Tampa Bay Rays (Opening Day)


  • Obligatory Public Service Announcement: We will be hosting the 2nd Annual Opening Day Tampa Bay Rays Live Blog TODAY here at RI. So feel free to stop by and join in on the shenanigans as participation is certainly welcome.
  • We have once again updated the CorkBoard full organizational depth chart. If you want a sense of the depth of starting pitching in the Rays organization just take a look at the rotations of Montgomery and Vero Beach. They are a who’s who of top pitching prospects. [Rays Index]
  • In a big “oh thank you lord” announcement, the team reported that Scott Kazmir threw 37 pitches off the mound yesterday (all fastballs) and reported no problems. No word yet when he will make an appearance in a rehab start or in extended spring training. [MLB]
  • Stacy Long talked to Jeff Niemann about how he handles airline travel with his 6’9″ frame. [Riverwalk Talk]
  • Joe Maddon continues to emphasize the importance of playing consistent and with strong fundamentals. Marc Topkin says it is time to put those words to the test. [St. Pete Times]
  • Joe Henderson says that Joe Maddon is the guy for the Rays. We disagree with Henderson’s assessment that “[Maddon’s lack of public outbursts of anger towards players] seems to bother some fans, who apparently believe such behavior reveals a lack of macho or something.”…It is not that the fans want Maddon to be macho. Fans just want to know that the player and front office and the manager cares as much about the team as the fans do. They want to know that when they (they fans) are hurting, the players, coaches and front office are also hurting. Most fans understand that such public outbursts don’t have much of an effect on the team, but it helps reassure the fans that it bothers the players and coaches and front office when the team loses 90+ games. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Roger Mooney of the Bradenton Herald. King of the one-sentence paragraph. Lost among all of his half-thoughts is the idea that optimism is really high for the Rays. [Bradenton Herald]
  • Marc Topkin notes that the opening day nod for James Shields is the culmination of a note-worthy off-season for the starting pitcher. [St. Pete Times]
  • The Herald-Tribune reviews the six weeks of spring training. [Herald-Tribune]
  • Brittany Ghiroli takes a look at how the Rays bullpen will gel with both young and old members. [MLB]

“Almost every [bullpen] that I played in, I try to instill one thing: We’re going to be guys who are going to take the ball everyday regardless of what’s happened the day before,” Percival said. “We’ve got that group here; we’ve got a lot of resilient guys, guys who’ve been around a long time.”

  • Stacy Long notes that catching prospect John Jaso is back in AA Montgomery as the team has told him he needs to improve his defense. [Montgomery Advertiser]
  • John Romano points out that 88-wins is not such a stretch. Since 1976, 40 teams have had one season turnarounds of at least 20 wins. Although we would point out that there is a difference between going from 80 wins to 100 and going from 66 to 88. A 20-win swing for an 80-win ballclub represents only a 25% increase on a team that is already good. A 22-win swing for a club with 66 wins represents a 33% increase for a bad team. [St. Pete Times]


  1. Anonymous says:

    I noticed Juan Salas being sent to Hudson Valley? What does this exactly mean?

  2. The Professor says:

    doesnt really mean anything. it just means he is not on the roster of any of the full-season minor league teams because he is still stuck in the Dominican Republic. If he ever gets back, he will be on the Durham roster, but until then his spot goes to somebody else


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