- The Rays fell to Cleveland 4-3. You can tell that Joe Maddon wants his pitchers working deeper in games this year. For the second time this week a starting pitcher worked 7 innings, a rare sight in spring training. This time it was James Shields, who gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk. He struck out 7. Jorge Cantu had his first home run of the spring and Elijah Dukes doubled home the other run.
- Dioner Navarro was scratched from yesterday’s game which is not good news. Navarro has had hamstring problems in the past. The Rays may be better served to put him on the shelf for two weeks and make sure he is 100%. Carl Crawford was also a late scratch from Monda’s lineup although his injury appears to be less threatening at this point.
- Speaking of injuries, Wade Townsend pitched in a minor league game for the Rays yesterday. You remember Townsend, right? He was the Rays top pick in 2005 and then after 12 unimpressive outings, he threw out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. He missed all of 2005. He is 24 now and scheduled to pitch all season at single-A Columbus.
- B. J. Upton is playing more relaxed this season and it is probably going to translate into a position on the opening day roster. Now the question is will he be relaxed enough to duplicate something similar to his 2005 numbers at Durham?
- In 2006 Delmon Young drew one walk in 126 plate appearances with the Rays. That would normally be a red flag for a prospect. Young isn’t worried, and believes the walks will come when pitchers learn to fear what he can do with strikes. We are big believers in plate discipline for young hitters, but with Young, it won’t be a problem. For the record, Young has 2 walks in 62 plate appearances this spring.
- Al Reyes has no regrets and is just happy to be back, even if he is old enough to have fathered half his teammates.
- The Curse of LaMar-Naimoli.