Tampa Bay Rays (26 days until Opening Day)

Yesterday: Tampa Bay Rays vs Twins. Canceled due to rain. Prior to being called, Edwin Jackson pitched three scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits, striking out 1 and walking none. Jackson has now pitched 5 scoreless innings and has yet to walk a batter. Rocco Baldelli DH’s (again) going 0-2 with two flyouts.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • Joe Maddon admits that good starts in the spring are not unusual for Edwin Jackson, but he feels that Jackson is different this time. At this point it is going to take a lot for anybody to wrestle the rotation openings from Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine. [USA Today]

“Edwin’s normally had good springs. I just think the difference for me is just his demeanor on the mound. The word ‘composed’ stands out right now,” Maddon said. “We talk a lot about when a guy feels he belongs somewhere. I think he’s arriving at that point. Even the way he’s carrying himself in the clubhouse, to me, has gotten better. … I’d like to see him continue to mature in that way because this guy’s got a very, very good arm.”

  • Reid Brignac was scheduled to make his spring debut yesterday. David Price and Brian Anderson are scheduled to make their first appearances on Saturday. [Rays Report]
  • Andy Sonnanstine is battling an ear infection. [The Heater]
  • When the Rays traded for Willy Aybar, the local media thought he was the super-utility player the Rays were seeking. At the time we questioned that assumption as Aybar, a third baseman, had only limited experience at second base and had never played elsewhere. Well, it turns out the Rays super-duper-utility guy was in-house all along. Joe Maddon thinks Ben Zobrist can be that guy. [Tampa Bay Rays]

“We’re kind of breeding one with Zoey,” Maddon said. “He likes it and has embraced it. We’ll see how that goes.”

  • Shawn Riggans is hungry to get back to the big leagues. Joe Maddon sees a different more confident Riggans this spring. [Bradenton Herald]

“He’s a lot more comfortable in his own skin,” Maddon said. “He’s calmed down a little bit. I think he’s arriving at the stage where he thinks he belongs. I don’t know if he would admit this, but I think last year he was just happy to be here and in that survival mode.”

  • Jason Hammel will make the start today. Evan Longoria and Rocco Baldelli are both not in the lineup. [Rays Report]
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