- Moral victory last night. The Rays were losing the entire game so the ‘pen did not blow the lead.
- We never gave Brian Stokes much of a chance to win the fifth spot in the rotation and…what? We had Stokes in the rotation’s 5th spot earlier this week? Never happened. Well Papa Joe Maddon made it official yesterday and Stokes is headed to the bullpen. What we didn’t expect was that Stokes is now a candidate to be the team’s closer. There are worse options. *cough, cough* Seth McClung *cough, cough*
- The second round of pink slips were handed out yesterday. No real big surprises on the list except possibly Jason Hammel. We knew Hammel was a long shot for the 5th spot in the rotation, but we thought he would be given more of a chance. In two appearances he allowed one run on four hits in three innings. The roster now stands at 42, with 17 more cuts to come.
- In theory, the fight for the final spot is now down to four, including Edwin Jackson, J. P. Howell, Jae-Kuk Ryu and Tim Corcoran. We still think the team has Corky pegged as a reliever and spot starter, so now we are down to three.
- The Peter Gammons love-fest continues here at RI. Gammons once again he throws some affection towards the Rays in his column “Ten spring questions left to answer“. Question #8 was to wonder aloud how all of the young talented players would eventually fit together. He states that the Rays could be the most fun team to watch of all the second-tier teams in baseball…He refers to the Rays outfield and says that Elijah Dukes may be the most talented of the group. Gammons also hints that the Rays are so impressed by the slimmed-down Joel Guzman that they may be reconsidering Akinori Iwamura’s roll with the team…We understand that Guzman is a good fielder, but so is Muu-Rah, and while Iwamura is struggling at the plate, Guzman is only hitting .150. Muu-Rah will be the opening day third baseman. But at some point, if Guzman can find consistency with the bat, Iwamura may be headed to second base. 2008?
- When we first heard that Joe Maddon was considering Al Reyes for the closer position, we were worried about putting that much pressure on his arm so soon after Tommy John surgery. Then we hear that Maddon is worried about pitching him on back-to-back nights. In that case, closer might be his best option on the Rays. Think about it, how often will the Rays being leading in the ninth on consecutive nights?
- The guys over at armchairgm have their Rays preview up.