Four weeks ago we addressed 10 questions hovering over the Rays in spring training. Let’s take a look at those questions and see if we are any closer to getting some answers…

  1. What can we expect from BJ Upton this season? We are still in “wait-and-see” mode with BJ Upton as he never played in any spring games with the Rays. He has played in minor league games, but we are starting to wonder if he will indeed be ready to join the Rays for their home opener in a week. We have learned that apparently Upton will not alter his swing to protect his fragile shoulder that has been injured each of the past six seasons. MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: JURY STILL OUT
  2. Who is going to leadoff this season? Joe Maddon just confirmed what we suspected for a while. When BJ Upton returns from the DL, he will hit leadoff. MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: BJ UPTON
  3. Will Pat Burrell’s glove see the light of day (or light of the Trop) this season? Sure enough. Pat Burrell played a few games in the outfield earlier this spring. He has even been working out at first base, a position he has not played since his rookie year. This all seems geared to get Willy Aybar’s bat into the lineup more often. MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: YES
  4. Will Jason Hammell still be a Tampa Bay Ray on opening day? We may have a more definitive answer on this later today, but right now it sounds like the Rockies and Rays are closing in on a deal to move Jason Hammel to the NL. MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: NO
  5. Will Matt Joyce show that he belongs in the big leagues now? Matt Joyce did make the opening day roster and will start in center on opening day. But the jury is still out on whether the Rays will use Joyce plays against lefties. If not, it is off to Durham when BJ Upton comes off the DL. MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: NOT YET
  6. Can David Price win the final spot in the rotation? David Price has been demoted to Durham, so now the question is ‘when’. MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: NO
  7. Will we recognize Dioner Navarro and how will his new physique affect his game? Dioner Navarro says he feels good and we have to believe that we will finally see a little more spring in his step, and maybe a little more pop in his bat. Is 15-20 home runs out of the question? MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: NAVI BRINGS THE SEXY BACK
  8. Who will fill out the back of the bullpen? Joe Nelson is in and Jason Isringhausen is on the DL. So that leaves one spot for Jeff Niemann, Jason Hammel or Lance Cormier. If Hammel is traded, Cormier is the final bullpen arm. MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: LANCE CORMIER
  9. Will Morgan Ensberg or Adam Kennedy change the Rays plans and force their way onto the roster? Morgan Ensberg was released. Adam Kennedy accepted an assignment to Durham. If the Rays need a middle infielder, he will get the call. MAGIC 8-BALL SAYS: NO

1 Comment

  1. Bob Ruffolo says:

    Upton is a very talented player. I would not say the jury is still out on him... I think he more that proved himself as an above average ball player and a staple of this young Rays franchise. I expect many big things from him this year.


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