THE GOOD: The Bullpen? Are we the only ones that think a huge bullpen implosion is just waiting to happen? Yesterday, four relievers combined for 4.2 innings, 3 hits, 1 walk and no runs, while striking out 5. The bullpen now has an ERA of 2.70, a number that is unfathomable for a Tampa Bay relief corps.
THE BAD: Edwin Jackson’s last two starts. Since pitching shutout ball for 8, 2-hit innings against the M’s, Nuke has allowed 11 runs on 11 hits and 7 walks in 9.1 innings. That line looks an awful lot like the ’07 Jackson…The offense. 9 strikeouts and ZERO walks. After Sunday’s shutout, their second of the year, the Rays have now been held to 2 runs or less in 6 games.
THE TELLING: Since the 4th game of the year the Rays are averaging only 4.2 runs per game. The offense is supposed to be catching up to the pitchers not losing ground…The Rays are now 2-5 in their last 7 and 5-10 in their last 15…The Rays have used 5 people in right field but so far they haven’t been too terrible. So far Rays right fielders have hit .281-4-9 with an .854 OPS. Delmon Young is hitting .236-0-6 with an .559 OPS…Jonny Gomes is hitting .304/.429/.565 versus right handed pitchers.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays finally added Dan Johnson to the 25-man roster with Jeff Niemann being optioned to Durham giving Justin Ruggiano a stay of demotion until Matt Garza is promoted on Friday to start that night. With the off-day, Andy Sonnanstine will move a spot and make the start on Thursday. Marc Topkin also suggested that Mike DiFelice will be DFA’d on Tuesday to make room for Dioner Navarro. [The Heater]
- Rays of Light questions the move of adding Dan Johnson, noting that he adds less flexibility to the roster, not more…We have to agree that the Rays won’t be printing any Dan Johnson jerseys as his tenure with the Rays is likely to be a short one. Look for Johnson to be DFA’d once people start returning from injuries. [Rays of Light]
- MLB Trade Rumors has a bunch of links and discussion on the Evan Longoria deal. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Fanhouse thinks the new deal for Evan Longoria is a bad deal for the Rays because of the risk that Longoria will be a bust. We don’t have a link, but if you go back and look at the top hitting prospects in Baseball America’s annual lists you will see that hitting prospects almost never bust. The worst they become is usually an average player. Pitching prospects on the other hand bust all the time. This is a great deal for the Rays. [Fanhouse]
- Portfolio.com wonders if the Evan Longoria and Troy Tulowitzki deals signal an end to baseball’s mega-deals…That may be a little extreme considering the Mets just gave Johan Santana $137.5 million. [Portfolio.com]
- Rays Digest wonders if the Rays would be interested in Frank Thomas…Thomas is angry and he would very likely welcome another AL East suitor for a chance to play the Jays 18-19 times this season. And he is sufficiently motivated to resume his role as the “Big Hurt”. He would also certainly be cheap as the Jays are still paying his $8 million salary this year. Still, we have to wonder how Thomas fits with the Rays who already have Cliff Floyd and Jonny Gomes at DH. Thomas is less of a fielder than Barry Bonds. And is Thomas really that much better than Floyd? [Rays Digest]
- Beyond the Boxscore also takes a look at the Rays as one of several potential suitors for Frank Thomas. [Beyond the Boxscore]
- We love that the Yankees super-duo of Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes is struggling so far this year. As much time as we spend in New York, it was starting to reach ludicrous levels this off-season with Yankees fans and Red Sox fans fighting over which team had the best rotation in baseball. And time after time, Yankees fans would talk about Kennedy and Hughes as if they were locks to win 17-20 games this season. [Baseball Musings]
- Our new friends at Hugging Harold Reynolds are having a fundraiser to try and get enough money to “hire” the real Harold Reynolds to blog at their site. [Hugging Harold Reynolds]
- One blogger compares Stuart Sternberg to Barack Obama, both beacons of change. [The Year Is Coming]
Now, if Obama could be as successful turning our country around as Sternberg and Matthew Silverman (president/GM) has been turning the Devil Rays around, I wouldn’t be surprised if within three years, we all have global health care and Iraq has a settled, stable government.