Sam Fuld appears to have once again pushed Casey Kotchman from the starting lineup. Fuld, who has set Rays fans on fire and given ESPN hours of incredible footage, continued his early season heroics yesterday by adding another amazing catch to his resume and coming up an extra double too long for the cycle (hitting 1 HR, 1 triple, and 2 doubles).
As such, the Rays have awarded him with more playing time. Initially after Manny Ramirez retired, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon had said Casey Kotchman would handle the first base duties and Dan Johnson would slide into the DH role. However, Fuld’s outstanding play has pushed Johnny Damon into the DH role and left Kotchman on the bench.
Meanwhile, Dan Johnson has done his part to show Joe Maddon he belongs on the field, making several impressive stretches early this year. Still, Kotchman figures to get some time at least as a defensive replacement for Johnson in late innings with the lead.
The lineup courtesy of MLB.com.