 1B

Vazquez C

Arroyo 2B

Gettys LF

Smith Sits Out With Back Tightness

Kevan Smith was originally slated to start today’s game at catcher, with minor-leaguer Joseph Odom playing the final couple of innings.  But Smith was scratched about two hours before the start of the game with back tightness, and Odom was placed in the starting lineup.

Weather Could Impact Saturday’s Schedule

As of Friday morning, the threat of inclement weather could cause Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Atlanta Braves at Charlotte Sports Park (currently with former Rays pitcher Charlie Morton slated to make his return).

“We will get work in,” manager Kevin Cash said Friday.  “It’s not ideal.  I don’t think anyone like going in there [to the indoor batting cages.]  They like to get their work in, but they don’t like to go in there and compete.  If it’s raining, and we can’t go outside at all, it’s not ideal.”

Archer Slated For Sim Game

Pitcher Chris Archer isn’t quite ready for Grapefruit League games, but Cash said he is scheduled to throw in a simulated game setting Saturday, though it won’t be in a full game-like atmosphere.

“I think we’ll have some players out here,” Cash admitted.  “We probably won’t be able to play eight [other] positions, but we’ll have guys out there playing defense for us as long as the weather allows us to do that.”

Archer, who signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal with Tampa Bay in the offseason, has not pitched in a game setting since the end of the 2020 spring because of thoracic outlet surgery.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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