St. Petersburg Times
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Schedule
The Trop
The Trop
Getting to the Trop
Best routes
Parking
Interactive
Rays forum
The art of pitching
Links
Devil Rays' official home site
Talk baseball in our Devil Rays forum



printer version

Leading off, Greg Vaughn?

By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 25, 2003


ST. PETERSBURG -- Manager Lou Piniella is a big believer in using spring training to experiment. Monday he mentioned a couple of ideas that would have to be considered new and unusual: batting Rey Ordonez second and -- "You're going to laugh at this one," Piniella even admitted -- Greg Vaughn in leadoff spot.

Ordonez usually hit eighth for the Mets and attributed some of his offensive problems -- career .245 average -- to batting in front of the pitcher. Piniella sees him as a key piece of the Tampa Bay offense in the second slot.

"We'll try it out in spring training and see what it looks like," Piniella said. "It seems to me he can handle the bat. Put some speed in front of him and a good hitter behind him and he'll get a lot better selection than he did when he was with the Mets.

"He should be able to bunt, we should be able to hit and run with him, hit the ball behind the runner. And what that will do is allow us to keep some left-handed hitting stacked up a little deeper into the lineup. I like balance throughout the lineup. To me, balance is the most important thing."

The idea of moving the 37-year-old Vaughn, who hasn't batted leadoff since 1995, from the middle of the order to the top is more in the thinking-about-it stage.

"The reason being he has a good on-base percentage, he can steal a base, he's going to get good fastballs to hit in the leadoff spot," Piniella said. "It's just something that runs through my mind, nothing more, nothing less."

MAKING IMPRESSIONS: Left-handed reliever candidate Bobby Seay drew rave reviews Monday after responding to a challenge from pitching coach Chris Bosio to step up his performance throwing batting practice.

"He answered the call," Bosio said. "It was a good test for him today and he really showed me what he's capable of. ... It was probably the best he's thrown all spring."

Other players rating a mention were reliever Jesus Colome, infielders Jared Sandberg and Felix Escalona, and outfielder Josh Hamilton. "If (Hamilton) wants to get into this mix, let him show us," Piniella said.

SUNDAY SHOWCASE: The outfield of the future will be on the field together Sunday as Piniella plans to start the trio of talented 21-year-olds -- Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli and Hamilton -- against the Yankees in Tampa. Mike Mussina will start for the Yankees. ... Piniella said that because of Baldelli's inexperience "the biggest question mark position-player wise to me is the centerfield spot."

PREPARED: In an attempt to ensure all fundamentals are covered, the Rays this week will practice catching pop flys -- while wearing sunglasses. "We don't want any excuses Saturday, "Well, I didn't have my glasses on,' " Piniella said. " "Well, yes you have.' You eliminate that if you can."

MISCELLANY: Infielder Antonio Perez agreed to a one-year contract, leaving 12 rostered players unsigned. ... Projected ace Joe Kennedy will make his exhibition debut March 4 against Detroit. ... Nick Bierbrodt, impressive so far in his return him gunshot injuries and control problems, will make his first start March 5 in Bradenton.


Back to the Rays
Today's lineup

Rays
  • Wise beyond his years
  • Leading off, Greg Vaughn?

  • Bucs
  • Bucs to resume talks with Quarles

  • Lightning
  • St. Louis seeks cure for scoring slump

  • Other sports

    Baseball
  • Yankees (yawn) deal with more mania
  • Phillies focus on situations
  • No hits for you: Matsui goes 0-for-2 in debut
  • Rangers hold Juan Gonzalez out of workout

  • College basketball
  • A center in a forward's body
  • Blue Devils wrap up ACC title
  • Irish home win streak ends
  • NCAA to determine Bull's final fate today

  • NHL
  • Capitals end skid, extend division lead

  • In brief
  • Title IX opinion expected

  • NBA
  • Rockets get late boost

  • Tennis
  • 'Nomadic lifestyle' pleases Courier

  • Motorsports
  • BGN runaway for McMurray
  • A final fling for the Rock?

  • Golf
  • Match Play brings out the Cinderellas

  • Preps
  • County sends several contenders for titles
  • Kotchman's off days rare
  • Marauders face mirror image

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     


     Devil Rays Forums
    From The Wire
  • Players, teams start rush to settle in arbitration
  • AP source: Yankees sign free agent RHP Kuroda
  • AP source: Pineda, Montero in Yanks-Mariners swap
  • Resop, Pirates agree to a one-year deal
  • Zambrano says he's happy with trade to Marlins
  • Report: UK police officer loses Olympics documents
  • Jayhawks send Baylor to first loss of season
  • No. 1 Syracuse at 20-0 after 71-63 win over Pitt
  • Fisher's late 3 pushes Lakers past Mavericks 73-70
  • Westbrook's 3s lead Thunder past Celtics 97-88
  • Djokovic, Williams into Australian Open 2nd round
  • Tebow has earned starting status in 2012
  • Filly Havre de Grace wins Horse of the Year
  • Crosby to meet with specialist as symptoms linger
  • AP Top 25: Syracuse stays on top for 6th week