THE GOOD:Patience. The Rays were able to score 6 runs despite only 5 hits in large part because the Pirates pitchers couldn’t find the strike zone. Rays hitters drew 11 walks…Andy Sonnanstine. We are hesitant to put The Duke here, but the results were solid for his first spring start giving up only 1 run and not walking a batter. But a few of his pitches were being left up in the zone and one pitch missed being a home run by inches to the right of the foul pole. He also threw a wild pitch.
THE BAD: David Price. In his second spring outing, it took Price 58 pitches to make it through 2.1 innings. Not exactly what he needed to do to change the Rays’ minds about his future…The Pirates. We understand that wearing green during spring training is a tradition, but just because the Pirates don’t have a game on St. Patty’s day is no excuse to wear green caps on the day before.
THE TELLING: James Shields will pitch in a minor league game today so that he can remain on schedule for his opening day start…Joe Nelson has allowed 4 home runs this spring in 2.2 innings…In a battle of who is more super-duper, Willy Aybar got the start at first base while Ben Zobrist was in left.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- There is a new Rays blog in our midst. Their first foray is in to a series of over/unders on how Rays players will do compared to last year. Go give them a look at welcome them aboard. [Trop Talk]
- Our latest round-table topic at Rays Prospects…“Most Overhyped” prospect. [Rays Prospects]
- David Price says that he has worked so much on his changeup that his slider “has gone away” and that it is something he is “going to have to get back.” [MLB]
- Evan Longoria might be absent from the Rays for a few days. Chipper Jones injured a muscle in the WBC and will no longer be able to participate. Longoria figures to be added to the roster if somebody is needed. [Rays Report]
- The Rays cut 12 players from their spring roster yesterday including Carlos Hernandez, Wade Davis, Mitch Talbot and Tim Beckham. [The Heater] Randy Choate was also cut following last night’s game. [Rays Plays]
- When asked if Jason Hammel is the front-runner for the final spot in the rotation, Joe Maddon said “Obviously it’s looking that way and it may turn out that way, but it’s really not finalized.” He also indicated that a final decision would likely be made within the next week. [St. Pete Times]
- Matt Joyce is scheduled to play the outfield today in a minor league game. [Rays Plays]
- John Romano spoke with Carl Crawford who called 2008 a “humbling experience” and is determined to get back to where he was the years previous. [St. Pete Times]
- Roger Mooney takes a look at how the spring is the only time the relief pitchers get to work on their pitches. [Bradenton Herald]
- This should come as little surprise, but Scott Boras is not a big fan of long-term deals for young players, which means Scott Boras must hate the Rays. [MLBTradeRumors]