Time to bring back the GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Matt Joyce. Yeah. We can’t wait to hear the Rays reasoning for sending Joyce back to Durham when everybody is healthy. Can anybody make an argument that Joyce is not a better option *right now* than the Gabe o’ the Day platoon? That is some of the best bat speed we have seen since, well, since BJ Upton forgot he was BJ Upton. The ball just explodes off of Joyce’s bat and last night it was 3 hits including his 3rd home run in 5 games with the Rays. But the big blow was a tie-breaking 2-out double to left-center off a lefty. That was the at bat that might have had Andrew Friedman ripping up Joyce’s return ticket to Durham…Andy Sonnanstine. His spot in the rotation is on life support and last night’s performance might have just bought him a little more time. The 2 home runs were a little troubling but for only the second time this season The Duke did not walk a batter…Dude and the Madman. Is there a better relief pitcher in baseball right now than JP Howell? And Grant Balfour is starting to look like his old self, minus a couple of MPHs. It is like their roles as awesome and awesomer have reversed this season. Last night they retired the final 8 batters of the game, 5 by strikeout (1 did reach on a wild pitch strikeout)…BJ Upton. It is only fair to note that Bossman was on base 3 times last night and has hit safely in 6 straight.
THE BAD: Evan Longoria. You want to talk about jinxed? Joe Maddon gives Dirtbag a half-night off by DHing him and he comes up lame running to first and will have an MRI today…Giving Away Outs. BJ Upton and Carl Crawford were both thrown out at third base in the third inning, killing a potential scoring opportunity and later Reid Brignac was caught stealing at second in the 5th. We are all for BE AGRESSIVE, B-E AGRESSIVE, but the Rays only get 27 outs. Last night they gave away 11% of them.
THE TELLING: The Rays will not face Zach Greinke in this series.
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Matt Joyce.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Evan Longoria says the hamstring did not pop or pull, and hopes it is a “day to day thing.” Joe Maddon was a bit more concerned, knowing how tricky hamstrings can be. [The Heater]
- Joe Maddon said that Pat Burrell has better range of motion in his neck and will increase his activity this week. A rehab assignment sounds likely…Also, Maddon thinks Scott Kazmir will be back in the rotation before the all-star break. [Tampa Tribune]
- Evan Longoria is now the top vote-getter in the AL, surpassing Derek Jeter. [Tampa Tribune]
- Keith Law had his second mock draft and now he has the Rays selecting a high school shortstop, Jiovanni Mier. [ESPN]
Horizon HS catcher Tommy Joseph (my pick for them last time around) is still a possibility, and they’d love it if one of the three top high school center fielders fell here.
- The Rays will release a report this month on the cost and what it would take to renovate the Trop…This piece does not address say whether this report will include whether it is possible to add a retractable roof to the Trop, something the Rays are looking in to. [Ballpark Frankness]