[Update 6:21pm] Joe Maddon on Troy Percival: ““I wouldn’t be surprised if he chooses not to come back.”

[UPDATE 5:25pm] Marc Lancaster is now reporting that David Price will be the starting pitcher on Monday.

ESPN.com believes that David Price will be called up on Monday to take Scott Kazmir’s spot in the rotation. (thanks, Joe).

The Tampa Bay Rays have placed pitcher Scott Kazmir on the disabled list with a right quadriceps strain. The team is expected to call up David Price to take his place in the rotation when it comes up Monday.

Also, via Marc Lancaster’s Twitter page, Troy Percival may be ready to call it a career.

Percival has gone home to clear mind, ponder future – which could be in doubt

Rays put Kazmir, Percival on DL [ESPN]



  1. Dirtbag Fan says:

    This won’t be a popluar response, but I think the Rays are actually better WITH Percy then without.

  2. Rome says:

    I think Percy can still contribute. As a coach.

  3. Joe D. says:

    Prof., with all of this going down today, seems like if Price is skipped in the Durham rotation that’s it, Price is Monday’s starter, what can we expect when Kaz comes off the DL. I know some of your daily polls and comments have been leading there… but if everyones healthy who’s out of the rotation, who head’s to the ‘pen, who’s the odd man out in the ‘pen, in your opinion?

    • you’re right. Price is here to stay unless he absolutely busts and i can see that happening even under the worst circumstances.

      My gut says Sonnanstine is on the clock. This is a team that wants to contend and they cant with the way Sonny is pitching right now. Assuming Kazmir is back in 2-3 weeks, that gives Sonny 4-5 starts to right the ship. i wouldnt even be surprised if Maddon has already had this talk with Sonny. let him know, hob not in jeopardy with one start, but will look at the whole of the next 4-5 and make a decision.

      basically i see Sonny and Niemann competing for 5th spot over next few weeks with Niemann out to a fairly strong lead.

      • Don says:

        I don’t think Maddon has the “TALK” with anyone…affrair to “upset’ them! But I think management has put the foot down that the good old boy network is over…we have to play the best players…hurt feelings are too bad!

      • Joe D. says:

        I’m with you on Sonny, but maybe for a slightly different reason, th thing that always sticks with my when it comes to Sonny is the “He warms up quickly.” comment, also this perception that I have of him is that he seems to be very durable (like he could pitch almost every day or 3- 2 inning stints a week), and also Sonny throws strikes, about the last thing I want is a reliever that comes in throwing balls, and walking hitters, even with all of his moving parts his mechanics seem to stay mostly intact. Where as Niemann seems to be the opposite, I seem to remember hearing that he warms up slow, he’s had injuries, and he seems to have control issues, and has a hard time keeping the ball down in the zone, not really things I’d look for in a reliever.

        If a starter heads to the ‘pen do we look for Cormier to be the odd man out of the ‘pen, or Wheeler or Nelson, who have been less effective? or do we look for a trade? right now I’m thinking Nelson is the odd man out, because of Wheeler and Jim Hickey’s relationship going back to Houston, but gut says Wheeler is going to be lousy all season and I have a hard time seeing Cormier going anywhere, he’s been one of our more effective relievers so far.

      • Amanda says:

        Over the last two starts, Sonny’s pitching better than Kaz. With your theory (pretty sound, I might add) that it’s Sonny and Neimann battling for that last spot, is it Sonny looking to save his spot, or Sonny trying to look better in other teams’ eyes to get traded?

      • Tom T says:

        What make you think Niemann is in front of Sonny? Sonny has a better K Rate, Walk Rate, and HR Rate plus a better track record. Sonny has a FIP of 4.69 and Niemann’s FIP is 6.14. Niemann did look good in his last start but to me he always looks uncomfortable on the mound.

        • Dirtbag Fan says:

          Let’s not forget that Niemann only has 12 big league starts, so for him to look a little uncomfortable on the mound is to be expected to some extent. Also, most 6’9″ dudes look uncomfortable wherever they are.

          • Tom T says:

            It is true Niemann has little experience but they are the same age and the argument can be made that Sonny has pitched more big leaugue games because he has pitched better throughout his career.

            I guess you could also make the point though that it takes tall pitchers longer to learn how to pitch (I.E. Randy Johnson) so in the long run Niemann has more potential. My point is that Sonny is pitching better right now so I would not deem Niemann ahead of Sonny if they are, in fact, battling for the 5th spot.

            I also think Amanda makes some excellent points about why Sonnanstine would be a better reliever.

  4. bobrittner says:

    If anyone thinks that Maddon decides based on “good old boys” or sentimentality or any other such foolish motives, s/he has not been paying attention. Maddon makes his decisions based on analysis of what will give the Rays the best chance to win. If he appears to stick with some players too long, it has nothing to do with loyalty but with his understanding that players need time to demonstrate what they can and can’t do and also require a sense that the manager is going to provide them a fair opportunity.

    It is only fans who lack patience and insight into how a ballclub works, not the Rays front office or manager, a pairing by the way that meshes perfectly well. Maddon was extended not because he is a yes man but because he and the front office have always been on the same page.

  5. Don says:

    First of all Maddon grew up in the good old boy network….
    25 years as a bench (coach)..he knows what its like to be ignored as a player or coach!
    He feels an undying loyality to show players he “feels” for them..
    No matter what it cost in final results… thinking it will come back in the future… Problem is: results is the most important thing to “Impatience” fans who want to win..Sorry…but thats life in big time!

    • bobrittner says:

      Well, if results are the issue, then fans should respect his approach given the results last year.

      As for undying loyalty, that is pure and rank speculation based on imposing pop psychological cliches to decisions fans know little about. There is no evidence of that in anything Maddon does, unless fans want to interpret any insistence on sticking with players Maddon thinks can help as loyalty over reason.

      On the contrary, when he has been convinced of the need, he has acted dispassionately. He took the ball out of Percival’s hands last year and used him sparingly this year. If there was an old boy’s network to whom Maddon felt some loyalty it would certainly have included Kennedy, but Adam did not make the team despite a fine spring and was traded without a peep from Maddon.

      Otherwise, the only clear evidence about Maddon’s use of his roster is that he tries to get everyone involved and that players who slump do not quickly end up in his doghouse but get a chance to redeem themselves. That cannot be construed as old boy network loyalty. On the contrary, by distributing playing time so broadly, it suggests the very opposite, that loyalty to the overall team success is far more important than the playing time accorded to any particular individual.

      • Amanda says:

        It says to me that he’s not putting the best 9 men out there every night.

        Look, I *do* think Maddon deserves a chance because of the team’s success last year. But I also think that doesn’t mean he’s correct in everything he does. The way he puts a lineup together does, in fact, look like he’s trying to please everyone, or pre-emptively quell egos, or favor his buddies (which I don’t think is the case on the last one, or he’d have lost the locker room a long time ago). It doesn’t mean he is; it’s just what it looks like.

        • bobrittner says:

          If you look at playing time, you will see that he gives the lion’s share of the time to his best players. Longoria, Upton, Pena, Bartlett, Iwamura, Burrell and Crawford have been in nearly every game so far (when not injured). Zobrist has more plate appearances than any other non-regular save Navarro, something he has earned by his excellent play.

          I don’t agree with everything Maddon does either (which does not mean I am right of course). But the notion that he does not put his best men out there or that he tries to rest people too often is simply not true. On the other hand, there is little point in evaluating a manager based on specific moves; you have to consider his overall approach. And in Maddon’s case that means, among other things, using his whole roster so that players like Aybar, Kapler, Zobrist et al are prepared to contribute when needed. That was one of the ingredients to the Rays’ success last year.

          If he did not give Zobrist opportunities last year (despite his earlier struggles in the majors) and again this year early on, we would not have known he could hit, and certainly not for power. Nor would Aybar have been ready to step in for Longoria last year, and Burrell this year, and gotten hot both times. Neither was his “best player” when the year started. It is Maddon’s strength that he can use his whole roster and yet keep his best players on the field most of the time. The fact that the Rays will sometimes lose games when a starter sits does not mean it is because that man was not on the field and is a very short sighted view of what Maddon’s system is all about.

  6. Justin H says:

    the big question to me about all this is Kaz done in Tampa if he can’t turn it around when he gets back? If Price does what we all think Price can do he can easily take Kaz’s slot in the rotation also he’s isn’t anywhere near as expensive as Kaz. But if the Rays do decide to move Kaz I don’t know what kind of return they would see, it’s a tough call all together.

  7. RBI Radio says:

    Should be interesting to see how this turns out. Troy was good for so many years but with such a young team it’s only fitting they have a young closer is it not? Especially for a team that expects to be in the race for many years to come.

  8. Don says:

    One more point on Maddons protective nature with certain players!
    He is really pushing for Purcival to retire! WHY?
    Its the easy way out for everyone…Maddon is really on hot seat from management, fans, and I’m sure by now many players tired of watching him give away runs(games)!
    SO: Purcival retires, Maddon off the spot, Purcival still gets his millions… for nothing, fans happy he’s gone.. Everyone wins!

    • bobrittner says:

      This is really unsubstantiated speculation more fit for supermarket tabloids than anything else. You don’t know that Maddon is pushing him. You have no inside information about Maddon’s motives. You have no idea about Maddon’s relationship to management; in fact, your assumption about him being on the hot seat with them is almost certainly wrong based on all public evidence. And there is no reason to think that Maddon feels as if he is on the spot if Percival remains with the team.

      There is a huge difference between a manager defending his player in public, expressing confidence in him or showing respect for him and a manager feeling obligated to use him to the detriment of the team.

      As a matter of fact, in recent weeks Maddon has rested Percival a lot and used him in all sorts of different situations-to start the 9th with a lead and while behind, to pitch in the 9th with men on, in the 7th, for just one out and so on. In the 7 appearances since May 3, the Rays won every game although he was awful in 2 of them. In the other 5, he got 4 saves and gave up no runs or walks and only 1 hit.

      I prefer Percival to retire for many reasons, but there is no evidence that Maddon coddles him or favors him in any way. Maddon simply treats all his players with respect, and in Percival’s case, that respect has been earned with an honorable career and a serious effort to help the Rays become a competitive team, both as the bullpen leader and while on the field. He may no longer be able to contribute, but we fans ought to show a similar respect.

      • Don says:

        One more comment…Dear Percival:
        Its over, and the ONLY one sad to see you go is: MADDON!
        Not fans, not management, and I’m sure by now, not the players!

  9. Tom T says:

    I do not think Percival still gets paid if he retires although I guess they may offer him a buyout.

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