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Brandon Belt (L) Headshot

Belt is not in the lineup Thursday against the Braves, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Despite riding a four-game hitting streak, Belt is batting just .179 (4-for-31) over his last eight games, so he'll head to the bench to clear his head. Buster Posey will take over for him at first base while Nick Hundley gets the start behind the dish.
4:16 pm (EST)
Mallex Smith (L) Headshot

Smith went 2-for-5 with an RBI single and a stolen base in Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Reds.

The speedy leadoff man extended the Rays' lead to 3-0 with his fourth-inning single, giving him a hit in all 12 of the games he's participated in during his current stint with the club. Smith has racked up six multi-hit efforts during that span while boasting a stellar .396/.442/.521 and .414 wOBA over 52 plate appearances.
4:15 pm (EST)
Denard Span (L) Headshot

Span is out of the lineup for Thursday's series finale against Atlanta, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Span earns a day off after starting the past four games in center, including a 3-for-5 day with a triple and one run scored during Wednesday's contest. In his place, Gorkys Hernandez will get the start while batting eighth.
4:14 pm (EST)
Dwight King Headshot

King will be let go by the Canadiens, the team announced Thursday.

King was brought in via trade at the deadline last season in an attempt to add some toughness to the Habs' lineup. It seems the organizaiton is going to go in a different direction and will not retain the 27-year-old's services. The winger managed just one lone goal in 17 outings with Montreal, not exactly the numbers it was looking for out of him.
4:12 pm (EST)
Chase Whitley (R) Headshot

Whitley notched his second save in Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Reds, firing 1.2 scoreless innings and recording a strikeout.

Whitley was locked in, ringing up five outs on just 14 pitches, 12 of which he threw for strikes. The 28-year-old right-hander maintains a solid 2.81 ERA and 0.94 WHIP, although he had surrendered at least one earned run in three of the five outings prior to his current two-appearance scoreless streak. Despite the occasional hiccup, Whitley has proven to be a versatile, multi-inning option for manager Kevin Cash, logging five holds, two victories and a pair of saves in as many chances.
4:07 pm (EST)
Brian Flynn Headshot

Flynn will not be offered a new contract by the Canadiens.

Flynn played in just 51 contests this past season and registered a mere 10 points. After back-to-back seasons in which he played fewer than 60 games, the 28-year-old will have to look elsewhere to extend his career. Even if the 28-year-old can land a spot on another club -- something that is by no means a lock -- he probably won't offer much in terms of fantasy value.
4:07 pm (EST)
Danny Espinosa (B) Headshot

Espinosa will get a day off Thursday, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports.

Espinosa currently has a six-game hit streak going, but takes the day off Thursday in favor of Cliff Pennington at second base. On the year, Espinosa is hitting just .176/.247/.307 with six home runs and 27 RBI, but due to Pennington's lack of production, will continue to get a majority of starts at the keystone.
4:05 pm (EST)
Taylor Featherston (R) Headshot

Featherston went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in Wednesday's 8-3 win over the Reds.

Featherston is parlaying his current opportunity with the Rays into some decent production, as he's now slashing .273/.346/.591 and has hit safely in five of his last seven games. The 27-year-old's stint with the big-league club could be fairly lengthy one if he can continue offering serviceable production, as Matt Duffy (heel) remains without a clear timetable for return.
4:02 pm (EST)
Bradley Zimmer (L) Headshot

Zimmer is out of the lineup Thursday.

After going 2-for-4 with two runs during Wednesday's affair with the Orioles, Zimmer will take a seat for the final game of the series. Erik Gonzalez fills in at left field while batting eighth.
4:01 pm (EST)
Ariel Hernandez (R) Headshot

After a perfect eighth inning Wednesday, Hernandez has retired all 14 batters that he's faced so far this season.

Hernandez has been hard to hit both in the majors on the minors, but in 33 innings at Double-A Pensacola he has walked 20 batters, suggesting that despite his great debut, there's still more refining necessary. Nonetheless, he has a live enough arm that it's not hard to project he could be helpful in a late-inning relief role.
4:00 pm (EST)
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