Happy 27th birthday to former Devil Ray Jorge Cantu, our favorite Jedi baseball player. His 69 extra-base hits in 2005 is the 44th most ever by a second baseman. Of course, calling Cantu a second baseman is an insult to most second basemen (-2.4 UZR* in ‘05 as a 2B). Still, it was nice to see a healthy (finally) Cantu hit 29 home runs in 2008 for the Marlins, with a 110 OPS+.

*Ultimate Zone Rating. Negative is bad. Negative is also the number of runs the player cost his team defensively as compared to an average defensive player at the same position.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Scratch Carlos Pena from the list of Rays that will play in the World Baseball Classic. Pena had minor surgery on an abdominal muscle. He will be ready for Spring Training, but the surgery will keep him off the Domincan Republic’s WBC roster. Lancaster spoke with Pena who said the problem began in August saying he played through “extreme pain toward the end of the year last year.” [Rays Report]
  • Evan Longoria still is not sure if he will be on the USA roster for the World Baseball Classic, but he is preparing under the assumption that he will be. [The Heater]
  • Wow. First it was “Team X will be the new Rays.” Now we have somebody saying Matt Weiters is the “New Evan Longoria“…Why? Because Weiters is going to move to third base and help the Orioles to their first winning season since 1997, shocking the baseball world, winning the AL East and going to the World Series? Good luck with that. [Fanhouse]
  • Eric Hinske has agreed to terms with the Pirates. [Raise the Jolly Roger]
  • The Rays will start a new marketing campaign next week and unlike years past, this one will be geared more towards businesses…Gotta admit. One downside to writing about a good team is that prior to last year, there would have been an endless supply of jokes we could insert here. Now? Nuthin’. [Tampa Tribune]
  • The Rays Party wants to know when the Rays are going to trade Reid Brignac…We doubt they will. At worst, Brignac is a cheap version of Jason Bartlett and under team control for the next six years. [The Rays Party]
  • And we have yet another new entry into the Rays Blogosphere. This one comes via the MVN network. [Rays Review]
  • Bill Chastain spoke with James Shields about preparing for the 2009 season. [MLB]
 
 

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