Zobrist back at shortstop for second straight game

Zobrist back at shortstop for second straight game

MINNEAPOLIS -- Before Thursday, Ben Zobrist hadn't started at shortstop since 2009. Now he's starting there for the second day in a row.

Rays manager Joe Maddon slotted Zobrist as his starting shortstop for Friday's series opener against the Twins, the continuation of what he called an "interesting experiment."

Maddon said he's more likely to pencil Zobrist in at that spot when flyball pitchers like Matt Moore and Friday's starter Jeremy Hellickson are on the mound.

"I wanted to take a shot because I wanted to see what it looks like," Maddon said. "It's something moving forward that could be very beneficial for us if it actually works out that way, with Luke [Scott] coming back, and hopefully [Evan] Longoria will be able to play third base -- which also creates another cool little wrinkle."

Zobrist, who is hitting .253 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs, spent most of his first two seasons with Tampa Bay at shortstop.

"He's really comfortable [playing shortstop]," Maddon said. "Zo will let you know fast if he's not liking something. He's all for it. It probably takes him back to the day.

"He's been all for it, man. There's been no hesitation on his part."