Rays @ Dodgers August 9, 2013: David Price Against a Bunch of Backups

August 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

dodger_stadium_2013_150x150Earlier today, Rays manager Joe Maddon was quoted as saying that facing the Dodgers would be “exciting” considering how well they’d been playing, and that he was looking forward to it.

When Maddon said that, I imagine he was thinking of guys like Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis and Andre Ethier and not… you know, none of those guys. Instead, you’ll see backups at catcher, left field, right field, and shortstop, along with the team’s fifth starter on the mound in Chris Capuano. Fun way to kick off a highly anticipated series against the other hottest team in baseball, right?

Rays
Dodgers
LF
Rodriguez
2B
M.Ellis
2B
Roberts
SS
Punto
3B
Longoria
1B
Gonzalez
CF
Myers
CF
Puig
RF
Zobrist
LF
Hairston
SS
Escobar
3B
Uribe
1B
Loney
C
Federowicz
C
Molina
RF
Schumaker
P
Price
P
Capuano

Obviously, there’s good reasons for almost all of this, but it’s still jarring. Ramirez is still injured, of course, and the team didn’t make it home from St. Louis until about 3am yesterday — meanwhile, the Rays have been in Los Angeles for nearly 48 hours — so you get the idea that some rests are needed. Tim Federowicz has become Capuano’s personal catcher of late, so you see why A.J. Ellis is out, and when killer lefty David Price on the mound, it’s not all that hard to see why Crawford, Ethier, and Dee Gordon would take a seat. (Sort of; Skip Schumaker isn’t exactly a great matchup out there.)

If there is an upside to this, it’s that Mattingly’s bench should be pretty loaded for the late innings, especially if Ramirez can pinch-hit. (“Maybe,” said Mattingly, and we’re getting close to the Mark Ellis territory of “how long do you let him take up a bench spot?”)

Anyway, backup brigade aside, this should be a pretty interesting game, especially because rookie sensations and bat flip experts Wil Myers and Yasiel Puig are each playing center field and hitting cleanup, which feels oddly appropriate. This is just the fourth start in center for Puig and the second for Myers, so I guess I had better keep the GIF machine just running at full steam all night long.

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