Description: Rays 2B/SS/OF Ben Zobrist has been dealing with a sore back after tweaking in during a workout Wednesday, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Zobrist turned in a decent year in 2013 with 12 HR, 71 RBI and a .275 average in 157 regular season contests. He also successfully stole 11 out of 14 bases. His position flexibility makes him a fantasy favorite.
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings arrived to camp having put on 10-15 pounds of muscle, according to tampabay.com. "I get here every spring and I probably lose at least 10 pounds, so I feel I'll be around what I want to play with once the season starts," he said.
Insight: Jennings burst onto the scene with 10 homers and 20 steals in just 63 games in 2011, but he's followed that up with .246-13 HR-31 SB in 2012 and.252-14 HR-20 SB last season while playing less than 140 games in both years. However, the center fielder improved both his K and BB rates last season and increased his slugging percentage. Manager Joe Maddon hasn't decided if he'll stick with Jennings in the leadoff spot or drop him in the order this season.
Description: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe believes there's a growing sense that New York will swoop in at the last minute and sign free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Insight: A Rodney signing is definitely within the realm of possibilies for a Yankees team that has gotten increasingly sneakier in recent years. Rodney was initially being pursued by the Mets and Orioles but now it looks like he could wind up as New York's setup man on Opening Day. Obviously, moving to the eighth inning would ruin any potential fantasy value that Rodney might have had.
Description: Former Orioles DH Wilson Betemit has signed on with the Rays. SOURCE: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Insight: His minor league contract includes an invite to spring training. Betemit missed most of the 2013 campaign while battling knee injuries. The year before, he hit .261 with 12 HR and 40 RBI in 102 games. He's not going to be an everyday player in Tampa.
Description: Less than 24 hours ago it looked like Fernando Rodney was about to sign with the Orioles. Now he's talking to the Mets, according to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin.
Insight: No deal is imminent. Rodney had one of the greatest seasons by a closer in major league history in 2012 but came back to Earth with an up and down 2013 campaign (3.38 ERA, 37-for-45 in save opportunities). He has an elite changeup and his fastball can still touch the high 90s, though it doesn't always land in the strike zone.
Description: Earlier today we heard from Grantland's Jonah Keri that Fernando Rodney was close to signing with the Orioles. The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly has since refuted that claim and says the two sides haven't spoken in weeks.
Insight: We're not sure what the holdup is. The Orioles need a closer and Rodney is the best one available now that Grant Balfour (who failed his physical when he went to Baltimore last month) is off the market. Despite Connolly's insistence that the two sides aren't talking, Rodney to the O's makes too much sense not to happen.
Description: David Price and the Rays avoided arbitration Friday by agreeing to a one-year, $14 million contract.
Insight: It doesn't mean that he'll still be pitching for the Rays at the end of the season if another team offers the right combination of youngsters. The 2012 AL Cy Young winner is an elite fantasy arm coming off a mediocre season (10-8, 3.33 ERA, 1.098 WHIP).
Description: James Loney is staying with the Rays. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: His new deal will pay him $21 million over the next three seasons. The 29-year-old hit .299 last year with 13 HR and 75 RBI. He's expected to hit third behind Wil Myers and ahead of Evan Longoria.
Description: The D'Backs traded righthander Heath Bell to the Rays on Monday. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: With Fernando Rodney likely to leave in free agency, Bell should take over the closer's role for Tampa Bay. It's always an adventure with Bell but the good news is, he should have plenty of opportunities for saves. He's worth thinking about in the later rounds of this year's fantasy draft.
Description: The Rockies are looking for a new first baseman and James Loney appears to be high on their list. SOURCE: Denver Post
Insight: Loney experienced a career resurgence last year with the Rays (.299, 13 HR, 75 RBI in 158 games). In Colorado, he'd be replacing Todd Helton, who recently announced his retirement after 17 seasons.
Description: Cleveland could be in the running for free agent closer Fernando Rodney. SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Insight: They've also shown an interest in former Dodgers and Giants reliever Brian Wilson. The Indians parted ways with Chris Perez earlier this month. Rodney still offers a plus-fastball and one of the most deceiving changeups in the game but he's shown a tendency to get rattled and his control can be hit or miss.
Description: David Price acknowledged Wednesday that he has probably played his final game as a Tampa Bay Ray. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: We had heard rumblings about Price possibly getting traded this offseason but now it seems almost certain to happen. Obviously, it will require a team to give up a package of top level prospects, but we're guessing plenty of clubs will be after the 2012 Cy Young winner when the season is over.
Description: Rays backup catcher Jose Lobaton stole the show with a walkoff home run Monday in a wild win over Boston.
Insight: The homer was Lobaton's first career postseason hit. It was also the first homer allowed by Koji Uehara since June 30th. The Rays had never had a walkoff home run in the playoffs before tonight.
Description: Tampa Bay starter David Price, who went on a Twitter rant over the weekend, could be shopped this winter.
Insight: In fact, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, many big league executives have expressed that they'd be surprised if Price isn't traded. The Rays rarely keep their star players when they reach free agency with Evan Longoria being the most notable exception.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings has managed only one hit in 11 previous encounters with John Lackey.
Insight: Jennings was punched out twice in Friday's loss and overall, he's just a .240 career hitter against the Red Sox. Lackey has looked excellent since coming back from Tommy John surgery and he shouldn't have much trouble getting Jennings to swing and miss on Saturday.
Description: Rays utility man Ben Zobrist has a tough matchup against Boston left-hander Jon Lester.
Insight: Zobrist is just 9-for-48 (.188) lifetime against Lester with 18 strikeouts. It was a down year for Zobrist in most categories, but he's still a viable fantasy asset because he fills up the box score ... just not against Lester.
Description: Alex Cobb guided the Rays to victory Wednesday with a dominating performance against the Indians.
Insight: Cobb wasn't fooling many hitters (he allowed eight hits) but he kept the Indians off the scoreboard and that's all that matters. The Rays haven't set their rotation yet for the Division Series but we're guessing Cobb will pitch in one of Tampa Bay's two home games (Games 3 and 4).
Description: Desmond Jennings is back in center field for Wednesday's Wild Card game versus Cleveland.
Insight: Jennings (hamstring) isn't close to 100 percent but in a win or go home situation, the Rays need their leadoff man in the lineup. The 26-year-old has never faced Indians righthander Danny Salazar (2-3, 3.12 ERA).
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings (hamstring) is expected to play Wednesday night in the Wild Card Game against the Cleveland Indians. SOURCE: MLB.com
Insight: Jennings started in Game 163 against the Rangers and went 1-for-3 with a walk after missing eight straight days. The outfielder was put in position to test the hamstring immediately, as he tried to stretch a broken-bat hit down the left-field line into a double on the first pitch of the game but was thrown out by Craig Gentry.
Description: In a surprise move, injured Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings is starting in center field Monday in a tiebreaker game against Texas.
Insight: He's leading off. Jennings (.252, 14 HR, 54 RBI) has been bothered by a sore hamstring for the better part of a week but with Tampa Bay's season on the line, he isn't holding anything back. ESPN's Pedro Gomez said David DeJesus would move to center field if Jennings is in too much pain to finish the game.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings is likely reduced to being a pinch hitter in Monday's tiebreaker game as his hamstring injury is still preventing him from playing in the outfield, according to a Tampa Bay Times report.
Insight: Jennings (.252, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 81 runs, 20 SB) might have a chance to play Wednesday, should the Rays advance that far.
Description: Tampa Bay center fielder Desmond Jennings is still out with a bum hamstring.
Insight: Jennings (.252, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 20 SB) could be available to pinch-hit like he was last night but it doesn't look like he's ready to resume playing the outfield. His health is a big question mark heading into the postseason, assuming the Rays even qualify for it.
Description: Tampa Bay righthander Alex Cobb (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 Ks) was excellent Thursday in a win over the Yankees.
Insight: Cobb hasn't missed a beat since his return from a concussion (5-1, 2.41 ERA in his last nine starts). The Rays would be crazy not to start him in the postseason, assuming they are able to advance past the Wild Card round.
Description: Evan Longoria powered the Rays with two homers Wednesday in a win against New York.
Insight: That gives Longoria his third career 30 home run season. By winning, the Rays were able to eliminate the Yankees from the postseason hunt. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay's magic number for clinching the AL Wild Card is three.
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings had to leave Sunday's game against Baltimore because of a leg injury and did not play in Monday's contest either.
Insight: Jennings suffered a mild hamstring injury and is listed as day-to-day. We're still waiting for the guy who was supposed to be the "next" Carl Crawford. So far he's batting .251 with 14 HR, 54 RBI, 81 runs and 20 SB.
Description: As expected, the Rays activated reliever Jesse Crain from the disabled list on Monday.
Insight: He wasn't asked to pitch in Monday's game against the Orioles. Certainly the Rays would like to see him pitch a couple times before deciding on their postseason roster. Of course, they still have to make the postseason first (their magic number is five).
Description: Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings had to leave Sunday's game against Baltimore because of a leg injury and is not in Monday's starting lineup.
Insight: Jennings suffered a mild hamstring injury and is listed as day-to-day. We're still waiting for the guy who was supposed to be the "next" Carl Crawford. So far he's batting .251 with 14 HR, 54 RBI, 81 runs and 20 SB.
Description: Enny Romero is making his major league debut Sunday against Baltimore.
Insight: The Rays lefthander is starting in place of Jeremy Hellickson, who was scratched after pitching in Friday's 18-inning win. In 28 minor league starts this season, Romero is 11-7 with a 2.61 ERA.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was scratched from Sunday's lineup due to flu-like symptoms, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: Longoria is hitting .204 with one home run over his last 26 games and .219 with 12 homers over his last 76. At age 27, we're still waiting for the monster breakout from Longoria. His career highs for a season are 33 homers, 113 RBI, a .294 average and an .896 OPS.
Description: Rays starter David DeJesus is 6-for-11 (.545) with one homer and six walks against former teammate Scott Feldman of the Orioles.
Insight: DeJesus and Feldman played together with the Cubs this season before ending up with different AL East teams. The veteran outfielder is hitting .267 in 27 games since joining Tampa Bay and is not a good fantasy option most days but he has a good matchup Sunday.
Description: Desmond Jennings stroked his 14th home run of the season Saturday in a win against Baltimore.
Insight: The Rays center fielder produced a season-high four RBI in the contest. Jennings (.249, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 20 SB) sat on the bench for the first nine innings yesterday because of a stiff neck but clearly it was never a serious issue.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb held the Orioles to just one run in 8 1/3 innings Saturday at Tropicana Field.
Insight: He might have gotten the shutout if not for a Chris Davis bloop triple that left fielder David DeJesus lost in the lights. Tampa Bay's magic number to clinch the American League Wild Card is eight games.
Description: Tampa Bay righthander Roberto Hernandez is expected to start Sunday against Baltimore. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: That was originally Jeremy Hellickson's day to pitch but the Rays were forced to use him out of the pen Friday in an 18-inning win over Baltimore. Hernandez hasn't made a start in almost a month (August 27th against Los Angeles).
Description: Desmond Jennings has returned to Tampa Bay's starting lineup. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Jennings was scratched with a neck injury Friday night but ended up logging four at bats after coming in as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. He's just a .188 lifetime hitter against Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez.
Description: Making just his seventh major league appearance out of the bullpen, Tampa Bay righthander Jeremy Hellickson pitched 2 1/3 innings for the win Friday in an 18-inning win over Baltimore.
Insight: It puts the Rays in a bit of a bind because Hellickson was supposed to start Sunday's game. Now they'll likely to turn to Jake Odorizzi, who went 9-6 with a 3.33 ERA this season in 22 starts for Triple-A Durham.
Description: Tampa Bay left fielder David DeJesus notched four hits in Friday's marathon win over Baltimore.
Insight: The game set numerous major league records including the number of pitchers and players used. Since acquiring him from the Nationals in mid-August, DeJesus has hit .278 for the Rays with five RBI.
Description: The Rays were hoping to bring Jesse Crain off the DL on Wednesday but instead they'll have to wait a few more days. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Crain (2-3, 0.74 ERA), who was traded from the White Sox before the trade deadline, hasn't pitched since June because of a shoulder injury. When he does return, he should be a valuable arm out of the pen.
Description: Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson surrendered five runs over 2 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Rangers.
Insight: Hellickson was decent in his first two starts since returning from the minors, but Tuesday's outing shows why fantasy owners cannot trust him at this point. He is 1-6 with a 7.75 ERA over his last nine starts.
Description: Rays catcher Jose Molina is expected to rejoin the team Friday against Minnesota. SOURCE: Roger Mooney, Tampa Tribune
Insight: Molina (.242, 2 HR, 17 RBI) has been attending to a family matter. If you're going to own one of the Molina brothers in fantasy, Yadier is the far better choice (.318, 11 HR, 65 RBI in 120 games) .
Description: Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney owns a .321 lifetime average against Boston's Jake Peavy.
Insight: Loney was a member of the Dodgers for most of his career so he faced Peavy often when the right-hander was on the Padres. He's 9-for-28 with four doubles and two home runs against Peavy. After batting .247 with a .566 OPS in August, Loney has gone 12-for-36 (.333) with two home runs and five walks in 10 games this month.
Description: Tampa Bay utility player Ben Zobrist is an ugly 4-for-34 (.118) with a .397 OPS against Boston starter Clay Buchholz.
Insight: Zobrist is not having the year expected of him with most of his totals falling from a solid 2012. At the top of the list is an OPS which is currently running 72 points below last season and 11 homers vs. 20 a season ago. This is an extremely unfavorable matchup.
Description: Rays All-Star lefthander Matt Moore earned his 15th win of the season Tuesday in his return from the disabled list.
Insight: Moore had a little trouble finding the strike zone at first (four walks) but he settled in eventually. In 5 1/3 innings, Moore allowed four hits and one unearned run. The 94 pitches he threw were a little under his season average (98.4) but that was to be expected in his first outing in over a month. Look for Moore (15-3, 3.27 ERA) to be a solid fantasy contributor down the stretch.
Description: Rays starter Chris Archer has thrown three straight starts of seven innings after giving up five earned runs in five innings on Aug. 13 against Seattle.
Insight: He allowed one earned runs on five hits, struck out five and walked none over seven innings Wednesday in a win over the Angels and is 8-5 with a 2.81 ERA this season. Walks were the main concern for Archer in the minors, but he has walked 2.81 batters per nine innings over 102 1/3 innings this season.
Description: The Rays have demoted Jeremy Hellickson to High-A Charlotte.
Insight: Rays manager Joe Maddon said the right-hander is going down for rest and will return when Charlotte's season ends, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. Hellickson has gone 0-5 with a 9.00 ERA and a 2.12 WHIP in 25 innings over his last six starts, failing to get out of the fifth inning in any of them.
Description: Rays left-hander Matt Moore is expected to return to the mound on Sept. 3 according to manager Joe Maddon.
Insight: Moore was initially expected to return last weekend, but he felt discomfort in his elbow when throwing his changeup during a bullpen session last week. When last we left the third-year starter he was in the middle of a very good season: 14-3, 3.41 ERA, 1.228 WHIP and 115 Ks in 121.1 IP.
Description: Rays right fielder Matt Joyce has three homers over his last seven games after failing to hit one for 45 straight games (29 starts) going back to June 16. He's also batting .368 (14-for-38) over his last 14 games. That still doesn't mean you should start him Sunday against Ivan Nova, however.
Insight: Joyce is 3-for-23 (.130) lifetime against the Yankees starter, with eight strikeouts.
Description: Tampa Bay catcher Jose Molina is hitless in 16 at-bats versus Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia and likely won't get the Saturday start.
Insight: Molina isn't much of an offensive threat to begin with (.241, .612 OPS) so his lack of success against Sabathia shouldn't change many lineups. Backup Jose Lobaton homered on Friday night and has a better chance against the big lefty.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria "owns" Yankees starter CC Sabathia in their 62 previous encounters.
Insight: Longoria is 19-for-50 (.380) with five doubles, six homers, 12 RBI and 12 walks against Sabathia, so he clearly sees the ball well coming out of the big lefty's hand. Longoria has homers in three of his last five games to warm up for this extremely favorable matchup.
Description: Tampa Bay righthander Chris Archer beat the Yankees for the third time on Friday.
Insight: By doing so, he became the first rookie to defeat New York three times in a season since Kevin Brown in 1989. The victory was Archer's first since July 27th. That win also came against the Yankees.
Description: The Rays have signed Delmon Young to a minor league contract and assigned him to Double-A Montgomery.
Insight: The Phillies released Young after he hit .261 with eight homers and a .699 OPS in 272 at-bats, and now he'll return to the organization that drafted him first overall in 2003. He hasn't had fantasy value since 2010.
Description: Rays left-hander Matt Moore threw 69 pitches during a bullpen session Wednesday and had no issues, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Moore will throw a simulated game Saturday.
Insight: Moore was initially expected to return last weekend, but he felt discomfort in his elbow when throwing his changeup during a bullpen session last week. He threw his changeup Wednesday, though, without an issue. Moore is hoping to return before the end of August.
Description: Rays left-hander Matt Moore said Tuesday after playing catch that there has been "very significant" progress the last few days with his sore elbow, according ot Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Moore was initially expected to return last weekend, but he felt discomfort in his elbow when throwing his changeup during a bullpen session last week. He'll throw his latest bullpen session Wednesday and is hoping to return during the team's upcoming West Coast trip near the end of August.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is 9-for-21 (.429) with three homers and a 1.452 OPS against Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman.
Insight: Longoria has been on fire the past six games, batting .409. Add in a favorable matchup and he's a must start on Monday. We liked Longoria more in his early years when he stole a few bases, but he should end the season with 30 plus homers and close to 90 RBI.
Description: Rays starter Chris Archer had his best outing of the month Sunday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Archer left his start on Aug. 7 with forearm tightness and gave up five runs on nine hits over five innings on Aug. 13 against Seattle, but he fired seven innings, gave up four hits and one run, didn't walk a batter and struck out five in a no decision Sunday.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria's season has gone into the tank after his plantar fasciitis worsened in late June.
Insight: Since June 23, Longoria is hitting .212 with seven homers, 18 RBI and an OPS south of .700. Things seem to be looking up, however -- he has gone 8-for-18 with four doubles and two homers over his last five games after going 23-for-130 (.177) with just two multi-hit games from July 3 to Aug. 13.
Description: According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings (finger) took batting practice Friday for the first time since he fractured his finger and felt some pain.
Insight: Jennings suffered a small fracture of his left middle finger when he jammed his hand into second base on Aug. 3. Jennings said he hopes to come off the disabled list when eligible Monday.
Description: The Rays are hoping Matt Moore (elbow) will be able to return to the rotation by next weekend, according to TampaBay.com.
Insight: Moore was initially expected to return this weekend, but he felt discomfort in his elbow when throwing his changeup during a bullpen session Wednesday. The Rays are confident it wasn't a major setback, however. Tampa Bay will reevaluate Moore after he plays catch Sunday.
Description: Tampa Bay right fielder Wil Myers hit home run No. 9 Wednesday against the Mariners.
Insight: Myers belted a two-run shot in the sixth inning off Aaron Harang. The outfielder has predictably cooled off a bit in August after hitting .352 with a .963 OPS in July, but he still has big-time power potential.
Description: Rays starter Matt Moore (elbow) will not return to the rotation Saturday, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: Moore will throw a pen session Sunday and then will be reevaluated. The Rays said he didn't suffer a setback, but that they are being cautious because Moore is still feeling some soreness when he throws a changeup.
Description: Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (concussion, blister) is expected to be activated from the 60-day disabled list for Thursday's scheduled start against Seattle
Insight: Cobb hasn't made a major league start since taking a liner off his head on June 15. he's posted excellent numbers this season - 6-2, 3.01 ERA, 1.159 WHIP and fantasy owners hope he picks up right where he left off.
Description: Jeremy Hellickson's slump continued Sunday versus the Dodgers.
Insight: The Dodgers pummeled Hellickson on Sunday, going off for seven hits and four runs in his three innings of work. Assuming Los Angeles holds on to its 8-1 lead, Hellickson will drop to 0-3 in his last three outings. Over that stretch he has an ERA north of nine (9.75).
Description: Tampa Bay has released righthander Kyle Farnsworth.
Insight: Farnsworth was DFA'd on Friday. He wasn't having a very good season for the Rays. In 39 appearances, Farnsworth went 2-0 with a 5.79 ERA, his worst ERA since 2002 when he played for the Cubs. Opponents are hitting .306 versus Farnsworth in 2013.
Description: Rays righthander Chris Archer says he's no longer feeling tightness in his forearm. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: He'll make his scheduled start Tuesday against Seattle. Archer left his last start early but apparently the injury was nothing serious. The 24-year-old is 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA since the All-Star break.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer left Wednesday's game against Arizona with right forearm tightness, the team announced.
Insight: That's bad news, as forearm tightness is often indicative of an elbow issue. Archer was both the AL Rookie of the Month and the AL Pitcher of the Month for July and had gone 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his last eight starts prior to Wednesday.
Description: According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Rays manager Joe Maddon said that he expects Desmond Jennings (finger) to return around the time he's first eligible to come off the DL.
Insight: Jennings suffered a small fracture of his left middle finger when he jammed his hand into second base Saturday. Jason Bourgeois and Sam Fuld will split time in center field while Jennings is sidelined.
Description: According to CBSSports.com, Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings has a fracture in his left middle finger.
Insight: Jennings has been placed on the 15-day DL. The outfielder suffered the injury when he jammed his finger into second base Saturday. His initial X-rays came back negative, but a follow-up test revealed a small fracture that will keep him out indefinitely. Jason Bourgeois and Sam Fuld will split time in center field while Jennings is sidelined.
Description: X-rays on Desmond Jennings' finger came back negative. SOURCE: Tampa Tribune
Insight: That's a relief, though it doesn't mean he's out of the woods just yet. The Rays outfielder is dealing with the same injury as Carlos Gonzalez, who is expected to be placed on the DL later this week. Jennings' sprained finger may not be as severe as the one Gonzalez has but he's still likely to miss some games.
Description: Tampa Bay left fielder Desmond Jennings is not in Sunday's starting lineup versus San Francisco.
Insight: Jennings has been dealing with a sprained finger on his left hand. He is batting .258 with 11 HR, 40 RBI, 69 runs and 17 stolen bases. One sore point is he leads the league in caught stealing.
Description: According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Rays lefty Matt Moore's MRI revealed no structural damage in his left elbow.
Insight: Phew. Moore felt soreness in his left elbow during his last start, in which he allowed five runs in five innings at New York, and he was placed on the disabled list Wednesday. He's 14-3 with a 3.41 ERA this season. The lefty said he's not worried about the injury.
Description: According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Rays lefty Matt Moore has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with elbow soreness.
Insight: Moore felt soreness in his left elbow during his last start, in which he allowed five runs in five innings at New York. He's 14-3 with a 3.41 ERA this season, so an extended absence would be bad news for fantasy owners.
Description: According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (concussion, blister) said his simulated game went well Tuesday.
Insight: Cobb, who hasn't pitched since taking a liner off his head on June 15, exited his first rehab start last week with a blister on his right index finger. He said the blister is healing and expects to pitch Saturday for Class-A Charlotte.
Description: Rays starter David Price had another dominant performance Monday at Boston, allowing just two hits and walking none over 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
Insight: Price threw just 90 pitches and likely would have thrown his fourth complete game in his last five starts if not for a rain delay in the middle of the seventh inning. Rays manager Joe Maddon brought Price out after the delay but he wasn't as sharp and was removed after facing one batter. The lefty has won five of six starts since coming off the DL.
Description: According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (concussion, blister) will throw a simulated game Tuesday.
Insight: Cobb, who hasn't pitched since taking a liner off his head on June 15, exited his first rehab start last week with a blister on his right index finger. He could make a rehab start Saturday if he gets through Tuesday's sim game without an issue.
Description: Rays SS Yunel Escobar owns a .914 OPS in his career against CC Sabathia of the Yankees.
Insight: Escobar is 9-for-31 (.290) with three doubles, two homers and nine RBI against Sabathia. He's hitting just .185 (5-for-27) over his last nine games, but he's not a bad play Friday against New York.
Description: Tampa Bay left fielder Desmond Jennings is just 1-for-11 versus Boston starter John Lackey with five strikeouts.
Insight: Jennings is batting a much-improved .304 over the past four weeks and 22 games to bring his totals to a more respectable .268 with 11 HR, 40 RBI, 66 runs and 16 stolen bases. One sore point is he leads the league in caught stealing.
Description: David Price pulled the Rays within a half game of first place in the AL East with a dominant outing Wednesday against the Red Sox.
Insight: Price was spectacular, allowing just one run (a solo homer to Mike Napoli) in nine innings. Incredibly, he kept his pitch count under 100 for the night (97 pitches). Three out of Price's last four starts have been complete games. After a slow start to the year, he's pitching like a Cy Young winner again.
Description: Tampa Bay right fielder Wil Myers slugged his fifth homer of the year Tuesday at Boston.
Insight: Myers missed the previous two games due to a sore left wrist. He has fanned 31 times with just six walks in his first 117 at-bats this season, but he's hitting .316 with 10 extra-base hits, 19 RBI and 18 runs.
Description: Tampa Bay right fielder Wil Myers missed Monday's series opener against the Red Sox, but should be ready to go on Tuesday. Latest update - Myers is in Tuesday's starting lineup, according to Marc Topkins of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: He's still dealing with a wrist issue. Myers has been an under-the-radar rookie while Yasiel Puig has gotten all the press, but he's batting .310 with four homers, 18 RBI and 17 runs scored in 28 games.
Description: Rays infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson is hitless in 12 tries against Boston hurler Jon Lester with three strikeouts.
Insight: Before last night's collar, Johnson had posted eight hits in his previous 12 at-bats with a pair of homers. He's putting together a solid season with 15 HR and 45 RBI in 80 games, but Tuesday's matchup should be avoided.
Description: Tampa Bay right fielder Wil Myers missed Monday's series opener against the Red Sox, but should be ready to go on Tuesday.
Insight: He's still dealing with a wrist issue. Myers has been the under-the-radar rookie while Yasiel Puig has gotten all the press, but he's batting .310 with four homers, 18 RBI and 17 runs scored in 28 games.
Description: Rays ace Matt Moore tossed his first career shutout Monday in a win over the Red Sox.
Insight: Moore made one of the AL's best offenses look like a Little League team. Sure, the Sox were probably a little gassed from Sunday's five-hour thriller against the Yankees but it was still an incredibly impressive performance. Moore is now 6-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last six starts.
Description: A left wrist injury kept Wil Myers out of the starting lineup Sunday against Toronto, but he is probable for Monday's game against Boston.
Insight: Rays manager Joe Maddon said he expects Myers to be ready for Monday's series opener against the Red Sox. So far, the rookie has lived up to the hype, batting .310 with 18 RBI in his first 28 games.
Description: Tampa Bay DH Luke Scott was 0-for-12 against Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey when he went deep off the knuckleballer in the sixth inning Sunday.
Insight: Scott, who is one of the streakiest hitters in the league, is batting .356 with 10 doubles, a triple, six homers, 18 RBI and nine walks over his last 27 games. He's so locked in at the plate that not even Dickey's knuckler could shut him down Sunday.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer won his third straight start and fourth straight decision Sunday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Archer struggled in his first four starts this season, going 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA and a 6.40 BB/9, but he's 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA and a 2.54 BB/9 over his last six. It looks like Tampa Bay has developed another impact pitching prospect.
Description: A wrist injury will keep Wil Myers out of the starting lineup Sunday against Toronto. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Rays manager Joe Maddon said he expects Myers to be ready for Monday's series opener against the Red Sox. So far, the rookie has lived up to the hype, batting .310 with 18 RBI in his first 28 games.
Description: Tampa Bay left fielder Desmond Jennings has been raking lately but that could change Sunday with R.A. Dickey getting the ball for Toronto.
Insight: Jennings enters Sunday with a .365 average for the month of July, though he's only managed one hit in 13 previous at bats versus Dickey. History tends to repeat itself, which is why we'd recommend using a different outfielder on Sunday, if at all possible.
Description: Having to face R.A. Dickey isn't exactly Matt Joyce's idea of a good time.
Insight: The Rays right fielder owns a .125 lifetime average against Dickey, which is incovenient because that's who he'll be facing Sunday in the series finale. Fantasy owners should plan accordingly.
Description: Rays utility man Ben Zobrist is no fan of R.A. Dickey.
Insight: He's been pitiful versus the knuckleballer, collecting just two hits in 13 at bats (.154 AVG). With Dickey throwing for the Jays on Sunday, we're not expecting a big afternoon for Zobrist (.267, 7 HR, 49 RBI).
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar was not in the lineup Friday due to a hamstring injury and will miss Saturday's game as well.
Insight: Escobar suffered the injury Sunday and the rest over the All-Star break didn't help him enough. Ben Zobrist will once again play shortstop, his 10th game there, which could make him eligible in some leagues.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria ended the first half in an 8-for-59 (.136) slump.
Insight: However, he went 1-for-4 with a solo homer Friday night. The third baseman played through plantar fasciitis prior to the All-Star break, so hopefully getting a few days off will help him get back in a groove at the plate.
Description: Tampa Bay starter David Price gave up three homers and four earned runs over the first three innings Friday at Toronto but hung around for seven innings and picked up his fourth win of the year.
Insight: Price has gone 3-1 since coming off the DL, but Friday was his first game in that span against a good offense. He faced Houston twice and the Chicago White Sox once prior to Friday.
Description: According to the Tampa Tribune, Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (concussion) will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday.
Insight: Cobb hasn't pitched since taking a liner off his head on June 15. He has passed all concussion tests and was cleared for the rehab assignment with High-A Charlotte after throwing a simulated game Thursday. He should return in early August.
Description: Rays first baseman James Loney is on the paternity leave list and could miss the weekend series.
Insight: Loney (.315, 9 HR, 43 RBI), to the surprise of many, is actually having a great season, but will miss some time. Sean Rodriguez is likely to cover Loney's position, but he offers little for fantasy owners.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer tossed his first major league complete game Sunday against Houston.
Insight: That's a pretty nice way to finish the first half. The young phenom is 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his past five starts. The Rays haven't set their rotation yet for after the All-Star break so it's unknown when Archer will make his next start.
Description: Rays DH Luke Scott is 28-for-75 (.373) with eight doubles, five homers, 16 RBI and eight walks over his last 23 games.
Insight: Scott was hitting .207 back on June 12, but he's up to .274 after his latest game in which he went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI. The DH is extremely streaky, so enjoy this before his next extended slump comes along.
Description: According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (concussion) will throw live batting practice before Sunday's game.
Insight: Smith said that the Rays scheduling Cobb for live BP means he has passed all concussion tests. The right-hander hasn't pitched since taking a liner off his head on June 15. Cobb will likely need a couple of rehab starts, so he's probably aiming for a return in early August.
Description: With Yu Darvish out with a back injury, Rays lefthander Matt Moore will take his place on the American League All-Star team.
Insight: It's Moore's first All-Star invite. Having started on Thursday, Moore (13-3, 3.44 ERA) should be well-rested. Don't be surprised if Jim Leyland lets him pitch an inning or two on Tuesday night.
Description: According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Rays pitcher Alex Cobb (concussion) said his bullpen session Thursday went well.
Insight: Cobb also said that he believed he passed his concussion test Wednesday. He hasn't pitched since being hit in the head by a line drive on June 15, so he'll have to build his arm back up, but he could be back by the end of July if he really did pass his concussion test yesterday.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria made his one hit count Thursday against the Twins.
Insight: Longoria went 1-for-4 with a homer, his first in 15 games. The third baseman has been playing through plantar fasciitis and has gone 7-for-48 (.146) with 16 strikeouts, 14 walks and four RBI over his last 15 games.
Description: Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore has won five straight starts, including Thursday's outing against the Twins.
Insight: Moore (13-3, 3.44 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) has bounced back nicely from a stretch in early June in which he went 0-3 with a 13.86 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP in 12 1/3 innings. During his five-game winning streak, he has struck out 40 batters and allowed seven earned runs on 18 hits in 33 innings. Walks continue to be an issue for the lefty, however -- he has a 4.61 BB/9.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist singled home the game-winning run Wednesday in an extra innings thriller against Minnesota.
Insight: Zobrist (.261, 6 HR, 48 RBI) finished the night 1-for-5. The 32-year-old was recently selected to represent Tampa Bay at next week's All-Star Game. He'll be the only Ray making the trip to Citi Field.
Description: Rays rookie outfielder Wil Myers is in the starting lineup Wednesday after getting Tuesday's game off.
Insight: Myers is 3-for-23 with eight strikeouts over his last six games, so the Rays gave him a day off to clear his head. The rookie is hitting .247 with three homers and a 26/4 K/BB in 91 plate appearances this season, but he's worth owning in all leagues.
Description: Rays left fielder Kelly Johnson is 7-for-22 (.318) with four home runs versus Minnesota starter Kevin Correia.
Insight: Johnson's been struggling at the plate, batting .164 over his past 18 games, but this matchup might help get him going. He had a huge May, batting .330 with seven homers and 26 RBI, and fantasy owners hope he finds it again.
Description: Rays starter David Price threw a complete game in Sunday's 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. He scattered eight hits, seven of which were singles, walked none and struck out six.
Insight: Price has allowed 11 hits and one run and posted a 15/0 K/BB in 16 innings since returning from the DL. It helped that he faced two of the worst offensive teams in the majors in Houston and Chicago in his first two games, but fantasy owners will take it after Price went 1-4 with a 5.24 ERA prior to his injury.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria is back after missing three games with a foot injury.
Insight: Plantar fasciitis usually takes a while to subside so Longoria's foot might not be 100 percent until after the All-Star break. Give Longoria (.298, 17 HR, 47 RBI) credit for playing through the pain.
Description: The Rays activated David Price on Tuesday to face the Houston Astros.
Insight: Price has been battling a triceps injury since mid-May. The 2012 AL Cy Young winner hasn't had a great season so far. In nine starts, he's just 1-4 with an ERA over five. Hopefully it was caused by injury and the month and a half off will have him pitching like a superstar again.
Description: According to the Tampa Tribune, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is hoping to return from plantar fasciitis sometime "within the next few days."
Insight: He left Friday's game in the second inning and hasn't played since. Longoria did take some grounders at third before the game today, which is always a good sign. As of now, it doesn't look like Longoria (.298, 17 HR, 47 RBI) will require a DL stint.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria (plantar fasciitis) might be available to pinch-hit Monday, but he won't start, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Longoria had to exit Friday's game due to lingering soreness related to his plantar fasciitis, which tends to be a recurring injury. The third baseman's participation off the bench Monday would be a good sign that he is making progress rather than nearing a disabled list trip.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria (plantar fasciitis) won't be placed on the disabled list right now, according to Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Longoria had to exit Friday's game due to lingering soreness related to his plantar fasciitis, which tends to be a recurring injury. The third baseman will sit out a couple days before either returning to the lineup or going on the disabled list.
Description: Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria aggravated his plantar fascitis Friday against Detroit. SOURCE: Tampa Tribune
Insight: Longoria left in the second inning with Kelly Johnson coming on to take his place. Plantar fascitis isn't usually something that's conquered in just a few days. If his condition worsens, we could see Longoria wind up on the disabled list.
Description: Rays left-hander David Price (triceps) appears ready to come off the disabled list after dominating in his latest rehab start, according to the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: Granted, Price was facing a Single-A team, but he threw five shutout innings and struck out eight while allowing two hits and one walk. "I guess whatever I did out there today is going to be my lobbying," Price said of his chance to rejoin the Rays. "If that's not enough, I guess I'll have to throw another one." Price added that his strained left triceps that has kept him out since mid-May felt fine and that he could have thrown more than 72 pitches Wednesday. Price's fastball sat in the 92- to 94-mph range during the start.
Description: Rays DH Luke Scott is hitless against Blue Jays right-hander R.A. Dickey.
Insight: Scott (.241, 4 HR, 26 RBI) isn't alone in his frustration against the knuckle ball pitcher. Catcher Jose Molina is 0-for-8, so the bottom of the Rays lineup isn't likely to be productive on Wednesday afternoon.
Description: Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore struck out 11 and allowed one run on four hits over six innings Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: However, he walked six. Obviously, fantasy owners will take this start after Moore went 1-3 with a 10.61 ERA and a 2.36 WHIP over his last four starts, but his 4.98 BB/9 on the season could be problematic.
Description: Yunel Escobar doesn't look like an appealing fantasy option Sunday against New York.
Insight: That's because the Rays shortstop is only a .154 lifetime hitter against Yankees starter Ivan Nova. Despite his struggles against Nova, manager Joe Maddon has him starting at shortstop and batting ninth.
Description: Rays DH Matt Joyce has been pitiful against New York righthander Ivan Nova throughout his career.
Insight: He's hitting just .118 against him with five whiffs in 17 at bats. Joyce is just three for his last 20 and Sunday's meeting with Nova certainly won't help matters. Consider subbing Joyce out for another outfielder if you can afford to do so.
Description: Saturday was a day of firsts for Wil Myers. The Rays rookie recorded his first major league home run in the sixth inning. The hit was also his first career grand slam.
Insight: CC Sabathia doesn't give up too many home runs so he'll probably want to keep that ball in a glass case some place safe. Myers (.280) finished the afternoon with three hits and has now hit safely in each of his last five games.
Description: Tampa Bay catcher Jose Molina is hitless in 16 at-bats versus Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia.
Insight: Molina isn't much of an offensive threat to begin with (.262, .626 OPS) so his lack of success against Sabathia shouldn't change many lineups. Backup Jose Lobaton is 3-for-8 against Sabathia and is likely to get the start.
Description: Rays third baseman Evan Longoria is one of the few hitters who likes seeing Yankees ace C.C. Sabathia on the mound as he's a career .356 hitter with five home runs and a 1.247 OPS in 45 at-bats.
Insight: Longoria has 16 home runs on the year after hitting a pair in Thursday's series opener. The third baseman has never hit .300 in a season, but he's at .303 in 2013. The only thing he doesn't do is steal bases anymore, but fantasy owners should just be happy that the injury-prone slugger is healthy.
Description: Rays left-hander David Price (triceps) allowed two hits and two runs (one earned) with two walks and four K over 2 2/3 innings Friday in his first rehab start, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Price threw 49 pitches and said he felt really good. He'll probably need 1-2 more rehab starts before returning to the Rays' rotation.
Description: Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore threw his first quality start since May 25 Thursday against the Yankees.
Insight: He gave up four hits and three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings to improve to 9-3, but also walked three. Moore had a 2.18 ERA and was 8-0 coming into this month, but he allowed 26 hits, walked 11 and gave up 19 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings over his last three starts. Moore's K/BB this season is a disappointing 1.71 (4.69 BB/9). That's a step back from last year's 2.16.
Description: Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi has been recalled from Triple-A Durham to start Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Red Sox.
Insight: This is Odorizzi's third stint with the team this season. He's considered one of the team's top prospects, but has struggled with the big league club. He has allowed 17 hits and 11 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings over three appearances (two starts) and isn't expected to remain with the team after Tuesday.
Description: The Rays are expected to start Wil Myers in right field for both games of Tuesday's doubleheader versus Boston, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: Myers hit 51 home runs and drove in 166 runs in 774 at-bats over the last two seasons in the minors. He'll make his major league debut Tuesday and should be owned in all leagues. He should play every day in right field while the Rays mix-and-match Kelly Johnson, Matt Joyce and Luke Scott in left field and at DH.
Description: The Rays shipped Ryan Roberts to Triple-A to make room for top prospect Wil Myers.
Insight: "Tatman" has been struggling all year and he probably deserved to be the odd man out. Despite his struggles, Roberts (.238, 3 HR, 13 RBI) should get another chance in the big leagues later this season.
Description: Triple-A couldn't hold Wil Myers any longer. The Rays finally promoted their top prospect to the majors on Sunday. SOURCE: Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: The only question is ... what took them so long? Well, it's not that hard to pinpoint, really. Clearly, Tampa Bay was waiting for Myers to become Super Two eligible, which gives him an extra year of arbitration eligibility. He's been tearing it up in the minors (.283, 14 HR, 57 RBI in 63 games) and we're guessing Myers will be able to make an impact at the major league level right away. He'll be a hot add in fantasy leagues this week.
Description: The Rays have placed Alex Cobb on the 7-day disabled list with a minor concussion.
Insight: Cobb was taken off on a stretcher after being hit in the head with a line drive Saturday, but he never lost consciousness throughout the whole ordeal and appears to have avoided a serious brain or head injury. He'll be released from the hospital Sunday.
Description: Rays lefty Alex Torres struck out four over 1 2/3 hitless innings to grab his second win of the season Saturday against the Royals.
Insight: The 25-year-old Torres had strong numbers as a starter at Triple-A, and he has been unhittable in middle relief since being called up at the start of June. Over 16 innings, he has fanned 23 batters and allowed three hits, three walks and zero earned runs in eight appearances this season.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb has been diagnosed with a mild concussion, according to Raysbaseball.com.
Insight: Cobb was taken off on a stretcher after being hit in the head with a line drive Saturday, but he never lost consciousness throughout the whole ordeal. He appears to have avoided a serious brain or head injury. He'll remain in the hospital overnight for further observation.
Description: Tampa Bay shortstop Yunel Escobar is a .412 hitter in 17 at-bats versus Ervin Santana.
Insight: Escobar is 7-for-17 with four RBI against the Royals right-hander. The shortstop's overall numbers -- .251, five homers, 27 RBIs -- aren't anything special, but they look much better if you remove his 7-for-59 (.119) slump to start the season. Since then, he's hitting .304 with five homers, 24 RBI, a 14/13 K/BB and an .828 OPS.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist has gone 2-for-13 (.154) with one RBI and four strikeouts against Ervin Santana of the Royals.
Insight: Like last season, Zobrist has heated up after the calendar flipped to June. He's hitting .481 with four doubles, a homer, three RBI and five walks over his last seven games, so you might want to have him in the lineup anyway Thursday even though Santana is on the mound.
Description: Rays left fielder Kelly Johnson has gone just 1-for-11 (.091) with four strikeouts against Royals starter Ervin Santana, who will start Thursday against Tampa Bay.
Insight: Johnson is just 4-for-40 (.100) over his last 10 games. It's a predictable slump, as the strikeout-prone Johnson's .298 batting average over his first 45 games was aided by a .337 BABIP while his line-drive rate has hovered around 15 percent.
Description: Rays DH Luke Scott has a nice matchup Thursday versus Ervin Santana of the Royals.
Insight: Scott is 8-for-21 (.381) with two round-trippers and six RBIs against Santana. If you've been holding onto him despite his injury and .207 average, today would be a good day to get him in the lineup.
Description: Tampa Bay right fielder Matt Joyce went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBI, a walk and a steal Tuesday against the Red Sox.
Insight: Joyce hit ninth in the order for the second time this season. He has started a game this season in every batting order spot except for eighth, but he has been at his best hitting either first or second.
Description: Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi has been recalled from Triple-A Durham.
Insight: However, he's not joining the rotation this time. The team needed a fresh arm in the bullpen after Monday's 14-inning game. Odorizzi, who was acquired from Kansas City along with Wil Myers in the James Shields trade, is one of the team's top prospects, but he allowed 13 hits and nine runs in nine innings earlier this season when he was called up to join the rotation.
Description: Rays DH Luke Scott is a career 0-for-11 with five strikeouts against Boston lefty Jon Lester.
Insight: When Scott can get 400-plus at-bats, he produced 25-to-30 home runs, but injuries have shortcircuited him over the past two seasons. He does most of his damage against right-handers and this matchup should be avoided.
Description: Rays left fielder Kelly Johnson is hitless in 12 career at-bats against Boston starter Jon Lester.
Insight: The left fielder is hitting .257 with 10 homers, 37 RBI and six steals this season and is a good fantasy option when healthy. He's coming off a back injury and may not be 100 percent as he's 2-for-20 since missing a pair of games.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist is 8-for-42 (.190) against Boston left-hander Jon Lester with 17 strikeouts.
Insight: For the second straight year Zobrist has started the season without much powert - four homers. He's still a viable fantasy option batting .274 with 37 runs scored, 36 RBI. Hopefully he'll have a strong second half just as he did last season. Tuesday's matchup is not a good one.
Description: Tampa Bay has no plans to bring up top prospect Wil Myers in the next few weeks, according to beat writer Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. This conflicts with information from ESPN's Jim Bowden who thought he would be up shortly.
Insight: At the start of the season, MLB.com ranked Myers as the fourth-best prospect in baseball. He's batting .287 with 12 HR and 52 RBI for the Triple-A Durham Bulls.
Description: Rays DH Luke Scott is a career 7-for-18 with a pair of homers against Boston right-hander John Lackey.
Insight: When Scott can get 400-plus at-bats, he produced 25-to-30 home runs, but injuries have shortcircuited him over the past two seasons. He does most of his damage against right-handers and Lackey is a favorable matchup.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist hit his fourth home run of the season Sunday against the Orioles. He went 1-for-2, walked once and scored two runs.
Insight: More was expected of Zobrist from a power perspective, but fantasy owners should buy low. The utilityman also started off slow last year, hitting .199 with six home runs over his first 231 plate appearances. He batted .306 with 14 home runs in his final 437. Zobrist has not lost his batting eye -- he has a 36/31 K/BB.
Description: Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 12 hits in five innings Sunday against the Orioles and has given up 14 earned runs on 19 hits in his last seven innings.
Insight: As we said earlier this season, Moore has been due for a little regression; he carried a BABIP under .200 for much of the season and started out 8-0 with a 2.18 ERA. However, the last two starts have swung him in the other direction. He now has a 3.78 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP, but is definitely more talented than that.
Description: According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Rays left-hander David Price said he felt good Friday after throwing his first bullpen session since being placed on the DL with a triceps injury.
Insight: Price threw 38 pitches during the session and is scheduled to throw another one Monday. If he gets through Monday's bullpen without issue, he'll likely progress to a simulated game or a minor league rehab start.
Description: Tampa Bay shortstop Yunel Escobar has done well against Tigers righthander Max Scherzer.
Insight: Escobar hasn't been overly impressive this season (.245, 5 HR, 26 RBI) but fantasy owners can't ignore his strong numbers versus Scherzer (.423 lifetime average). If you've been keeping Escobar on your bench, today would be the day to start him.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday against the Tigers but didn't factor into the decision.
Insight: The Rays won the game 3-0, but all three runs came in the ninth inning. The right-hander has been fantastic this season, going 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He has a 69/17 K/BB in 75 1/3 innings.
Description: Tampa Bay lefty Matt Moore had his worst start of the season Tuesday against the Tigers.
Insight: Moore came in 8-0 with a 2.18 ERA, but he walked six and allowed seven hits and six earned runs in two innings. Moore has been due for a little regression; he came into Tuesday's start with a 4.06 BB/9, a .201 BABIP and a 4.10 FIP.
Description: Left-hander Alex Torres has been brought up on Saturday to provide bullpen depth after the team was forced to use the bullpen for eight innings on Friday night due to rain delays.
Insight: The 25-year-old Torres has been in the minors since 2006 and isn't a top prospect like Saturday's starter Chris Archer, but he has cleared up the control issues that plagued him last season. He was 5-3 with a 3.52 ERA, 1.196 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 46 innings pitched.
Description: Tampa Bay pitching prospect Chris Archer has been called up from Triple-A Durham and will start Saturday against Cleveland.
Insight: Archer is 24-years-old and has been developing in the minors since 2006. He has a 3.96 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 50 innings for the Bulls this season. He's a viable fantasy option with positive upside.
Description: Rays righthander Alex Cobb is expected to start Tuesday versus the Tigers. Cobb was scratched from Friday's start against Cleveland because of a fingernail issue. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Cobb is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in two career starts against Detroit. He's had an outstanding season so far with six wins in his first 10 games (2.66 ERA, 1.06 WHIP).
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar has a .370 career average against Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco.
Insight: Escobar is 10-for-27 with three doubles and a homer against Nolasco. The shortstop is only batting .232 this season, but that includes him going 4-for-45 (.089) over his first 13 games. Since that season-opening slump, Escobar is hitting .286 with four homers and 21 RBI in 34 games.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb's next scheduled start has been pushed back from Friday due to a cut between his nail and finger, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. It's uncertain when he will start next.
Insight: The wound started bleeding during his last start and prevented Cobb from throwing off-speed pitches during his bullpen session Wednesday. The team will start prospect Alex Colome, who was just called up Wednesday to serve as bullpen depth, Thursday and move Matt Moore to Friday.
Description: Rays starter Roberto Hernandez allowed an unearned run in the first inning but ended up tossing 8 2/3 innings and allowing just three hits in a 3-1 victory over the Marlins Wednesday night.
Insight: Miami came along at a good time for Hernandez (3-5, 4.87 ERA), as he needed a good start to keep his spot in the rotation. However, it's still the Marlins, so fantasy owners shouldn't run out and acquire Hernandez.
Description: Left-hander Alex Torres is one of two options the Rays are considering to start Friday along with Chris Archer.
Insight: The 25-year-old Torres has been in the minors since 2006 and isn't a top prospect like Archer, but he has cleared up the control issues that plagued him last season. After posting a 91/63 K/BB abd 7.30 ERA in 69 innings with Triple-A Durham in 2012, he has a 61/21 K/BB and a 3.52 ERA in 46 innings this season and should be added in most leagues if he's called up.
Description: The Rays have decided to promote Alex Colome from Triple-A Durham.
Insight: However, he'll serve as a bullpen arm rather than taking Jake Odorizzi's spot in the rotation. Colome has a 2.60 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings with Triple-A this year but he won't have fantasy value in middle relief. The team is expected to promote either Chris Archer or Alex Torres to start Saturday.
Description: Rays pitching prospect Chris Archer is one of the options the team is considering to replace Jake Odorizzi in the rotation Saturday, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Odorizzi was chosen to replace David Price (triceps) in the rotation but allowed nine runs in nine innings over two starts. Archer is 24 and has been developing in the minors since 2006. He has a 3.53 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 191career innings at Triple-A and should be added in all leagues if he is called up Saturday. The other option is 25-year-old lefty Alex Torres, who has a 3.52 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 46 innings with Triple-A Durham this season.
Description: Kelly Johnson will watch from the dugout as the Rays take on the Yankees Sunday in the series finale.
Insight: The Tampa Bay second baseman finds himself out of the lineup for the second consecutive day. Johnson singled as a pinch-hitter on Saturday and he could be used in a similar capacity on Sunday.
Description: According to the Tampa Bay Times, 2012 AL Cy Young winner David Price is unlikely to return from a triceps injury until mid-to-late June.
Insight: Price's trade value has taken a major hit thanks to this injury and the subpar 5.24 ERA he produced in his first nine starts. The Rays are probably wishing they had dealt Price during the offseason like the Mets did with their Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey.
Description: Despite another meltdown Saturday against the Yankees, Rays manager Joe Maddon says Fernando Rodney will retain his role as the team's closer.
Insight: Just because Maddon is sticking with Rodney, it doesn't mean fantasy owners have to. Milwaukee's Francisco Rodriguez could be a good option for owners looking to add a closer from the waiver wire.
Description: Fernando Rodney's nightmare season continued Saturday against New York.
Insight: Saturday was Rodney's fifth blown save of the season. He's now blown three out of his last five save opportunities with a miserable 13.50 ERA over that span. Manager Joe Maddon may want to consider using Joel Peralta in the ninth inning if Rodney's struggles continue.
Description: Rays manager Joe Maddon said the team has not even had discussions about removing Fernando Rodney from the closer role, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: After putting together one of the best seasons by a relief pitcher in major league history last year with 48 saves and a 0.60 ERA, Rodney already has blown four saves, allowed 11 earned runs and walked 17 batters in 18 1/3 innings. He blew two saves, allowed five earned runs and walked 15 batters in 74 2/3 innings last year. However, he remains the ninth-inning guy for the Rays.
Description: Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney blew his fourth save Wednesday in a loss to the Blue Jays.
Insight: The wheels are coming off for Rodney. The 36-year-old has posted a 5.40 ERA in 19 relief appearances and has now given up a run in three of his last four outings. It seemed impossible a year ago but Rodney could be close to losing his closer's job.
Description: Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson threw his first quality start since April 20 Wednesday against the Blue Jays, but Fernando Rodney blew a save in the ninth.
Insight: Hellickson had a 7.71 ERA over his previous five starts, but he went eight innings and gave up two runs on four hits Wednesday. Hellickson has posted a strand rate above of at least 80 percent in both of his two full big league seasons, but this year has stranded just 63.9 percent.
Description: Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi's next start has been pushed back to Monday, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. That means he'll get the Marlins instead of the Yankees.
Insight: Odorizzi was called up from Triple-A to take David Price's spot in the rotation while Price is on the DL with a triceps strain. In his first start of the season Odorizzi, who was acquired from the Royals in the James Shields trade, allowed five hits and three runs in his first two innings but finished up by retiring nine of 10 from innings 3-5. He should be owned in all 12-team mixed leagues.
Description: Tampa Bay catcher Jose Molina is hitless in eight at-bats versus Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Insight: Molina isn't much of an offensive threat to begin with (.221, .590 OPS) so his lack of success against Dickey shouldn't change many lineups. He's representative of the Rays' team lack of success against Dickey. Only one player on the roster has a batting average above .200 against Dickey (Kelly Johnson - .286).
Description: Rays IF/OF Ben Zobrist has a career .167 average is 21 at-bats against Orioles starter Chris Tillman.
Insight: Zobrist does have two homers against Tillman, but just three hits overall. The utilityman has struggled at the plate this year, hitting line drives at a rate of 16.7 percent, down from 21.8 percent last year, and batting .253. He also has just three homers, but he has salvaged some of his value with 11 doubles, 27 RBI and 21 walks.
Description: The Rays officially announced that prospect Jake Odorizzi will make a start Monday against the Blue Jays in place of David Price (triceps). SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Odorizzi is 4-0 with a 3.83 ERA and a 47/15 K/BB in 44 2/3 innings with Triple-A Durham this season. The other choices were Chris Archer and Alex Colome, but Odorizzi was expected to be the guy all along. He should be added in deeper mixed leagues.
Description: Rays closer Fernando Rodney had a meltdown Thursday against Boston. Despite Rodney's struggles, manager Joe Maddon says he's "not really concerned." SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Rodney gave up three runs and four walks in just two thirds of an inning. His season ERA is up to 5.28, his highest since 2003. It's only May and Rodney has already blown more saves (three) than he did all of last season (just two in 50 save chances).
Description: Rays pitching prospect Chris Archer made his scheduled start for Durham Thursday afternoon, making it likely that the team will go with Jake Odorizzi Monday to replace David Price (triceps).
Insight: Odorizzi and Archer are ranked by MLB.com as the No. 42 and 43 prospects, respectively, in baseball this season. Archer brought a 3.97 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 34 innings into Thursday's start and is someone to keep an eye on, but Odorizzi is likely the guy the team will choose to fill in for Price Monday and beyond.
Description: Rays pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi is the likely choice to replace David Price in the rotation Monday. Price was placed on the 15-day DL Thursday with a strained left triceps.
Insight: Odorizzi is 4-0 with a 3.83 ERA and a 47/15 K/BB in 44 2/3 innings with Triple-A Durham this season, while Chris Archer is on a limited pitch count after some abbreviated starts at Triple-A, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. If Archer makes his scheduled start Thursday afternoon with Durham, we'll know the team has chosen Odorizzi. Odorizzi should be added in most formats given Tampa Bay's past success with pitching prospects.
Description: Rays starter David Price has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left triceps muscle.
Insight: The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner left Wednesday's start with the injury and has a 5.24 ERA in 55 innings. His fastball velocity is down a couple ticks, so it would make sense if this injury has been lingering unbeknownst to Price or the Rays. Jake Odorizzi or Chris Archer likely will be called up to take the spot in the rotation, and both would make for good fantasy options given the Rays' past success cultivating pitching prospects.
Description: Rays manager Joe Maddon said the MRI on David Price's left triceps showed "nothing serious," according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, but the left-hander is unlikely to make his next start Monday. He'll be reevaluated Thursday.
Insight: Price hasn't ruled himself out of Monday's start. He said he'll know more Thursday when he comes to Tropicana Field and tries to play catch. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner left Wednesday's start with the injury and has a 5.24 ERA in 55 innings. His fastball velocity is down a couple ticks, so it would make sense if this injury has been lingering unbeknownst to Price or the Rays.
Description: Rays starter David Price left Wednesday's start against Boston with left triceps tightness, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Insight: Price, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, allowed four runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings and hasn't looked right all year. He has a 5.24 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP, and it wouldn't be surprising if an injury has been the cause of his struggles.
Description: Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney swatted his third home run of the season Sunday against San Diego.
Insight: Loney (.376, 3 HR, 20 RBI) is on quite a tear right now. Over his last nine games, he's hitting .412 with two homers, nine runs and seven RBI. Somehow Loney is only owned in 26 percent of ESPN leagues, though that's an 18 percent increase from last week.
Description: Although in the middle of a seven-game hitting streak, Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings is getting Friday night off.
Insight: He has raised his average from .218 to .244 during the streak. Sam Fuld (.184, no homers, 1 RBI 3 runs) should get the start, but he's done nothing to make fantasy owners put him in their starting lineup.
Description: Rays starter David Price fired eight innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits (1 BB, 8 K) Thursday against the Blue Jays.
Insight: Price, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, opposed R.A. Dickey, who won the NL Cy Young last year. Neither pitcher has lived up to expectations. Price (1-3, 5.64 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) has given up 61 hits (8 HR) and 33 earned runs in 52 2/3 innings.
Description: Astros first baseman Carlos Pena has been dreadful against Los Angeles starter Jason Vargas (.091 in 11 at bats).
Insight: The sad thing is that Pena's .230 batting average this year is a significant improvement from what he hit in 2012 (.197 in 160 games for Tampa Bay). Even when he's hitting home runs (he only has three this season), Pena's too risky to own in any fantasy leagues.
Description: Tampa Bay Rays minor league starting pitching, Alex Torres is pitching very well of late, yielding zero runs and just four hits in his last two outings, while striking out 11 and walking one batter.
Insight: Torres has a 1.69 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in six minor league starts this season. The most likely spot would be for 32-year-old Roberto Hernandez who is struggling having yielded four or more runs in four of six outings.
Description: Houston first baseman Carlos Pena is rarely a good value when facing a left-hander and his matchup history with Angels southpaw C.J. Wilson is no exception. He's just 1-for-10 with four strikeouts in their matchups.
Insight: Pena is a career .207 hitter against lefties with an OPS 134 points lower than against right-handers. Sit him on Tuesday.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar had to leave Saturday's game after being hit in the left wrist by a pitch from Rockies starter Jon Garland.
Insight: Escobar was "in obvious pain" and slammed his helmet to the ground, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. Escobar is only batting .174 with two homers, so fantasy owners won't miss him if he has to miss an extended amount of time.
Description: Rays pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi is second in the International League with 36 strikeouts in 27 innings. He also has a 3.33 ERA.
Insight: Odorizzi has been traded twice for frontline starters, going from Milwaukee to Kansas City for Zack Greinke and from Kansas City to Tampa Bay for James Shields. Chris Archer, who has a 4.06 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 31 innings, will likely get the callup before Odorizzi if the Rays need a starter.
Description: Rays first baseman James Loney's bat has come to life -- .524 over his last 42 at-bats -- but Rockies starter Jeff Francis has limited him to one hit in 17 at-bats.
Insight: The Rays briefly resurrected the career of another light-hitting first baseman Casey Kotchman in 2011, and they are doing it with Loney this year. Loney's average is up to .375 after he went 5-for-30 (.167) over his first 13 games. While he has never hit Francis or lefties in general very well, he's a solid short-term add for this weekend with right-handers Jon Garland and Tyler Chatwood starting the next two games at Coors Field.
Description: Hopefully Kelly Johnson isn't your only option at second base today. He only has one hit in 11 at bats against Royals starter Ervin Santana.
Insight: Johnson (.229, 3 HR, 9 RBI) has struck out twice or more in three out of his last four games. Oddly enough, he has also contributed at least one RBI in three of his past four outings. Do what you feel is right but this isn't a good matchup for Johnson.
Description: Houston first baseman Carlos Pena is a .326 hitter (14-for-43) against Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte with six home runs and a 1.257 OPS.
Insight: Those numbers are completely out of character for Pena who is a career .206 hitter against lefties with an OPS 136 points lower. He collected two hits on Sunday to break up a five-game hitless streak and this matchup makes him a nice play on Monday.
Description: Tampa Bay outfielder Ben Zobrist is a career .313 hitter (5-for-16) with three homers against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd.
Insight: Zobrist is hitless in his last two games and struggling so far this season, but this matchup could get him going. He is an excellent fantasy value who contributes across the board. Get him back in your lineup.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar (right hamstring) was not in Thursday's starting lineup and is doubtful for Friday's game against the Chicago White Sox.
Insight: Escobar left Wednesday's game with hamstring tightness. The shortstop is just 1-for-9 against Friday's starter Jake Peavy, so another day of rest would appear to be the best option for Tampa Bay and fantasy owners.
Description: Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria is just 1-for-9, a single, in his matchups with White Sox starter Jake Peavy.
Insight: Longoria has exactly one hit in 11 of the last 12 games, but at least he's starting to hit for power after not hitting a home run over his first 11 games. In this unfavorable matchup, however, fantasy owners should be happy if he gets one hit.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar (hamstring) is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Escobar left Wednesday's game with hamstring tightness and is day-to-day. The shortstop went 1-for-3 in the game and is 5-for-14 with two homers over his last four games. However, he's still hitting just .164.
Description: If the Tampa Bay Rays ever need to go to the minors for starting pitching, Alex Torres is doing good things for the Durham Bulls. In 16 innings, he's yielded just five hits, walked five and struck out 19 batters (1.69 ERA, 0.625 WHIP).
Insight: Unfortunately for 25-year-old left-handered Torres the Rays' starting rotation is strong and currently healthy. Barring injury he's likely to spend the entire season with the Bulls.
Description: Tampa Bay outfielder Ben Zobrist is a career .368 hitter (7-for-19) with a pair of long balls against Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte.
Insight: As expected Zobrist had a tough night on Tuesday (he's still hitless against Phil Hughes), but should rebound against Pettitte. He is an excellent fantasy value who contributes across the board. Get him back in your lineup.
Description: Tampa Bay outfielder Matt Joyce figures to get the night off with Yankees starter CC Sabathia on the hill as he's faced the left-hander six times in his career and struck out on five occasions.
Insight: Joyce has a five-game hitting streak, yet still is batting just .204. Manager Joe Maddon usually follows the numbers, therefore expect Joyce to sit for Sam Fuld.
Description: Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria is one of the few hitters who is consistently successful when facing Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia. In 39 career at-bats, Longoria is hitting .359 with five homers, nine RBI and a 1.321 OPS.
Insight: After not hitting a home run over his first 11 games, Longoria (.281, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 0.856 OPS) hit four last week and is a must start in this favorable matchup with Sabathia.
Description: Rays shortstop Hak-Ju Lee suffered torn ligaments in his left knee Saturday in a Triple-A game and is likely out for the season. SOURCE: Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: Lee was included in the trade that sent Matt Garza from the Rays to the Cubs. The South Korean grades as a tremendous defensive shortstop, and he was hitting .422 with a 9/11 K/BB and six steals in 15 games at Triple-A this season.
Description: Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson dominated the Athletics over seven innings Saturday. He gave up three hits, one walk and zero runs while striking out six.
Insight: Hellickson gave up eight runs, 13 hits and four walks while striking out three over his first 11 1/3 innings this year, but he has allowed six hits, two walks and two runs while fanning 15 batters over his last 14 innings. Hellickson doesn't put up great strikeout numbers, but he has consistently been one of the top pitchers in the league with runners on base.
Description: Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney snapped out of a 1-for-16 slump by providing three hits Wednesday in a win over Baltimore.
Insight: Loney had some fantasy intrigue a couple years ago when he played for the Dodgers but we're not counting on him to have a big year for the Rays. Since entering the league in 2006, Loney has only hit over .290 on one occasion (.331 AVG in 2007).
Description: Houston first baseman Carlos Pena, a career .234 hitter, has a lifetime .303 batting average against Oakland right-hander Bartolo Colon with three home runs and a .927 OPS. of course he's also struck out 15 of 33 times, so as always he's an all-or-nothing option.
Insight: The left-handed slugger has a career average 41 point higher against right-handers and is a viable fantasy option for Wednesday.
Description: Rays starter Roberto Hernandez is 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA and 1.39 WHIP after three starts.
Insight: He allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings Tuesday against Baltimore. His only positive is his 18 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. It shouldn't be long before we see Chris Archer.
Description: Tampa Bay outfielder Matt Joyce is a career .417 hitter with a homer and a 1.217 OPS in a dozen at-bats against Baltimore right-hander Jake Arrieta.
Insight: Joyce is struggling coming into the game, batting just .147 this season and one for his last 14 at-bats, but he did have a respectable .810 OPS against right-handers in 2012. If he's going to break out of his slump, Tuesday might be the matchup to get him started.
Description: Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Kelly Johnson is just 1-for-11 (.091) with five strikeouts against Boston starter Ryan Dempster. He has walked six times.
Insight: Johnson is off to an extremely slow start batting just .182 with a home run and two RBI. He wasn't very good last season (.225, 61 runs, 16 HR, 55 RBI, .678 OPS), but has the potential to be a 20-HR, 15-SB guy.
Description: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar has just four hits in 38 at-bats this season (.105).
Insight: Escobar went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and has 11 strikeouts on the year. Since he doesn't hit homers or steal bases, Escobar is worthless to fantasy owners when he isn't hitting for a high average, and he hasn't done that since 2011.
Description: Rays left-hander Matt Moore walked six batters in 5 1/3 innings Wednesday versus Texas but he only allowed one hit and struck out five in a 2-0 win.
Insight: Moore has started out 2-0 with a spotless ERA. He had some trouble with walks last season but trimmed those down as the season went on. Moore has some of the best swing-and-miss stuff in the big leagues and we expect him to break out in 2013.
Description: Tampa Bay starter Jeff Niemann had shoulder surgery on Wednesday. SOURCE: Marc Topkin, Tampa Bay Times
Insight: The Rays haven't given a timetable for when Niemann could return but it's very possible that he won't throw again this season. Niemann was just an insurance policy for the back of the rotation anyway so this shouldn't impact many fantasy rosters.
Description: Rays' third baseman Evan Longoria enjoys facing Texas left-hander Derek Holland off whom he's batting .409 with three homers in 22 career at-bats.
Insight: Longoria has missed 117 games over the past two seasons, but so far has played in every game this season, and is batting .370. He's yet to put up an extra base hit, however, but that could come today in this favorable matchup.
Description: According to Marc Topkin from the Tampa Bay Times, Rays pitcher Jeff Niemann is likely headed for right shoulder surgery.
Insight: If that's the case, Niemann would probably need the rest of the season to recover. He wasn't much of a fantasy option anyway and this should be good for the development of Alex Cobb and Chris Archer (currently in Triple-A) at the back end of the Rays' starting rotation.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb shut down the Indians over 7 1/3 scoreless innings Saturday. He gave up just four hits, walked three and fanned six.
Insight: Cobb had a 28/5 K/BB in 25 2/3 spring innings. The righty has struck out more than a batter per inning in his last three minor league seasons but came into 2013 with a 6.8 K/9 in 189 major league innings. Still, given the Rays' history of developing pitching prospects, we wouldn't be surprised if Cobb was a viable fantasy starter in 2013.
Description: Houston first baseman Carlos Pena is an all-or-nothing option on Saturday against Oakland starter Bartolo Colon. They have faced each other 30 times and Pena is batting .300 off of him with three homers, but he's also struck out 15 times.
Insight: The left-handed slugger has an ugly .234 career batting average, but has hit 28 or more homers in five of the last six seasons. If you can deal with the low average and high strikeouts he can help deliver the long ball and knock in runs.
Description: Rays righthander Jeff Niemann has been moved to the disabled list.
Insight: The injury is being described as "right shoulder soreness." Roberto Hernandez and Alex Cobb have both climbed ahead of Niemann on the pitching depth chart, rendering him useless in fantasy leagues even when healthy.
Description: Tampa Bay outfielder Matt Joyce sent a 3-1 Tommy Hunter offering into the seats Wednesday for his first career walk-off home run.
Insight: Joyce entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Jose Labaton in the seventh and replaced Sean Rodriguez in left field the following inning. Joyce does have an All-Star nod on his resume (2011) so he's certainly worth keeping an eye on in fantasy leagues.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist is a career .467 hitter (7-for-15) versus Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen.
Insight: Zobrist got off to a good start in the opener, blasting a two-run homer off Orioles starter Jason Hammel in the fourth inning. Despite a mediocre career batting average (.260), the multi-position Zobrist has produced very good fantasy numbers. He's averaged 88 runs, 19 HR, 82 RBI and 18 steals over the past four seasons.
Description: Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist blasted a two-run homer off Orioles starter Jason Hammel in the fourth inning of Tuesday's Opening Day matchup.
Insight: Zobrist has walked 90-plus times and hit 20-plus homers in three of the past four seasons. The 2010 season, when he hit .238 with 10 homers, seems to be an outlier. Zobrist also steals 15-20 bases and a season, scores 90-plus runs and offers eligibility at second base, shortstop and outfield, which makes him an incredibly well-rounded fantasy option.
Description: Tampa Bay CF Desmond Jennings had two hits (one double), one RBI and a steal in four at-bats Tuesday in the season opener.
Insight: After hitting .259 with 10 homers and 20 steals in 63 games as a rookie, Jennings batted just .246 with 13 homers, 31 steals and a .702 OPS in 132 games last season. He only hit .231 with a .651 OPS in the first half so getting off to a good start will help him get back to his 2011 production.
Description: Tampa Bay first baseman James Loney isn't known as a home run hitter, but he has hit three off of Baltimore starter Jason Hammel and owns a lifetime .310 batting average against him.
Insight: Loney batted just .228 this spring, but it appears the Rays are committed to him for a while. He's a lifetime .282 hitter, but his fantasy value has never been very high because of his lack of power (.758 OPS). He might be worth a flier in the opener based on his past success against Hammel.
Description: Tampa Bay DH Luke Scott's timetable for recovery could be five weeks. The Rays placed Scott on the DL earlier this weekend because of a strained calf. SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times
Insight: It originally looked like Scott would only be sidelined for two or three weeks but now that time frame seems a bit optimistic. At this stage of his career, Scott is only a bench player in fantasy.
Description: Tampa Bay DH Luke Scott (calf) could begin the season on the DL, according to the Tampa Tribune.
Insight: Scott left a minor league game after just one at-bat Friday due to ongoing tightness in his right calf. He's not someone to target in drafts but usually provides one or two useful hot streaks during the season.
Description: Rays starter Alex Cobb has 18 strikeouts, one walk and a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings this spring.
Insight: Cobb has struck out more than a batter per inning in his last three minor league seasons but has a 6.8 K/9 in 189 major league innings. Still, he's expected to have a spot in Tampa Bay's rotation and should be owned in all leagues.