The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: Nevin Ashley. With Dioner Navarro injured, the Rays may need a backup catcher for the first week or two. Alvin Colina would appear to be the leading candidate but Ashley has received a couple of starts the past week. And throwing out Denard Span in a first inning strike-em-out-throw-em-out doesn’t hurt his chances. He also added a single and a double…David Price. He was shaky early, had a rough 5th inning and allowed 2 home runs on the day, but he retired 9 in a row at one point and was able to work 6 full innings, walking 1 and striking out 5…BJ Upton. Bossman had 2 more hits including a deep double, this one to left-center. It is early, but Bossman seems much more confident at the plate than he did at any point last year. Hat tip to Derek Shelton.

THE BAD: Carlos Pena. Well we praised Pena for his increased contact rate earlier this spring even though he was hitless at the time. So it is only fair that we point out that he struck out 3 times yesterday in 3 plate appearances…The Bat. Pat Burrell started in right field. The Twins radio crew had this to say about one play: “Pat Burrell making a routine play look adventurous out there in right field”…sounds about right. He was also booed after one at bat when he struck out to end the inning with a runner in scoring position. You know things aren’t going well when you get booed by the home crowd during spring training.

THE TELLING: Sean Rodriguez was back at third base for the second time.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Uh oh. Scott Kazmir and “shoulder injury” in the same title. [LA Times]
  • The always great Wezen-Ball put together a list of the “worst opening day starters of the last 50 years.” Amazingly, Dewon Brazelton is not #1. In fact, he isn’t even on the list. Brzelbum was the Devil Rays opening day starter just 5 years ago, making 8 starts before being demoted. He would only make 2 more starts in his big league career. [Wezen-Ball]
  • The Rays released a couple of minor league catchers, Alex Jamieson and John Mollicone (from Fordham). [Baseball America]
  • Ben Badler on Rays minor leaguer Wilking Rodriguez: Sleeper of the day: Rays RHP Wilking Rodriguez. Fastball up to 96, plus CB, advanced control/feel for pitching for 20-yr-old…Remember that name folks. [Twitter]
  • Sports Networker uses the Durham Bulls as one example of teams that are taking advantage of social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. [Sports Networker]
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8 Comments

  1. Poor PtB. It seems like the majority of Rays aren't even going to give him April. I wonder how short of a leash the front office has on him. I'll say it again, PtB is playing for his baseball life. If he can't do it this year, it's not for lack of trying. And if that's the case, then the Rays have some serious Pro Scouting issues.

    As for Pena, he'd better watch himself. Hank Blalock's breathing down his neck faster than he realizes. The longer Blalock hangs around and produces, the more expendable Pena becomes.

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  2. If we get out to a hot April and it carries into May, Pena will stick around, because no doubt, he will be part of that push.

    But the more the Rays struggle, the closer we are to seeing our Gold Glove first basemen traded, so Blalock can take some reps at first.

    We know its virtually impossible for Pena & Crawford both to be back in 2011, and for what its worth, I'd rather see us keep CC over Pena.

    Much easier to find a slugging first basemen, and the Rays are already taking the steps needed to part ways...low risk Blalock is in, Leslie Anderson took home some serious sheckles to be groomed in the minors as an eventual replacement...

    Is this Friedman's way of positioning the Rays to compete with NY to bring Crawford back?

    I'd rather see him stick around than Bossman JR next year...thoughts?

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    • Rome says:

      Thomas,

      BJ is doing well this spring. BJ looks like the BJ of '07. I like what I am seeing from him.

      As for your thoughts on Pena. It's hard to say. Remember, Spring Training for a proven Major leaguer is not the same as Spring Training for a non-roster guy or minor leaguer trying to make the team. Spring is the time where you see vets trying to work on things that they normally would not do in the regular season. I think it's no secret that Pena is working on being more selective and trying to not to strike out as much. Blalock is trying out for the team, if not the Rays, then someone else. There is a reason why the Rangers went with Davis, who has far less offensive output but a better glove, then sticking w/ Blalock. Blalock is interesting but he is hitting .238 granted he sat out the first two weeks of the spring.

      Burrell is on a short rope, with out a doubt. There are no reports that he his a great clubhouse guy, he is slow on the basepaths and still has not shown the pop that we were looking to get from Burrell. He would be a risk at right field. But, I do think the Rays keep Burrell for a few months and see what he does, maybe try to move him if not out-right cut him. Another .220 season should not be allowed. Remember, this Burrell's last year w/ the Rays, which means he will be a free agent. Do you know anyone who will off Pat a MAJOR league contract after have two poor seasons? See Hank Blalock this year if you want indicator as to what will happen to Burrell next season if he does not produce. Hell, Blalock at least was a an all-star (twice).

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    • Don says:

      Pena making $10 mil and CC making $12Mil (2010) is a joke...no comparision in abilities/impact on a game....
      Hell... take 1/2 of what Pena is making... $5mil ...give it to CC next year...get rid of Pena..the other 1st basemen are signed and will have to be payed anyway...presto... $ problem solved!

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  3. Don says:

    Pena and/or Burrell don't look any better to me than last year..I don't care if its spring training or not....HITTING a baseball is a skill...
    You think they are NOT trying to hit....ie. waiting for regular season..
    Having Pena and Burrell strike out night after night is not something I want to see again this year...and PLEASE Maddon don't put them back to back in the line up...don't know how many rallies that killed last year!

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