<
>

D-Rays promote prized prospect Upton

ST. PETERBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays called up
shortstop B.J. Upton from Triple-A Durham on Sunday.

The Devil Rays' first round draft pick in 2002, Upton hit .311
with 12 homers and 36 RBI in 69 games with Durham. He started the
season at Double-A Montgomery.

"Obviously he's a talented kid," Tampa Bay manager Lou
Piniella said. "With experience, he's going to get nothing but
better."

Upton did not play Sunday. He might DH for a couple games before
making his first start at short.

"I had no clue. The Triple-A manager surprised me," Upton said
of the move. "It's something I have been looking forward to."

Current starting shortstop Julio Lugo will move to second base.

"I can't control whatever they do," Lugo said. "There's
nothing I can do. I just want to go out and play good."

Tampa Bay general manager Chuck LaMar said Saturday he would
like to work on a long-term deal with Lugo, who's contract expires
after this season.

"If they do, I have an agent," Lugo said. "They can call him
up and talk. If somebody doesn't want me, there are other teams out
there."

Lugo and Piniella talked about the position change before
Sunday's 5-3 win over Toronto.

"This has nothing to do at all with the way that Julio has been
playing at shortstop," Piniella said. "We've been very pleased.
We're asking Julio to do this. So it's an adjustment for Julio,
too. It just so happens that this is where this young man (Upton)
plays."

Tampa Bay also recalled utilityman Damian Rolls from Durham and
optioned infielder Jorge Cantu and outfielder Joey Gathright to
Durham.