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Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Tampa Bay Rays

Hinske, Riggans, Johnson On Roster

SARASOTA - The Rays finalized their 25-man roster Saturday by optioning IF/OF Joel Guzman to Triple-A Durham and adding IF/OF Eric Hinske to the 40-man roster. Manager Joe Maddon also informed C Shawn Riggans and IF Elliot Johnson that they made the team out of spring training. Guzman, 23, will return to Durham and play first and third base and the outfield. "We liked Hinske being more of a professional hitter right now than Guzie is at this point in his career," Maddon said.
To get to the 25-man limit by today's 3 p.m. deadline, the Rays will designate RHP Grant Balfour for assignment and option RHP Juan Salas to Single-A Hudson Valley. RHP Chad Orvella (shoulder tendinitis) and LHP Kurt Birkins (elbow neuritis) were placed on the 15-day disabled list. Also, OF Chris Richard, RHP Scott Munter, IF Andy Cannizaro, C Mike DiFelice, OF John Rodriguez and OF Jon Weber were reassigned to minor-league camp. C Josh Paul was released. KAZMIR'S PROGRESS: LHP Scott Kazmir (15-day DL, strained left elbow) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today. He'll throw one more bullpen before moving to live batting practice. After two batting practice sessions, he'll progress to a two-inning appearance in either an extended spring training game or a regular-season minor-league game. The goal, Maddon said, is to work Kazmir up to five innings or 90 pitches, to the point where he might be able to pitch seven in the majors if necessary. "We'll just build him up and once we deem that he's ready, he'll come here," Maddon said. AYBAR, FLOYD OK? 3B Willy Aybar (hamstring) and DH/RF Cliff Floyd (knee) participated in minor-league games Saturday. Aybar played the infield and Floyd only batted. Both came out of the day unscathed and Maddon said he anticipates both players will be ready for Opening Day on Monday. FOR OPENERS: Maddon gave his Opening Day lineup Saturday moments after Tampa Bay lost its spring finale 8-4 to the Reds. 2B Akinori Iwamura will lead off, followed by LF Carl Crawford, 1B Carlos Pena, CF B.J. Upton, DH Floyd, 3B Aybar, RF Hinske, C Dioner Navarro and SS Jason Bartlett. RHP James Shields already had been announced as the Opening Day starter. Maddon said Hinske got the nod ahead of Jonny Gomes because the Orioles are starting a right-hander, Jeremy Guthrie, and Hinske is likely to continue to play against right-handers with Gomes facing mostly lefties as either the DH or in right field. NOTEWORTHY: OF Nathan Haynes, claimed off waivers Friday from the Angels, had not been expected to join the Rays until today in Baltimore. Instead, he took a late flight from Los Angeles and joined the team early Saturday. ... Johnson set a Rays spring training record with 16 runs. ... Rays RHP Edwin Jackson allowed one run and three hits in five innings in his spring training finale. He's scheduled to start against the Yankees on Friday in New York. ... The Rays finished the spring training schedule 18-8 with two ties. The previous Rays record for spring training victories was 13 in 2005 and '06. Carter Gaddis
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