Devil Rays 9, Marlins 4. It is all about winning series. Find a way to win 2 of 3 every time out. The win yesterday gave the Rays their second straight series win and both were highly improbable. After losing the opening game of each series with bullpen melt-downs of historic proportions, the Rays bounced back to win the final two games of both match-ups (Did you realize that the Rays are two nuclear melt-downs away from an 8-game winning streak?).
Yesterday it was Andy Sonnanstine to the rescue with his first major league win. Sonny will never be an ace and some nights he will get knocked around pretty good, but he is very capable of performances like Sunday. We just need to wait and see how often we see a performance like Sunday’s. If that turns out to be the rule more than the exception, Sonny will be a legitimate #3 or #4 starter in the Rays rotation for years to come. Still, at this point, just the fact that he is capable of a start like this is an indication that he is a far better option than Jae Seo or Casey Fossum ever were.
Before Sonnanstine was promoted, we heard that it was difficult to compare Sonnanstine to any major leaguers because of the accuracy and the movement of the pitches and the different arm angles. The most common name we head was a poor-man’s Greg Maddux. After his first start, we thought Paul Byrd was a more accurate representation. That is to say that he is a crafty right hander. Rare indeed. But Sonny throws much harder than Byrd, who rarely breaks 85 nowadays. So is there another player we can come up with? Well, we were watching the Marlins broadcast of yesterday’s game and the announcers tossed out a third name which we had not thought of before. Orlando Hernandez…We like it. El Duque is the only other pitcher that we have ever seen that uses as many different arm angles. Also, it seems as if El Duque has never thrown a straight pitch in his life. So, if Hernandez is 58 years old as rumored, is Andy Sonnanstine the second coming? Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez…Andy “The Duke” Sonnastine? Only time will tell, but we must admit The Duke is fun to watch pitch.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Andy Sonnanstine set a Devil Rays team record with 7 straight strike outs on Sunday.
- The Devil Rays had no choice but to shake up the bullpen, if for anything just to send a message to the rest of the team. On Sunday Chad Orvella and Tim Corcoran were optioned back to Durham.
- Buster Olney gives us a Q&A with James Shields. The interview is hidden behind the walls of ESPN’s “Insider”.
- Rocco Baldelli participated in an extended spring training game on Saturday. He is likely to play in four more before the team decides whether to activate Baldelli or send him on a rehab assignment.
- OK, maybe not the best reliever, but is Josh Wilson the second best?
- Maybe not, but we do like THIS SUGGESTION of making the rest of the staff watch the video of Josh Wilson’s performance. Maybe Joe Maddon could lock them in a room with the one inning on loop.
- Al Reyes and James Shields have much better chances to make the All-Star roster as pitchers than BJ Upton or Carl Crawford do as position players.
- Josh Vitters is NOT as good as Alex Rodriguez was in high school. So to compare the choice of David Price over Vitters as the same decision the Mariners made when they picked A-Rod over Darren Dreifort is ridiculous.
- According to Scott Kendrick the Devil Rays made a mistake by drafting the college pitcher over the high school hitter. He notes that the best #1 overall picks have been high school position players, pointing out the lack of a success among pitchers selected at the top of the draft. So, according to Kendrick, college pitchers should NEVER be drafted or David Price had a better chance of a solid major league career if he was drafted #2 or even in the 36th round. Neither makes sense. Mr. Kendrick…what we have here is what smart people call a “very small sample size”. Some pitchers succeed. A lot don’t. Whether or not a pitcher is going to be great has nothing to do with where he is drafted. It depends on the player and the team that drafts him. Maybe the position player is “safer” but hitters don’t win championships. Pitchers do.
- Based on the Rays drafting history only 2 or 3 of the 50 players selected will ever appear in a major league game.
- The Washington Nationals are reportedly pursuing Elijah Dukes.
- MLB Trade Rumors indicates that the Twins may be interested in acquiring Ty Wigginton. With the emergence of both BJ Upton, and Carlos Pena, this move makes sense.
- Off day today with an intriguing match-up tomorrow as the Padres come to town and will send out Greg Maddux against Scott Kazmir.