Tampa Bay Devil Dogs (1 day until opening day)
DRG here again to get you through the weekend…
Yesterday: Reds 8, Tampa Bay Rays 4.
- The Good: Edwin Jackson was good, not great. After walking the first batter of the game and then giving up a single to the second batter, Jackson settled down to retire 8 of the next 10 batters until the 4th inning when he walked the lead off batter, which was followed by a wild pitch, and two straight fly balls that scored a run…JP Howell pitched one inning, striking out all three batters he faced, which is a good sign if Howell is sent back to the minors considering there wasn’t a major leaguer in site of one of his pitches.
- The Bad: Fans at the game were subjected to a minor league game after about 3 innings, with names like Sergio Pedroza and Erold Andrus and Rhyne Hughes and Gabriel Martinez making appearances for the parent club due to the recent roster cuts.
- The Telling: With so many minor leaguers making appearances, you can tell the season is just around the corner…ohhhh, about 30 hours.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Gary Shelton and John Romano co-write a piece looking at the Rays and I’ll admit it is the first piece from a Rays journalist that I wished was longer. [St. Pete Times]
- From the minors, one of the Rays’ top prospects, Desmond Jennings will be sidelined to start the season with a back problem. Injuries are becoming a regular part of Jennings upbringing as he was limited to 99 games last year including a knee injury that cut his season short by two weeks. [Riverwalk Talk]
- Tom Jones compares this year’s lineup with the Rays’ all-time best seasons at each position. [St. Pete Times]
- The Herlad-Tribune calls Jonny Gomes the “only constant for Tampa Bay in right field” and Joe Maddon says “We were thinking that from the beginning.” And yet the starting right fielder on opening day? Eric Hinske. So much for seeing what Gomes could do with 600 plate appearances. [Herald-Tribune]
- Jonny Gomes is only going to start against lefties. Eric Hinske is going to be the most-days right fielder. Wow. I had no idea how desperately the Rays needed another outfielder. [St. Pete Times]
- Marc Lancaster breaks down the Rays opening day roster. [Tampa Tribune]
- The Herald-Tribune says there are “Some surprises on Rays’ roster”. [Herald-Tribune]
- The Bradenton Herald says there are “Few surprises on Rays 25-man roster”. [Bradenton Herald]
- Nathan Hayes was in southern California friday night when he heard the news he was coming to the Rays. 13 hours later he walked into Tropicana Field. [MLB]
- The Rays open in Baltimore tomorrow where they have struggled historically, going 33-50 in 10 seasons. [MLB]
- Marc Topkin has a Q&A session with Carl Crawford in which he discusses the 2008 Rays and his future with the franchise. [St. Pete Times]