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: Dioner Navarro. Navi is expected to play on Tuesday and all indications are that he will be on the opening day roster…James Shields. In what should be his most extended outing before the regular season, Shields threw 99 pitches, worked 7 innings and looked, well, he looked like James Shields.
THE BAD: Another Close Call. Dale Thayer took a line drive off his shin. He is expected to be fine.
THE TELLING: The Rays are 16-7-1 in the spring. They won 18 in 2008, which is the franchise record…Dan Johnson cleared waivers. The Rays are now waiting to hear if he accepts an assignment to Durham…It looks like Joe Maddon is leaning towards batting Ben Zobrist third, followed by Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena…Willy Aybar played first base in a minor league game yesterday suggesting he will be on the opening day roster.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- A reminder that tomorrow night’s game will be televised on the MLB Network.
- Both Willy Aybar and Matt Joyce are questionable to start the season with the Rays. Marc Topkin writes about what that means for the roster. [St. Pete Times]
- Carl Crawford is working this spring to add the drag bunt to his repertoire. Joe Maddon thinks it will add 10-15 points to his batting average…Also, Maddon says that playing time for Kelly Shoppach and Dioner Navarro could be dependent on who is on the mound. Each pitcher may get assigned one of the catchers to be their regular partner. [St. Pete Times]
- Former Rays farmhand Jon Weber has spent 11 years in the minors and never played a big league game. But he has an outside shot to make the Yankees opening day roster. [NY Daily News]
- Joe Smith writes about Elliot Johnson’s uncertain future and what may be his last week in the Rays organization after 8 seasons. [St. Pete Times]
- Marc Topkin looks at the Rays efforts to return to defensive dominance. [St. Pete Times]
- A lengthy round-table discussion of the Rays. [inside pulse sports]
- TBRF wonders what we can expect from Jeff Niemann this year. [Tampa Bay Rays Fan]
- Joey Johnston writes about Kelly Shoppach’s transition to the Rays. [Tampa Tribune]
- Another preview of the Rays. This one from RealGM. [RealGM]
- A look at the Durham Bulls schedule. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]