THE GOOD: Willy Aybar collected 3 of the Rays 8 hits while Jason Bartlett was 2-2…With 1 run in already in the 6th, the O’s had 1st and 3rd with no outs. Andy Sonnanstine got out of the jam with a pop up to Aki Iwamura and then an inning-ending double play started by Willy Aybar who had a great night with the glove. The double play showed how quickly Aki has adapted to his new position as he was taking a throw from third rather short, so there was a different angle to the bag, he had to wait longer on the bag and made the necessary strong relay throw…The O’s were rained out last night and will play a double-header today. While the Rays should be done with their day by 4:00, the O’s won’t even arrive in Tampa for another 12 hours.
THE BAD: The Rays 1-5 hitters were a combined 1-18. This just in. That’s not good…Which led to the Rays 4th straight loss after starting the year 1-3…Justin Ruggiano in his first game since being recalled from Durham, misplayed a ball to right field that got over his head and instead of sprinting after the ball that should have already been in his glove, he decided to turn and look back and make sure everybody in the stadium new he lost the ball in the lights. If it wasn’t so painful, it might have actually been funny. Like when somebody trips over a crack in the sidewalk and they immediately turn back to look at what could have possibly reached up and grabbed the foot…With the game still in reach in the 7th, the Rays got a leadoff double from Willy Aybar and he failed to score…The 3-run homer in the 8th was the lady-killer…0 stolen base attempts. Like a wise man once said, You can’t steal first base, and the Rays could not get any of their speedsters on first.
THE TELLING: Yesterday there was some speculation that JP Howell could still get the open starters slot on Sunday with Matt Garza on the DL. Howell faced 9 batters last night indicating that he is not a candidate afterall…With Cliff Floyd now on the DL, Eric Hinske and Nathan Haynes will share the RF/DH duties against righties, while Jonny Gomes and Justin Ruggiano will get the starts against lefties.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Haha. Cliff Floyd to the DL. Alright. Knock it off guys. This isn’t funny anymore…He is scheduled to have surgery for a torn meniscus in his knee and will be on the shelf for 4-6 weeks. [Fox Sports]
- Matt Garza is going to rest his arm for 2 weeks and then be reevlauated. If all goes well, he could be back in 4 weeks. [Tampa Tribune]
- With all the injuries, Brittany Ghiroli notes that the Rays are depending more on their veteran bullpen than they would prefer. [MLB]
“Going through a full season you’re going to have a lot of injuries, especially in your starting rotation, you just deal with it,” Percival said.”Usually it doesn’t happen this early in the season, but these guys have been around a long time [in the bullpen],” he said. “We just have got to suck it up until we get everybody healthy and they go out there and start going seven, eight innings at a time.”
- Nice pick up by Outs Per Swing…MLB.com already has Jeff Niemann listed as the probable starter for Sunday’s matchup with the Orioles. [Outs Per Swing]
- Marc Topkin relates an awkward story about the call-up of JK Ryu and Justin Ruggiano. Both were having dinner with Jeff Niemann and Mitch Talbot. Niemann could not have been happy that he did not call when a starting pitcher went down, even if it is just a temporary promotion. [St. Pete Times]
- In the Rays first 8 games, 5 different players have started in right field…The Rays have commmitted 7 errors in 8 games. None by infielders. [Bradenton Herald]
- On April 15, every member of the Tampa Bay Rays will wear #42. [MLB]
- There is yet another public hearing tonight on the proposed redevelopment of Tropicana Field and a new open-air stadium for the Rays along the St. Pete waterfront. [Suncoast News]