Thursday, May 04, 2006

Aubrey Huff, Julio Lugo Return Squeezes Play Time

The return from the DL of 3B/OF Aubrey Huff and SS Julio Lugo, both of whom should be back in Tampa Bay's lineup this week, will force the Devil Rays to make two relatively inconsequential roster moves, but sets the stage for the benching of several players with the later return of 2B Jorge Cantu and OF Rocco Baldelli. First to lose playing time will be utility man Tomas Perez, then underachieving 3B Sean Burroughs. No big deal. But when Baldelli comes back, either 3B/OF Ty Wigginton, hitting .271 with eight homers, or Damon Hollins, hitting .284 with four homers, may be forced to languish on the bench. The situation emphasizes that the team remains committed to trading Huff, who is in the final year of a $6.5 million annual contract.