Sternberg confident in Tampa Bay's depth

Sternberg confident in Tampa Bay's depth

ST. PETERSBURG -- With 10 Rays on the disabled list, some fans may find it hard to be optimistic about the current state of the team. Tampa Bay principal owner Stuart Sternberg is not one of those people.

The team's managing general partner since 2005 spoke before Wednesday's series finale against the Blue Jays, reaffirming his confidence in the players and coaches.

"I like our position where we are right now, the outcome has been great," Sternberg said. "The nice thing is we've got 35 or more able, excellent Major League ballplayers. How many teams can say that?"

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon featured another unusual lineup that has first baseman Carlos Pena leading off for the second consecutive day and third baseman Drew Sutton, who was acquired by the Rays on Sunday, batting fourth. Rich Thompson batted ninth, and utility men Ben Zobrist and Sean Rodriguez got the day off.

Sternberg said he's comfortable with the team's ability to plug in a player on any given day.

"The guys we have seem to be proficient at maybe moving a runner along, stealing a base, making a decent play," Sternberg said. "You just want them to hold down the fort during the game, and then, when the opportunity arises, do something special."