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Three Facts: Tampa Bay Rays

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Today, the World Series runners-up, Tampa Bay Rays.

  • Matt Joyce likely won't start the season in right field. Instead the Rays will roll with a Gabe Gross and Gabe Kapler platoon -- arguably the best combination of people named "Gabe" to ever exist -- at least until Joyce racks up some more at-bats in Triple-A. Dave Cameron dropped a "left-handed Jayson Werth" comparison a while back which seems apt.
  • Same with David Price. The team wants him to refine his change-up and Price in Durham coincidentally opens a spot for former first round pick Jeff Niemann, who happens to be out of options. It seems more probable for Price to start in the majors than Joyce, which leaves Niemann in the bullpen, but either way, the Rays have some rotation insurance if Scott Kazmir should miss a month of the season like last year.
  • B.J. Upton is good. A lot of people only discovered Upton's talents in the post-season after hearing for years about his potential. Last year, even with a torn labrum, Upton lowered his strikeout rate and increased his walk rate. Upton may miss a week of the regular season, but this could be his first 5 win season.