Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Rays play it safe, put Baldelli on DL
The move comes in setting the roster, which includes Doug Waechter as the fifth starter.
By MARC TOPKIN
Published April 2, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG - Through months of dogged rehabilitation following knee and elbow surgeries that forced him to miss the entire 2005 season, Rocco Baldelli was focused on returning to the Devil Rays lineup by opening day.
But when the Rays start the season Monday in Baltimore, Baldelli will be back at the team training complex again, rehabbing a left hamstring strain that landed him on the disabled list.
"Obviously I'd rather be out there opening day playing," Baldelli said. "To work hard rehabbing all last season and all this winter, you know, it's not easy: a strained hamstring in spring training out of the blue. I kind of just have to deal with it like I dealt with my other rehabs."
Putting Baldelli on the disabled list - with the hope he'll be back during the April 10-16 homestand - was one of a handful of moves the Rays made Saturday to set a 25-man roster that does not look as they expected it to going into spring training.
Among other decisions of note, they:
Chose Doug Waechter as the fifth starter and sent impressive prospect Edwin Jackson to Triple A.
Added Jason Childers and Ruddy Lugo, neither of whom has pitched in the big leagues, to their revamped bullpen.
Kept both Nick Green and Luis Ordaz as versatile reserves, reassigning Russell Branyan and Greg Norton, who was in line to make the team before a hamstring injury Friday, to minor-league camp.
"I still feel really good about it," manager Joe Maddon said. "I think we still have a high-end offense. But of course we're missing Rocco out there, and that's a big miss. We thought he would be playing right now.
"For the most part, we're pretty close to what we anticipated on the field. Pitching, starting-wise, we're pretty close to what we anticipated, with a legitimate competition between Waechter and Jackson. The bullpen, that's probably the biggest surprise in regard to who made it. We talked about that from jump-street, that that was a big concern for us and we wanted to pick the best people available for the beginning of the season."
Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said the tough decisions were a welcome result of the front office's offseason work to increase competition and that the injury to Baldelli, then Norton's, caused some reshuffling. He also said he was more focused on which players will help the team most during the season than which ones were on the opening-day roster.
"We've got to stay flexible," he said.
Though the rotation is essentially the same as at the end of last season - Scott Kazmir, Seth McClung, Mark Hendrickson, Casey Fossum and Waechter - Maddon expects improvement because the pitchers have more experience and the defense should be better.
Waechter retained his job because he pitched well and because the Rays wanted Jackson, acquired from the Dodgers in the Danys Baez trade, to refine his game at Triple A.
"We just want to see Jackson have a real nice run of success," Maddon said. "We don't want him to be on a shuttle between here and Durham. We want him once he's here to stay here."
The lineup, with Aubrey Huff succeeding in winning the third-base job, has the potential to be dynamic, though Baldelli's absence will force Maddon to rotate in centerfield, rightfield and at designated hitter with Joey Gathright, Damon Hollins and Jonny Gomes sharing most of the playing time. Ty Wigginton, Green and Ordaz also will be used.
The biggest question remains the bullpen, where Dan Miceli, Shawn Camp, Brian Meadows, Childers and Lugo join holdovers Jesus Colome and Travis Harper. There are no left-handers among the seven, and - for now - no defined roles.
"It's an amorphic bullpen," Maddon said. "No shape, no form. We'll define roles as we go along."
Baldelli expects to return soon, resuming his role as a speedy centerfielder and aggressive hitter and baserunner. He believed after playing in a minor-league game Friday he was close - about 75 percent - but the Rays chose the cautious approach. He was DL'd retroactive to March24, which makes him eligible to return Saturday, though it won't be that soon.
"He was trying to get back out there and trying to push it a little bit, and we said, "No, stop. Stop the madness. Let's do this properly,"' Maddon said. "When he's ready, we want him to be out there period and not injured."
Baldelli said when he returns, he expects to play as if he had never been away.
"I don't really want to be out there if I can't go out there and play hard," Baldelli said. "And if I went out there and played hard, I wouldn't be playing for too long the way my hamstring is feeling. When I'm 100 percent, I'm going to play and I'll be ready to go and not worry about anything."