Tampa Bay Rays (6 days until Opening Day)
Yesterday: Tampa Bay Rays 13, Pirates 4.
The Good: Holy Schnikey! Edwin Jackson made 31 starts in 2007. Want to take a guess how many times he worked at least 7 innings? Take your time…Hint: You will only need one hand…That is missing three fingers…TWO TIMES. Then again, he posted a sub-2.00 ERA in the spring last year also. Yesterday Jackson pitched 7(!) innings giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 2…Eric Hinske was 2-3 with a long home run to straight away center into the wind. He added a stolen base just to rub it in the face of the other players that hold out hope for the 4th outfielder job…Reid Brignac hit his first spring home run just before he was demoted…As a team the Rays collected 17 hits and 2 walks.
The Bad: In our best effort to always find something bad about an Edwin Jackson start, he did throw a wild pitch. So take that and stick it in your pocket and smoke it…Scott Dohmann pitched 1 inning. He allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and hit a batter.
The Telling: The two pitchers battling for the final bullpen spot, Grant Balfour and Scott Dohmann each pitched 1 inning with a job on the line. Dohman was knocked around while Balfour only allowed one base runner (via walk) in his 1 inning of work…Shawn Riggans got the start and worked the first seven innings showing he is healthy and ready for the regular season…
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- If you haven’t had a chance to vote in this week’s “Rays Confidence Survey”, you can do so right HERE. [Rays Index]
- And in case you missed it yesterday, the RAYSHEAD ARMY is now on Facebook. [Rays Index]
- In keeping with yesterday’s 25-man roster projection, we have also updated the 40-man roster projection in the sidebar. And the CorkBoard, which is updated at least once a week, will start seeing proper minor league assignments as soon as they are made public.
- David Price will be out 6 weeks with a muscle strain in his elbow. [Tampa Bay Rays]
- USA Today takes a look a the newest First Family of Baseball…The Uptons. BJ Upton’s dad, Bossman Senior, notes the family secret to getting two sons into the major leagues. [USA Today]
“I’d say discipline, keeping them in the church and making sure they had that fear of Mom,” says Manny Upton, a four-sport athlete in high school who works for a mortgage company and came to Arizona in game shape, having just officiated an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game in California…”I’d just give them that ‘Mom’ look, and they’d straighten up,” laughs Yvonne, retired after 25 years of teaching health and physical education. “But when it came to baseball, it was Dad. He won’t say so, but he put in so much time with both those boys when it came to fundamentals.”
- Elliot Johnson will get a start at shortstop today for the first time to see if he can handle being the backup shortstop for the first week of the regular season. The final bench spot will come down to Johnson or Andy Cannizaro. [Tampa Tribune]
- Ben Zobrist, Chad Orvella and Kurt Birkins are all going to start the season on the DL. [The Heater]
- Oh yeah…On of the Rays other top prospects was demoted yesterday. Reid Brignac, unlike Evan Longoria probably won’t be back anytime soon. A good summer though could lead to a cup-o-coffee in September. [Tampa Bay Rays]
- Baseball Musings has their 2008 AL East Preview up. The Rays are predicted to finish 4th but David Pinto notes that if everything breaks right, the Rays have a chance to finish on top. [Baseball Musings]
- Outs Per Swing has had enough of Edwin Jackson and doesn’t care if he goes someplace and is successful…On a lot of days we agree. [Outs Per Swing]
- Sports Indeed found Shirley Duncan’s long-lost twin. [Sports Indeed]
- Carlos Pena received the Paul C. Smith Champion Award for the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field. [Tampa Bay Rays]