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Fuld ready to contribute off bench


PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- If the Rays began the season today, the outfield would see Matt Joyce in left field, Desmond Jennings in center and Ben Zobrist in right.

Sam Fuld would be on the bench serving as the fourth outfielder and ready for pinch-hitting or pinch-running duties. Fuld is comfortable in a role of contributing off the bench.

"That's kind of the beauty of it," Fuld said. "You're going to be involved in the game no matter what. We'd all like to be starting a lot, but [manager] Joe [Maddon], that's one of his best characteristics, is his ability to keep everybody engaged and keep everybody active in the game and feel like they have an important role on the team."

Fuld, who has been with Tampa Bay since 2011, is confident that the organization's front office has the team headed in the right direction.

"First of all, it's tough to lose the guys that we lost," Fuld said. "That's a big hit, there's no doubt about that. In some ways, it's reminiscent of two years ago when I came over here as a newcomer and all the talk was there was this huge amount of turnover, and we lost [Carl] Crawford, [Carlos] Pena, [Jason] Bartlett and [Matt] Garza -- all these big names, and at the end of the year we were in the playoffs. At this point, you can't help but just have a ton of faith in the front office and the moves that they make."

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