Tampa Bay Rays

Stadium: Tropicana Field | Manager: Joe Maddon
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Rays still searching for fifth starter

The Sports Xchange
Notes, Quotes · Rays still searching for fifth starter · Roster Report

The Rays don't have any complaints after rebounding from their 0-6 and 1-8 start to sit in first place in mid-May as they open the first of six series with the Yankees on Monday at Tropicana Field.

But they have some concerns.

The biggest problem right now is filling the fifth spot in their rotation. As the replacement for injured righty Jeff Niemann, right-hander Andy Sonnanstine was ineffective for the second straight outing in Sunday's 9-3 loss to Baltimore. And after expecting better, manager Joe Maddon indicated there was a chance Sonnanstine would be moved out of that role, and back to the bullpen, given his struggles. Prospects Alex Torres and Alex Cobb would both be possibilities.

"We can discuss that and we can look at other options going into the next start," manager Maddon said. "I'm not ready to say one way or the other right now.

"This is something we're definitely going to have to look at, there's no question about it. He looked a little bit better (Sunday), but to be a pennant-winning team and move onto the World Series, even though we're in first place right now, all that stuff is good, but there are little areas we need to address and discuss and make sure we're strong."

Another area of concern is middle relief. While the Rays have been pleased with the work of Joel Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth in the eighth and ninth, and will get J.P. Howell back this week, the others have been struggling.

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2014 Team Leaders
AVGJames Loney , 1B.290
HREvan Longoria , 3B22
RBIEvan Longoria , 3B91
OBPBen Zobrist , 2B.354
SLGEvan Longoria , 3B.404
REvan Longoria , 3B83
SBDesmond Jennings , CF15
WJake Odorizzi , SP11
ERAAlex Cobb , SP2.87
WHIPAlex Cobb , SP1.14
KJake Odorizzi , SP174
SVJake McGee , RP19
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