The Rays will trot out a hybrid version of their anti-lefty-pitcher lineup today. The lineup per MLB.com:
Zobrist, B, RF
Damon, J, DH
Longoria, E, 3B
Joyce, M, LF
Upton, B, CF
Johnson, D, 1B
Rodriguez, S, 2B
Brignac, R, SS
Shoppach, K, C
The Rays typical anti-LHP lineup -- or at least the version the Rays started the year with -- did not originally feature Matt Joyce. However, Joyce, who hit his seventh homer yesterday, has staked a claim on extra playing time with his loud bat. He faces a legitimate test today, though, facing elite lefty Ricky Romero.
Some more wrinkles and notes concerning the lineup:
- Reid Brignac, who sat two straight games in favor of Elliot Johnson, gets the start tonight. Reid, a left, may see less playing time against LHPs in the future, as the Rays use the switch-hitting Johnson to take some of the pressure off the struggling Brignac.
- Ben Zobrist will be leading off tonight, playing right field. Zobrist has made some excellent defensive plays this year as well as punish some fastballs. Sam Fuld, who's been on a long cold streak, gets the night off and Zobrist will his best to save his homers for when players are on base.
- Dan Johnson gets another start, as he has taken the lefty-only side of the first base platoon. However, Casey Kotchman is struggling mightily, so a few good games from Johnson could help him snatch more playing time.