Today the Rays take their 1-2 Spring Record into Prospect Energy Park against the Twins. Papa Joe Maddon is marching out the B-Squad, with only Jorge Cantu and Jonny Gomes as regulars making the start today (once again we can’t mention one without the other this Spring. Jorge and Jonny are like peas and carrots). What we really like about the lineup, and the reason that we are even mentioning it, is that B. J. Upton is leading off and playing shortstop. After yesterday’s two error performance (both throwing errors from third base), Maddon could have taken a couple of different paths with Upton today. With all the emphasis this Spring on getting Upton to settle down at the plate, Maddon could have DH’d Upton and given his mind a break from the field. He could have also just given the youngster the day off to just relax. He could have even had Upton in center field this afternoon with less pressure to perform defensively. Papa Joe chose door #4…shortstop. Instead of trying to ease the kid’s mind after what was certainly a very frustrating afternoon, Maddon is going right back to Upton, and he has him penciled in at the one position that he has experienced the most difficulties. It is a sign that Maddon still believes in Upton, but he also wants Upton to put yesterdays performance behind him as soon as possible. The risk is that Upton commits one or two more errors this afternoon which would raise red flags. More struggles in the field could also lead to more pressure at the plate with Upton feeling the need to overcompensate for his miscues.



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