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Rays, Astros lineups for Game 1

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The first of our four games today involves the Rays of Tampa Bay and the Astros of Houston.

The Rays have changed things up a good bit from their Wild Card win over Oakland. Out is Avisaíl García, Wednesday’s right fielder. Austin Meadows takes right, Tommy Pham moves from DH to left, Yandy Díaz moves from first base to DH and Ji-Man Choi takes over at first. Got all that? Good:

1. Austin Meadows (L) RF
2. Tommy Pham (R) LF
3. Ji-Man Choi (L) 1B
4. Yandy Diaz (R) DH
5. Brandon Lowe (L) 2B
6. Travis d'Arnaud (R) C
7. Joey Wendle (L) 3B
8. Kevin Kiermaier (L) CF
9. Willy Adames (R) SS

P: Tyler Glasnow

 

The Astros are, well, the Astros. You’ve seen them enough the past few seasons that I don’t feel like any of this should shock you:

1. George Springer (R) CF
2. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
5. Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
6. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
7. Carlos Correa (R) SS
8. Robinson Chirinos (R) C
9. Josh Reddick (L) RF

P: Justin Verlander

Exactly what you’d expect, of course. The Astros are a blunt instrument. They are not going to try to trick ya.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.