Casey Kotchman will be getting the start at first base today, giving Dan Johnson another day of rest. Johnson has been stellar with his glove lately and has been improving with the bat also, so this benching is more likely for Kotchman’s sake than Johnson’s, he figures to be back tomorrow (or utilized later tonight as a pinch hitter).
Johnny Damon, who was hit by a pitch in the hand yesterday and removed from the game, is also not in the lineup. Felipe Lopez takes his place at the DH position. B.J. Upton is also getting a day of rest, giving Sam Fuld a look at center field while Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce handle the corners.
In the infield, Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson will man the middle as Sean Rodriguez takes another hack at third base, where’s he has looked pretty strong defensively.
It is hard to look at this lineup, featuring many recent-AAA players and reserves, and feel a little concerned at the Rays run-scoring potential against the tough right-handed Edwin Jackson.
The lineup, courtesy of Marc Topkin:
Sam Fuld CF
Elliot Johnson 2B
Matt Joyce LF
Felipe Lopez DH
Ben Zobrist RF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Sean Rodriguez 3B
John Jaso C
Reid Brignac SS