Maddon Not Quite Ready to Name No. 1

James Shields started for the Rays Sunday, went out and threw 50 pitches, allowed no runs, then called it a day after 2 2/3 innings. Naming the right-hander as the Opening Day starter appears to be a mere formality for Joe Maddon, but the Rays manager just hasn’t gotten around to doing so yet. Here is his explanation:

“No, there’s no reason, but I haven’t done it yet. What I need to do honestly, I’ve been so locked in, I need to talk to the pitchers first.  I like to talk to them first and let them know before it gets out. I’ve just been busy with other things. I’ve been more the offensive coach this spring.”

Maddon went on to explain that new hitting coach Derek Shelton and he have spent a lot of time implementing an approach to hitting that will be the Rays way and for use on the Major League and Minor League levels.

–Bill Chastain

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