THE GOOD: David Price and his changeup. King David threw 4 scoreless innings and said afterwards that he is now confident enough to throw his changeup “at any time.” Price struck out 4 and allowed 3 hits and allowed 2 walks… Adam Kennedy. Kennedy showed in the first inning one thing he can bring to the table. Experience. With 1 out and a would-be base stealer beating the throw, Kennedy successfully blocked the bag with his foot for the out…Carl Crawford. At the other end is Crawford stealing bases successfully. His legs sure look fresh as he stole 2 more bases yesterday (although he did get caught going to third) and is 5-6 in the steal department this spring with 2 triples…The Closers. A new TV show featuring Troy Percival and Jason Isringhausen got off to a slow start but is picking up steam as we head to sweeps-week. Both Percy and Izzy and pitched scoreless innings yesterday…Matt Joyce. Joyce made his first appearance in a Rays uniform and just missed 2 separate home runs, one to the track (off a lefty) and one foul. He finished 0-2 with a K.
THE BAD: David Price. Want the quickest way into a manger’s doghouse? Walk the leadoff batter. Price did that yesterday in the second inning and has done that a few times already this spring.
THE TELLING: In last night’s semifinal matchup of the WBC, JP Howell came in to pitch the 6th inning and faced Aki Iwamura during the inning. Aki flied out to center on the first pitch he faced. Howell gave up 2 hits in a scoreless inning, getting a strikeout to retire the side. Aki finished 1-4, driving in a run with a triple and later scoring a run in the 5-run 5th inning. Evan Longoria made his debut with Team USA as a pinch-hitter and the tying run in the 8th inning. He struck out…Pat Burrell will start in right field today. Somebody should warn the groundhogs.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jenn Sterger told us on Twitter that we need to be reading her blog. You hear that? C’mon guys. Let’s get to it. She is in New York and if we fail her, she could easily be sucked into the Evil Empire. We can’t let that happen. [officially...jenn]
- Not a good weekend for Rays center fielders. First up, we can now rule out BJ Upton from the lineup during the opening week, which means the opening day center fielder very well could be Ben Zobrist. Amazing. The opening day shortstop just 2 years ago, and some wondered if he would ever be a starter again and now he is the opening day center fielder. [Rays Report]
- Marc Topkin also speculates that Adam Kennedy could be the 25th man on the roster and not Justin Ruggiano. With Zobrist starting in center, the idea would be that Joe Maddon would need a backup infielder, not another outfielder. Maddon also says Zobrist may not need a platoon partner in center being a switch-hitter. [St. Pete Times]
- Then we learn that Fernando Perez’ injury is worse than originally believed and he will now be out 4-5 months instead of 3. [Rays Report]
- James Shields and Andy Sonnanstine both pitched in a minor league game and Matt Joyce also played in the morning game before making his spring debut in the big league game. [St. Pete Times]
- The Rays have set a spring attendance record of 83,274. [St. Pete Times]
- The 134th best Devil Ray ever…Vinny Castilla. [Bugs and Cranks]