Cash looking to employ everyday lineup for Rays
New manager expecting to use similar batting orders in spring to prepare for regular season
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Throughout the Rays' winning run that began in 2008, the team rarely employed anything resembling an everyday lineup.
That could be subject to change.
Rays manager Kevin Cash recently noted that he would like to move toward more of an everyday lineup.
Among the pluses of such a measure would be a comfort level extended to those players who arrive at the ballpark every day knowing that they will be in the lineup, and perhaps even in the same slot.
The flip side is everyday play would not take advantage of matchup situations as often. And, in theory, the roster of players not playing might grow rusty through their lack of use.
When asked about putting together an everyday lineup this spring during exhibition games, Cash allowed that he'll do as much as he can in that area.
"I think my thoughts on that is to give [the players] something early on in spring," Cash said. "We're not going to be able to do that with everybody. There will be changes. Certain guys aren't going to play every day in Spring Training."
Such a philosophy should at least give Cash and the players a chance to gain a feel for what might be once the regular season begins.
Meanwhile, Matt Silverman, president of baseball operations, noted that many of the decisions that are perceived to be made during Spring Training have already been made.
"We made a lot of decisions in the offseason, so we've tried to take care of a lot of that before camp," Silverman said. "There are always going to be some decisions to make and there are going to be surprises. ... But for the most part, we're settled on a large group of the roster and we'll focus in on those competitions and we'll make sure that we don't get too swayed by a performance in the spring.
"We have a good sense of the players. We're going to get to know some of these guys better. But if a guy goes out and hits .425 in spring, it doesn't mean he's going to make the club, and if he hits .210, that doesn't mean he's not going to make the team. We're going to go out and see what shape these guys are in, the process they've been going through and the way they conduct themselves to make those decisions at the end of camp."