Devil Rays 4, Royals 2.
Carlos Pena was 3-3 and hit his 12th home run and his 56th catwalk. How good has Pena been this season?
- Of the 12 players in the AL with at least 11 home runs, Pena’s 131 at bats are at least 56 fewer than any other player.
- He also raised his batting average to .313 which is 70 points higher than his career average coming into this season.
- His .641 SLG and 1.017 OPS would each be good for 2nd in the AL if he had enough at bats to qualify (Maglio Ordonez leads with .681/1.117)
- If Pena had just 190 at bats (many players are already over 200), he projects to 45 RBI, which would be tied for 6th in the AL.
As a side note…Pena has played in the majors for parts of 7 seasons. However, we dusted off our abacus and it looks like his service time was only 4 years heading into 2007 since he has spent much of those seven seasons in the minors (a player is a free agent after 6 years of ML service). If we are reading this right, and we like to think we are, Pena is only arbitration eligible at the end of the year and will not be a free agent unless the Rays fail to offer arbitration. Has anybody heard any differently?
As for James Shields…Well, James the Greater justs keeps on truckin’. Shields moves to 5-0 on the year. Only Josh Beckett in the AL has more wins without a loss. Another outing in which he pitches into the 8th inning. Only 4 hits and 1 walks. He did allow 2 more home runs, which gives him 11 on the season. That is tied for 9th in the majors. However, 5 of those came in his first 3 starts of the season. James the Greater.
Of course the big news today is that Andy Sonnanstine will make his major league debut tonight in Toronto and Thursday the Rays may add a future ace to their already deep pitching pool in the MLB draft. We will have more on the draft later, but tonight all eyes will be on the tele. The rotation is finally starting to come around. We know it is still early for JP Howell, but after one start he has given us hope that the Rays can send out a pitcher with a good chance of winning 3 out of 5 days. Can Sonny make it 4 of 5? We might be able to tolerate another month or two of “Edwin Jackson Development” if he was the only hole in the donut.
Looks like we are going to have a busy day around this here internets, so come back early and often.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- How do you know when you spend too much time neck-deep in all things Devil Rays? When THIS title scares the hell out of you. Too make ammends we are now running to the bathroom with a Maxim magazine.
- No surprise here. Akinori Iwamura will not make the trip to Toronto but should be ready to join the team in Miami when the Rays face the Marlins.
- The Crime Dog played first base for the Devil Rays. Is Carlos Pena El Gato del Crimen…The Crime Cat?
- Shawn Riggans just can’t catch a break (Like what we did there? Aren’t we clever). Riggans was placed on the 15-day DL and the Rays with Josh Paul already on the 60-day DL, were forced to add Raul Casanova to the 40-man roster and promote him to the Rays. To make room, Chris Seddon of Montgomery was designated for assignment.
- Carl Crawford has now tied Aubrey Huff for the franchise record for most hits (870). Fittingly, he did it with a triple.
- Akinori Iwamura is back with the latest installment of his diary. Not often the sentimental types, but we think it is pretty cool that in his first year in the US, Aki’s wife is pregnant and the baby is due on July 4.