THE GOOD: Jonny Gomes didn’t get his first start until Saturday and now has started two of the past three and has home runs in both contests…Jason Hammel did give up 4 runs on 8 hits, but his only walk was the intentional variety. He also managed to work 6 innings. If he can continue to limit the unintentional walks and give the Rays 6 innings every time out, he may prove to be a suitable place-holder while Scott Kazmir is on the DL.

THE BAD: The Rays managed only 2 hits outside of Jonny Gomes’ home run and drew only 2 walks.

THE TELLING: Sometimes “The Hangover” really is a hangover.

DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA

  • SI.com has a very flattering and long piece on the new-look Rays. [SI.com]
  • We completely understand why reporters always ask Stuart Sternberg about the payroll. The Rays are a small-market club and the fans should know if the team will be willing to spend money. What we don’t understand is why it is worth it’s own column every time Sternberg answers the question considering his answer is always the same. Sternberg has said since day 1 that the team will have a flexible payroll and will be opportunistic and spend money if the price is right and if it makes sense for the team. He has never wavered one iota from that stance. [Tampa Tribune]
  • JP Howell is taking so well to his new role in the bullpen that Joe Maddon noted that he start using Howell in late inning roles against both righties and lefties in the future. As of now, Howell is strictly being used as the Rays long-reliever as he was on Sunday when he pitched 3 shutout innings against the Yankees. [MLB]
  • Ben Zobrist is no closer to returning from the DL. In fact, Zobrist had pins inserted into his thumb to speed up the recovery and will now be sidelined for at least two more weeks. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Scott Kazmir threw another bullpen session that included sliders. He will throw batting practice today. If all goes well today, Kid K could make a start in an extended spring training game this weekend. [International Herald-Tribune]
  • On Monday, Cliff Floyd missed the first of what will be about 30-40 games this season due to sore knees. [SI.com]
  • Elliot Johnson has caught a game since high school, but volunteered to be the Rays emergency backup catcher when Dioner Navarro was injured. [SI.com]
  • Tonight’s home opener will be sold out. [Tampa Tribune]
  • On Saturday, Troy Percival finally completed his comeback from semi-retirement by recording his first save since 2005. [Tampa Tribune]
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  1. Scot Gould says:

    The good: Shields was outstanding (no surprise), but Howell was incredible AND I really like the Maddon trying the multiple inning outing for a reliever, if the pitch count works. 3 innings and only 33 pitches. Impressive.

    Also good: Hammell was NOT hammered. And he should have not had to give up 2 of his runs if he had any defense in right field.

    Bad: right field defense. Both Gomes and Hinske are "scary". Can't tell if Johnson is any safer.

    A split in NY is a pretty good result. But they should beat up the Mariners.

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