Tampa Bay Rays (24 days until Opening Day)

Yesterday: Tampa Bay Rays 6, Philies 4. Akinori Iwamura and Carlos Pena went deep. James Shields started, going three innings. He allowed 6 hits and 2 runs, both on a home run. Willy Aybar came on late and played first base making only one putout. Ben Zobrist played center field for the first time, but did not make a play. He is scheduled to start in center today. Evan Longoria started at third, going 0-2 and Shawn Riggans started behind the plate going 0-2.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Rays pitchers have missed out on 8 innings of work after yesterday’s second consecutive rain shortened game. As a result, the Rays and Phillies will play what amounts to an intersquad scrimmage for 3-4 innings after today’s regularly scheduled game. Some pitchers that were originally scheduled to pitch today and tomorrow may get bumped for those that missed their turns the past two days. This includes Wade Davis and Jake McGee as well as David Price and Brian Anderson who were scheduled to make their spring debuts tomorrow. [St. Pete Times]
  • Scott Kazmir may be ready to go on opening day after all. After watching Kid K throw yesterday, Joe Maddon thinks Kaz can pitch in a spring game by the end of next week and that would have him back on schedule to be ready for opening day. If Kaz does make the opening day start we expect he will be limited to 80-90 pitches. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Joe Maddon is starting to see his lineup take shape as he longs for the day when he can use the same lineup every game. The top four spots in the lineup appear to be set, as are the last two. The 5-7 spots are still up in the air and will be filled by the right fielder, third base and DH. [Tampa Bay Rays]
  • Troy Percival worked a perfect fourth inning yesterday in his first live spring action. He is only expected to make 7-8 more appearances. Percy explains why he does not need very much work in the spring. [Bradenton Herald]

“When I was younger, it was more mandated to me, and I wanted to throw more, but then I found, ‘You know what? I’m ready,’ ” he said. “It takes me usually three innings before my mechanics start coming around, and then I started giving a little more effort. Then it takes me two more innings before my mechanics get dialed in at 100 percent. Then I like one or two more innings, and I’m ready to go.”

  • Brittany Ghiroli takes a closer look at Reid Brignac and John Jaso. Brignac modified his throwing mechanics prior to the 2007 season which led to only three errors in his final 43 games at AA Montgomery. Jaso feels his bat is progressing fine, he just feels he needs to improve and develop more as a catcher. [MLB]
  • The relief pitchers will have a new spot to hang out in during games this year at the Trop. The Rays consulted several of their relief pitchers on the changes. [Tampa Bay Rays]
  • The Bradenton Herald profiles Shawn Riggans. We love that Diesel was once fired for drag racing cars that he was valet parking. [Bradenton Herald]
  • Chris Mason was excused from camp for a family emergency. He is expected back today. [Rays Report]
  • Bleacher Report previews the AL East and predicts the Red Sox will run away with the division. Of course, that is like predicting the sun will come up tomorrow. [Bleacher Report]
  • Joe Posnanski previews the AL East…in Haiku. [Joe Posnanski]
  • Rays Anatomy follows suit with their own Haikus for each member of the Rays. [Rays Anatomy]
  • Opponents of the Rays new stadium claim that to recent articles have tainted the bidding process for the redevelopment of Tropicana Field by suggesting that the Hines Group has already secured the bid…You mean journalists sometimes jump to conclusions that are not based on fact? We are shocked. [Tampa Tribune]
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