THE GOOD: The Game. Ok, it was just a spring game, but we always gain pleasure from beating Philadelphia in anything…Pat Burrell. The Bat led off so that he could get his one at bat in the first inning and he responded with a home run…Carlos Pena. Pena also homered in the first in his only at bat, a 3-run shot.
THE BAD: Matt Garza. Garza allowed two home runs, but he was primarily working on his changeup and threw that pitch much more than he would normally…Grant Baflour. The Mad Australian struck out 2 in his 1 inning of work, but he also gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and a hit batter.
THE TELLING: Most of the regulars received one plate appearance before being removed from the game…The Rays finished the spring at 15-16-1.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- In case you missed this yesterday in our look back at the spring training questions, Joe Maddon announced that when BJ Upton returns from the DL, he will indeed bat leadoff. Until then, Aki Iwamura will bat leadoff against righties, while Jason Bartlett will lead off against lefties. After Upton’s return, those two will also alternate in the 8th and 9th spot against lefties and righties…Not only will the Rays benefit from having Upton at the top, but we have a very good feeling about Aki no longer hitting leadoff. Sometimes we felt Aki tried to hard to be a prototypical leadoff guy. He did the job well, not great, but his swing may have suffered for it. [The Heater]
- Marc Lancaster has a list of Rays players to keep an eye on in 2009. [Tampa Tribune]
- Marc Topkin looks back on spring training and how different issues and question marks played out. He also says that Jeff Niemann appears to have won the final spot in the rotation based on his “higher upside than Jason Hammel and the potential that he could be used in relief.” Topkin also mentions that BJ Upton will be in the lineup on opening night for the Charlotte Stone Crabs. [St. Pete Times]
- Stacy Long explores why the Rays decided to start Desmond Jennings at double-A this season, despite only 24 games at high-A last season. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Dennis Maffezzoli takes a look at who will be the new leaders in the clubhouse now that Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske have left. Joe Maddon says that Pat Burrell has what it takes to fill the role. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]
- Marc Lancaster has a few series from the upcoming season that Raysheads should circle on their calendars. [Tampa Tribune]
- Marc Topkin looks back on the most memorable moments of 2008. [St. Pete Times]
- Joey Johnston has a list of “Did you knows” about various Rays. [Tampa Tribune]