Tampa Bay Devil Dogs (22 days until opening day)

DRG here again to get you through the weekend

Yesterday: Tampa Bay Rays 4, Yankees 1.except for Shawn Riggans at catcher, this is the lineup we could see on March 31 including the batting order with Cliff Floyd in the 5-hole and Jonny Gomes in right batting 6th, followed by Evan Longoria. Willy Aybar came on late and played first. Joel Guzman replaced Longoria at third late in the game. Carl Crawford stole two bases. Matt Garza had a strong outing overshadowed by the professional debut of David Price in the 7th inning. Price hit the first batter he faced and then settled down to strike out the next three. Garza struck out 4 in 3 scoreless innings. He allowed 1 hit and walked 2. Brian Anderson also made his first appearance of the spring, giving up a leadoff single, but then retired the next three on fly balls. Scott Dohmann pitched a perfect 8th and 9th, striking out 2.


  • Many were impressed with David Price’s debut including his own pitching coach. Price was clocked between 95-97 on the Rays’ guns, striking out three straight after hitting his first professional batter. [The Heater]

“There were a couple of guys in there that had considerable major league experience that didn’t really have much of a chance,” Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said. “Pretty impressive, period, but very impressive for the first time.”

  • David Price threw 17 pitches, 11 for strikes. He admitted to being star-struck prior to the game and felt he overthrew during the game but got “lucky” enough to keep them in the strike zone. [Bradenton Herald]

“Watching this guy throw 98 miles-an-hour on the black inside, that’s cool,” Pena said. “That’s exactly what we were expecting.”

  • Rocco Baldelli came out yesterday to clear the air on the rumors surrounding his medical condition. He was emphatic in denying that he has Multiple Sclerosis, a rare blood disorder or that he ever took steroids. He stated that he has taken every test and nothing has been able to pinpoint the problem. [Providence Journal]

“I’ve felt a lot of different sensations…Nothing came back specifically positive.” He won’t detail the specifics of the battery of tests he keeps referring to, the ones that have taken place here in Tampa, and he wouldn’t give specific locations. But he said he’s been examined by doctors around the country…”I feel like I’ve been tested for everything on Earth. The testing I went through last year was pretty extensive …I have had some problems with my muscles recovering. They don’t recover on a day-to-day basis like I would like them to. It’s tough when you wake up one day and they don’t feel as good as they did the day before. It’s not a fun feeling. We’re still looking to get that very specific diagnosis so I can sleep better at night.”

  • Joe Maddon reiterated on Saturday that the team needs to know by the end of the week if they can expect to get 9 innings from Rocco Baldelli or start looking for other options…Let’s say nobody seems very optimistic about that. [St. Pete Times]

“Over the course of the next week, something’s probably got to give in a positive direction to know that he’s going to be able to get out there with any kind of regularity,” Maddon said. “You’re looking to get nine innings, whether it’s as a DH or an outfielder. So I’d say the next week is going to be very vital, or important, to determine that.”

  • Marc Lancaster catches up with Matt Spring who is in his first major league camp. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Some worry that the Rays proposed stadium could end the city’s hopes of becoming a mecca for Arts enthusiasts. [St. Pete Times]
  • Minor League Ball is running a community projection for BJ Upton. The final tally was .286/.370/.502 with 25 home runs, 93 RBI and 30 steals. [Minor League Ball]
  • Similar to the Prof’s Meta-Analysis of Top Prospects in the sidebar, MLB Scoop averaged all of the lists of Top Prospects to come up with an aggregate list of the top 100 prospects in baseball. The Rays have four in the top 20, and five overall. [MLB Scoop]

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