Tampa Bay Devil Dogs (9 days until opening day)

DRG here again to get you through the weekend

Yesterday: Yankees 2, Tampa Bay Rays 1.

The Good: Andy Sonnanstine laid claim to one of the final rotation spots, but tossing 5 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits and 2 walks against a Yankees lineup that featured all of their regulars. Evan Longoria’s RBI double in the 9th scored the Rays only run.

The Bad: Evan Longoria commited his second error of the spring that would lead to the Yankees’ second run. Scott Dohmann allowed both runs in his one inning of work.

The Telling: Eric Hinske started and played the entire game in right field. He should be the Rays 4th outfielder unless a player is brought in fro outside the organization.


  • The Orioles will decide today whether Jeremy Guthrie or Steve Trachsel will be the opening day starter against the Rays on March 31. [Baltimore Sun]
  • Joe Maddon wants to have his rotation named by Sunday. From Maddon’s quotes it sure sounds like Andy Sonnanstine sealed his spot yesterday. Was there ever any doubt? [Tampa Bay Rays]

“Sonnanstine looked really good,” Maddon said. “Had all of his pitches working and made pitches when he had to — a very, very impressive performance…Sonnie’s a pro. He comes ready every day. A lot of lefties in that lineup today, he pitched very well against the lefties today. Yes, he made a very good case for himself.”

  • Willy Aybar is expected to start today. [Tampa Tribune]
  • The backup outfield positions might be shaking themselves out without a need for outside help. Joe Maddon liked what he saw from Jonny Gomes in center and could fill the role in an emergency basis and Eric Hinske might have played himself into the 4th outfielder spot, with a big aid from having a left-handed bat. [St. Pete Times]
  • Much like Troy Percival, Cliff Floyd is expected to have just as big an impact in the clubhouse as he is on the field. And when Joe Maddon says “He’s a man’s man…He says what he thinks, is very articulate. This guy is going to be a heck of a coach, maybe a manager someday. He’s that impressive,” you understand why we call him Dr. Huxtable. [St. Pete Times]

“We’ve been learning on our own the past six or seven years, the years I’ve been here,” Crawford, 26, said. “It’s been like, you bump your head real bad, and you have to learn from it. Now I’m glad I don’t have to go through that anymore. We don’t have to fall on our face anymore. We can get advice, and it’ll save us from going through all the big trouble.”



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