Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rays down to 34 players

The Rays sent three pitchers from the big leagues to the minor-league camp Wednesday: former Biscuit Tim Corcoran, plus Scott Dohmann and J.P. Howell. Howell's move means Edwin Jackson will be Tampa Bay's No. 5 starter.

Howell will round out the rotation at Class AAA Durham with Jason Hammel, Jeff Niemann, Andy Sonnanstine and Mitch Talbot.

Outfielder Rocco Baldelli played in the Class AAA game today, had two hits and scored twice, while two major-league catchers also played. Dioner Navarro and Josh Paul. Navarro, who caught Talbot's six shutout innings in the Class AAA game, has been limited with hamstring problems. Paul took a foul ball off his hand Friday and was in the Class AA game. If both are healthy, that could bump Shawn Riggans back to the minors, despite his .343 spring average.

The major-league moves drop the camp to 34 players: 15 pitchers, four catchers, nine infielders and six outfielders. The Rays have to finalize their 25-man roster by Saturday afternoon and who they pick will have an affect on the minor-league assignments.

Dohmann was removed from the 40-man roster, which leaves a slot there for a non-roster invitee like Al Reyes or Gary Glover. Reyes is 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in seven games this spring. Glover has made eight appearances, including one start, and is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA.

Glover pitched in Japan last year and pitched in 149 major-league games from 1999-2005. Reyes missed virtually all of last season after Tommy John surgery. He first pitched in the majors in 1995.

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