• Last year the Rays struggled in a number of areas on their way to 101 losses. Let’s take a look at how those struggles have translated to the first few games of the Spring.
    1. Bullpen blows leads? Check
    2. Starting pitchers throw too many pitches keeping them from working deep in games? Check
    3. Offensive struggles? Check
Well at least the defense has played better…What was that? Six errors yesterday? All-time team record for Spring Training or regular season? Nevermind.
  • Jae-Kuk Ryu may have taken an early lead in the fight for the 5th spot in the rotation surrendering only a single in two shutout innings against the Jays.
  • Papa Joe Maddon says that Shawn Riggans can “absolutely make the team” as the backup catcher. We assume by “absolutely” he means “if Rigo can hit .600 with 10 home runs in Spring Training and Josh Paul loses two limbs.” The starting catcher for the Rays is only 23 years old. A team with such a young pitching staff and a young catcher can only benefit from having a veteran backup catcher. The pitchers will learn more. Dioner Navarro will learn more. Paul is not the biggest threat with the stick off the bench but he is serviceable and when Navarro needs rest it will benefit the team to have a veteran in his place.
  • Papa Joe is infatuated with the defensive skills of Joel Guzman if not so much in love with his bat. The indication is that his days in the outfield are probably over and if Guzman can ever lose the gigantic holes in his swing and develop some more bat speed, his future in the majors is probably at third base.
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