Devil Rays 6, Tigers 5.
If someone would have approached us and said “would you sign for being tied with the Yankees after 49 games?” We would have been idiots to say ‘no’, yet somehow being tied with the Yankees and 13.5 games behind the Pink Hats is not so fulfilling right now. Still, considering the Rays only have 2 starting pitchers. Not at all terrible.

Last night Edwin Jackson once again teased us into thinking that the Rays may already have a 3rd pitcher at the major league level. There is no doubt that Jackson has an incredible arm and we have to keep reminding ourselves that he is still only 23. But we can’t ignore a 7.12 ERA and only 43 innings in 9 starts (4.2 innings per start). So he remains a bit of an enigma. A project that could be great once molded or he may never “get it”.

One only need to look at last night’s second inning to summarize Jackson’s entire career. The inning started with 3 straight singles to load the bases. Jackson then gave up a fourth straight hit, that drives in 2. On the play, an errant throw from Carl Crawford to home, somehow missed Jackson’s glove as he backed up the play, and struck him in the face. After that play, Jackson settled down and struck out the next three hitters, the last two on 6 pitches. So, in the span of one inning, Jackson struck out 3 batters, failed to catch a throw from Crawford and got struck in the cheek, allowed 4 hits and 2 runs. He looked great. He looked awful. He looked stupid. All in the span of one half inning. Folks…We introduce you to, Edwin Jackson.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Finally, the Rays may be ready to shake up the rotation, although nothing is official yet. Jae Seo was moved to the bullpen so that Edwin Jackson could pitch for the first time in 10 days last night. The Rays will not need a 5th starter until next Tuesday and the Joe Maddon made it clear that Seo is not guaranteed to make that start. Andy Sonnanstine will be on regular rest for that Tuesday game, although with a weeks notice, it shouldn’t be too difficult to shuffle the Durham rotation for Jeff Niemann to make the start.
  • Well, we thought that Jorge Cantu would be the first player sent down when Akinori Iwamura was activated and that Jonny Gomes would be demoted upon Rocco Baldelli’s return. Looks like we got the order wrong as Gomes was sent down yesterday. Both players have struggled offensively, so Cantu’s defensive flexibility (and we use that term very loosely) gave him the edge over Gomes.
  • Jorge Cantu made it clear that another demotion would lead to another trade demand.
  • How does Jorge Cantu not make the list of least attractive baseball players?
  • Stuart Sternberg made indicated that Elijah Dukes could still be released. That is about as likely to happen as the Rays winning the division this season. Read: Not very likely.
  • Gary Sheffield has a close connection to Elijah Dukes that extends beyond Hillsborough High. Sheff believes he can help Dukes, but he is not reaching out to him at this time.
  • Scott Kazmir moved from one side of the rubber to the other and results on Sunday were impressive. After throwing 15 of his first 30 pitches out of the strike zone, he settled down and 52 of the next 77 were strikes.
  • The Devil Rays slip a spot in SI.com’s latest power rankings. They are now #25.
  • Awww, how cute. A list of the “cutest” first names in baseball. Which one would make the best baby name? Here is your chance to vote for Ty Wigginton.
  • Carl Crawford is 4 hits shy of tying Aubrey Huff for the most hits in team history (870).
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2 Comments

  1. 3RunHomer says:

    Take a look at the stats from Durham for May and you'll see that it's unlikely that Niemann gets the call. Sonnestine, Howell and Hammel are the ones pitching well. I'm hoping that all 3 are promoted in June. The beginning of a new era in Rays baseball!

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  2. The Professor says:

    One thing to keep in mind is that numbers dont always tell the story. When a pitcher is developing and especially when he is close to the majors teams ask the pitchers to work on one or two specific things. For example, we dont know if the Rays have asked Niemann to throw more breaking pitches than normal so gets some extra work with it. in doing so, he may throw a certain pitch in a certain situation that he normally wouldnt. Or he might be asked to throw a certain pitch X number of times in a game just to work on it even though he would normally throw it a lot less.

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