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Rays plan to start their attack with Logan Forsythe hitting leadoff

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It isn’t Murderer’s Row, but the Tampa Bay Rays expect to have a little more thump in their batting order.

Perhaps that’s why they are talking about Logan Forsythe, last year’s No. 5 hitter, now batting leadoff.

The Rays have increased their power in the middle of the order, which promises to make this Rays’ team a little more potent than before.

After Forsythe, the Rays (against righties) will bat Logan Morrison (17 home runs last year), Evan Longoria (21), and Corey Dickerson (10 in an injury-plagued season). Desmond Jennings will follow, ahead of shortstop Brad Miller, Steven Souza Jr. and Kevin Keirmaier. The catcher (expected to be Curt Casali) will follow.

Against lefties, Brandon Guyer will bat second, Steve Pearce fourth and, sometimes, Tim Beckham ahead of Miller.

“We’ve got more thump at the top, and then we’ve got some speed toward the back end of the lineup,” manager Kevin Cash said.

The Rays open their season Sunday against the Blue Jays at 4:05 p.m.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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